There is an old axiom that goes: “You can run, but you can’t hide.” And so the league of dictators, with the most recent to meet his maker following his violent death Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, continue to learn the hard way.
On December 30, 2006, Iraq’s deposed leader Saddam Hussein faced final justice at the gallows. Like his colleague Gaddafi, he too was found hiding in a filthy hole in December 2003 after being on the run for 250 days.
April 30, 1945, German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler was holed up in a bunker and eventually took his life using a pistol. He shot himself in the head. SS officers took the corpse outside, poured petrol on it and set it alight.
Serbian general Ratko Mladic is now at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands (in other words The Hague) . . . shouting at the top of his voice at the devil.
People have very short memories.
The 1945-46 Nuremberg Tribunals which saw Nazi generals tried for war crimes were groundbreaking in establishing relentless international retributive justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Hitler, who had suborned his army generals to commit some of the most heinous crimes known to mankind, that were to be known as the Holocaust, never thought one day power would shift and he, and his generals, would have to account.
Hitler thought he was the ultimate ruler and untouchable.
Hitler lived in some delusional romanticism of perennial power until the chips fell.
Up until today, Nazi generals are high value species, for retributive justice, wherever they may be found, their advanced ages notwithstanding.
They have been arraigned before the courts in wheelchairs, stretchers and on their last breath.
No one is too old to face justice and to answer to the people.
The long arm of the law is forever bending towards justice.
On December 25, 1989, soldiers volunteered to shoot Romania’s Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena and a lottery for places was conducted.
The list of inhuman rulers is endless, with some current tin-pot dictactors arrogantly prancing around like they are immortal.
Chile’s Augusto José Ramón Pinochet, Pol Pot (Cambodia), Idi Amin (Uganda), Mobutu Sese Seko (Zaire), Radovan Karadzic, Slobodan Milosevic, Charles Taylor (Liberia), Al Bashir (Sudan) . . !
And so Mladic ends up at the ICC . . . his lawyers having unsuccessfully tried to cushion him in the humane considerations he, himself, denied others. He is too sick to attend trial, they said . . !
There has been raving and ranting about how Gaddafi should have been treated upon capture.
But why should an inhuman brute be judged by human standards? Food for thought.
Not so far back, Pinochet cut a pitiful figure, in a wheelchair, in England, to extract the most public sympathy, only to jump out of the wheelchair the moment he touched his home soil.
Dictators are vermin and should be treated with the ruthlessness they deserve and their ill-gotten gains should be sequestrated and given back to the people from whom they would have been stolen, in the first place.
What is now happening to Taylor and Hosni Mubarak, currently on his death bed, and his family, should be the official treatment and user-manual for treatment of all dictators and human rights abusers.
There should be no amnesty, if impunity is going to be stamped out.
Mladic and his sidekick Karadzic are responsible for the loss of over 8 000 lives, why should their own lives be regarded as more important? On April 28 1945, Italy’s Benito Mussolini tried to escape to Switzerland with his mistress Clara Petanci and his entourage of about 15 people, but was stopped by Communist soldiers despite dressing in a German uniform.
The next day he was gunned down along with his entourage and hanged upside down for all to see. Other dictators such as Romania’s Ion Antonescu, Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujilo and Roman Emperor Valerian all died in violent ways.