Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Jews have the right idea

by Rich Miles

News reports out of Jerusalem today tell us that former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been indicted on charges of public corruption. It was the first ever indictment of a current or former Israeli prime minister, and is an extension of corruption charges that were originally filed during Olmert's tenure as prime minister.

Now, I don't have a clue as to whether Olmert is guilty or not. But I do know this: if guilt by association were an acceptable legal principle in Israel, Olmert would already be fried or at best would be on his way to the frier.

But so far it's only an indictment, so we'll pretend for the time being that Olmert is innocent until proven guilty, though I don't know for certain if THAT is an accepted Israeli legal concept either.

Anyway, here's the point I want to make with this: what if the Israelis, one of our staunchest allies if not best friends in the region, did this in part at least to show us a valuable lesson: that a strong and democratic nation can indeed arrest, indict, try and convict a former leader (prime minister, president, etc.) without the country in question falling apart at the seams?

And what if we, fairly intelligent as a nation, got the clue and indicted our former president for much the same charges and more, and in the process managed to punish the worst criminal we ever elected?

Is it possible? Could we yet punish Shrub? Not commensurate with his sins without resorting to the death penalty, which I personally abhor even for Shrub, but what if we could do that?

What would it do to our international prestige? Would we look like asses in the international community? Or would we, as I personally contend, look better for having acknowledged our mistakes and sought to redress them?

I don't know if Israel is that devious. But I do know that the arrest and indictment of Olmert sets an international precedent that we should not ignore.

I myself would pay a quarter to watch the trial of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on TV.


Jack Jodell said...

If we Americans had even half the balls or integrity the Israelis have in matters like these, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, Wolowitz, Yoo, and a number of others would all be deservedly hanging from light posts right now.

Old Scout said...

Let's be clear about the outcome.

The rabid and incoherent rhetoric we have today is payback for Nixon.

What're we gonna get for putting that crowd in jail?

What're we gonna get for electing and then re-electing a half breed foreigner who is a non-citizen, a stateless person, as such?