Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Praetorian Guards

Praetorian Guards

There is a familiar ring to this exit strategy being played out by the Saudi Commander in Chief who finds himself facing a guillotine of international (America excluded) condemnation.

The news bulletin said 18 Saudi nationals have now been detained as part of the continuing probe and restructuring of the command of the general intelligence agency under the supervision of Mohammed bin Salman.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a fight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the country's state TV reported quoting an initial probe.

It said deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, were dismissed over the affair.


There is a movie- “Breaker Morant” – based on fact – commanders of an Australian unit in South Africa during the Boer War – following Commander- in- Chief Kitchener’s verbal instructions, “Take No Prisoners” – later find themselves before a Court Martial for War Crimes - and were executed.

During the 1981 Springbok Tour Red Squad, was told by Commissioner Walton at Palmerston North Venue where Red Squad was lining up against several thousand protesters, buoyed by their success at Hamilton: “I don’t care what you do but stop them.” After the Tour, Red Squad were not ‘executed’, but the Squad and personnel were intimidated, humiliated, treated unlawfully and persecuted.

The similarity between Red Squad and Breaker Morant’s squad – is not lost on me. Nor does the similarity of the fate of Saudi King Salman’s praetorian guard.



The reality is that Societies will always provide “recruits” for Prince or President, to do dirty work necessary to preserve that principal.

I’m sure a PhD thesis would demonstrate that in most cases, the “recruits” have come from less well-educated working class to lower socio-economic strata.

But I’m also sure (and hope); that the difference between misguided altruism which (in my view) manifest in the above examples of Boer War and Red Squad is a quantum leap from (as example) CIA personnel torturing prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Security Personnel employed by Saudi Arabia to impose its version of justice on Jamal Khashoggi.

May NZ never descend to the latter category, although Tuhoe Maori and DOT COM and The Clowns might hold the view that we came perilously close.

Ross Meurant www.rossmeurant 20 October 2018


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Mediaversaries: 20 Years Of The Scoop Information Ecosystem

Scoop celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. To celebrate, we are offering 20% off all ScoopPro subscriptions, including the newly launched ScoopPro Citizen service for Citizen readers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Better Analogies For National Pilfering Budget Data

After the Treasury Secretary's tragically doomed effort provide a metaphorical image for the budget data breach, and the rash of media attempts that followed, we never got an analogy that really covers all the bases. Until now. More>>

ALSO:

Resignation Of Metiria Turei: Were Journalists 'Just Doing Their Job'?

In our research we examined the role of journalism in animating the Turei controversy and the different perceptions of professional journalists and online commentators sympathetic to Turei’s left politics. ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Extradition Of Julian Assange

It isn’t necessary to like Julian Assange to think that his extradition to the US (on the charge of aiding and abetting Chelsea Manning) would be a major injustice... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog