This morning, for some reason, the case of the RCMP's killing of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski came into my mind as being similar to the Iranian prison system's treatment of Zahra Kazemi. In both cases we have security forces being responsible for the death of an innocent person and in both cases we have official protection for the killers. In both cases we have official stories widely at variance with the evidence. In both cases there appears to be a culture of impunity as politicians and bureaucrats tell the most brazen lies and work to ensure that nothing is done.
What are the differences? There are some important ones. Ms. Kazemi was arrested for documenting a political protest which might be held to threaten the powerful in Iran. Mr. Dziekanski was killed because some lazy bullies wanted to quickly incapacitate a man who was causing a public disturbance. The source of his causing that disturbance was his frustration at the incredibly stupid behaviour of everyone at the Vancouver airport. A more precise parallel for Ms. Kazemi's being targetted would be the protestors who were assaulted at Vancouver's APEC Summit or the police brutality against anti-Harris protestors in Ontario.
Another difference is that Mr. Dziekanski was not subjected to the same level of prolonged sadism that Ms. Kazemi suffered. Again, a big part of that was that Dziekanski's killers were simply lazy bullies with no regard for the rights of other human beings but who had no real animosities towards him. Ms. Kazemi's murderers were professional sadists, employed for a brutal, misogynist, theocratic (obscurantist) regime who probably hate and fear everyone who protest against them, especially women. But there's something else here; Canada is not Iran and state officials could not get away with treating a Canadian citizen the same way that Iran treated Kazemi (who was also Iranian).
The reason that (say) the RCMP cannot get away with such behaviour has more to do with public oversight and the rule of law than it has to do with the inherent humanity and decency of the RCMP. From watching the Braidwood Inquiry we see that these goons and the institution that they belong to and the state which it serves are all more than happy to insult the intelligence of the entire country with the most stupid lies, in some twisted attempt to "tough it out" and hope that they can get through this Kabuki theatre piece with their careers intact. It will be a very dangerous thing for this country if these idiots succeed in their quest though. Because if they see that they can kill with impunity, what will stop them from descending into the same depths of depravity as the Iranian government? Their inherent humanity and respect for human rights? Please. We've already seen that they don't give a damn for those things. The absence of sadistic tendencies? Not likely. The men who order the torture are generally not sadists themselves. Very often, torturers are not sadists. Sadists can lose control and kill their victims. Institutions that torture will attract brainless, amoral thugs and goons, to whom the brutalization of another human being is about as consequential as a night at home channel-surfing.
For no apparent reason I'm starting another paragraph. Finally, the political and social climate of Canada will begin to transform into that of Iran if the RCMP gets away with this. What keeps the Iranian regime solvent? Hatred and fear. Hatred of people who step out of line. Hatred of people who don't conform to the most "conservative" standards of their society. Hatred of "traitors" who protest against the government while the country is surrounded on all sides by ruthless, vicious enemies. Hatred of those who would "abuse" their rights in order to "attack" the society that raised them. All those hatreds are felt by a sizeable minority in every country. In the USA it was the 30% that supported bush II through all his crimes and blundering. In Canada its the "small dead animals," "Free Dominion," "dust my broom" crowd and the much larger group of mindless, deluded harpercon voters. For everyone else, there's fear. Fear of poverty. Fear of prison. Fear of torture. Fear of death. Fear of the unaccountable goons who roam about enforcing compliance to a hateful, failed system. As the system fails it becomes more paranoid, more violent.
Bah! Suffice it to say that there have to be consequences for the killing of Robert Dziekanski. Our country and our way of life depends upon it.
ETA: Somehow this post got linked to at KKKate MakkkMillan's "smalldeadanimals." Here's a belated treat for anyone who gets here from there, ... links to earlier posts wherein I commented on the gigantic levels of stupidity on display at SDA and elsewhere:
SDA'rs yapping about imaginary insults to the idiotic John McCain
SDA'rs inability to argue sensibly about anything.