fnarr fnarr etc etc. @pennyred, who is a posh girl called Laura I believe, is to be congratulated for trying to get it right on Assange. Unlike the middle-aged and elderly males of the "international left" (and George Galloway), who have come out in their droves to say that Assange is a hero and that he should therefore not stand to account for the rape he has been accused of, she has tried to say that no-one should have to choose between freedom of speech and respect for women. Good for her. It's only shocking that so many appear to believe, without evidence or due process, that Assange must not stand trial in Sweden. What message does that send, especially to men on the left? Laura quotes teenage boys in her piece who say that they do not think what Assange is reported to have done was rape. What is going to happen in teenage bedrooms, cars and the car parks of night clubs as a result of this? Does anyone care? Well, Laura seems to, and I am pleased about that. Read on in her piece in the Independent (link higher up) and you will see that she says "I believe women". Well, I don't. We tell lies. We shouldn't, but we do. All humans do from time to time, although we try not to. Always believing women who accuse men of rape ruins the lives of innocent men, and those of their families and people who love them. Never believing them, which is what the elderly male left are telling us to do, creates a world in which women become pieces of property. Which is obscene. Laura is tying herself in knots here, but she doesn't need to. Believing in freedom of speech, and believing that women have the right to the integrity of their own bodies, are not mutually contradictory beliefs. And Laura is straying on to territory in which that is how they are seen. And then she spoils herself by saying this:
The answer is, of course, that Julian Assange should be held to account, of course he should, and he should be held to account in a system where due process means something and women are respected, and currently that system does not exist. Come back to me when the 19,000 annual sex attacks committed by members of the US Army and private contractors against their fellow soldiers are prosecuted. Come back to me when Private Bradley Manning is free.
he should be held to account in a system where due process means something and women are respected, and currently that system does not exist Er, yes it does, Laura, in quite a number of places in the world, and one of them is Sweden.
Come back to me when the 19,000 annual sex attacks committed by members of the US Army and private contractors against their fellow soldiers are prosecuted. Why? Rape and sexual assault happen all over the world, all the time. They're not worse when committed by the US military. I would argue that they are worse when committed, say, against girls in Afghanistan who then have the "choice" of marrying their rapist or being killed by their family.
Come back to me when Private Bradley Manning is free. Why? He shouldn't be released, not now. He is to be charged with very serious offences against national security. What he should have is due process, and the US government, and President Obama, should hang their heads in shame that he has not had it. They have other things to hang their heads in shame about too, not least failing to intervene in Syria, but that is for another post.
So, Laura, a good try, and your heart seems to be in the right place, but don't spoil it with meaningless anti-Americanism. Intellectual honesty is not that hard to achieve, if you only try.