Must have more control over politicians

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 April, 1999, 12:00am

As a taxpayer of a Western country, I am one of the South China Morning Post readers paying for Nato to drop bombs on people in Yugoslavia who are, for the most part, as innocent as ourselves.

If these attacks have any effect on Slobodan Milosevic, it is most likely to be to increase his extremism and willingness to spill more innocent blood.

In recent years, the US, usually aided by its amenable sidekicks, especially Britain, has used force as well as economic sanctions in many places, including Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, and now Yugoslavia, without any perceptible benefit to the recipient countries or the international community, and with considerable consequences in terms of the long-term suffering of innocent populations.

The real solution to rogue countries is to arrest the criminals who run them, put them on trial in international courts and throw them in jail. If we do not have the principles or power to do that, then surely we should leave them well alone. Certainly, bombing innocent civilians and destroying the infrastructure of countries is no substitute.

If societies of innocent people are being bombed in our name, then we are culpable.

We the taxpayers pay the piper and we should be calling the tune, but it appears that we hire knaves or fools to act for us. Democracy does not seem to provide sufficient control over political irresponsibility.

Perhaps in future, we need to scrap democracy and introduce privatised government, in which politicians will be compelled to obey the decisions of their paymasters as expressed through electronic referenda. I do not believe that civilian populations would choose to bomb other countries that had not attacked them.

Somewhere down the line, we the people need to grab these overpaid politicians by their collars, and separate them like the fighting dogs they are.

We need to put in place international laws which hold politicians personally responsible for their actions.

We need to apprehend politicians who cause death and suffering and punish them. There is no substitute for justice.