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Bushs war on terror lies in tatters

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One wonders whether George Bush realises that his infamous and widely discredited "war on terror", rooted in imperial goals, lies in tatters?

Your report on the latest defeat by the Bush administration, "Big blow for Bush as Guantanamo Bay suspects get relief" (The Star, June 13), shows that the US Supreme Court has struck down the law Bush bulldozed through the Republican-led Congress in 2006, taking away the habeas corpus rights of terrorism suspects to seek judicial review of their detention.

Interestingly, while Justice Anthony Kennedy's 70-page majority opinion did not address the legality of Bush's power to detain prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, it rebuked Congress for failing to create an adequate alternative for prisoners to contest their detention.

Also significant is that Kennedy confirmed that many detainees have been held for six years without any definitive judicial determination of their detention, and added that the "war on terror", which commenced on September 11 2001, is among the longest wars in American history.

Detention without trial was a notorious characteristic of the apartheid regime's oppressive laws. The 90- and 180-days incarceration periods were particularly repugnant abuses of human rights practised by the dinosaurs of the past.

Although SA's freedom struggle was underpinned by moral imperatives embraced by many anti-apartheid veterans globally to confront such abuses, it is unfortunate that similar resolve to oppose US infringements of civil rights is lacking.

This is explained by "embedded journalism", misplaced patriotism and an unwillingness by "terror experts" to cross swords with the Bush doctrine.

Iqbal Jassat

Published on the web by Star on June 17, 2008.