Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit, a column that looks at all kinds of myths and mistruths, at falsehoods, fiction and fabrications. This week we look at whether gamers are breaching international conventions when they loot, pillage, or kill.
I’m no war criminal. Not even a virtual one. That’s because I’ve never played a violent video game – or indeed any video game since Donkey Kong. The original version.
But if the Red Cross has their way, it raises the question of whether I could be up on some kind of charge for (ahem) enjoying The Human Centipede.
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If reports in this morning’s Australian are true - that Julia Gillard is intending to send asylum seekers back to their country of origin - then Australians should be very concerned that their Prime Minister and her government are so ignorant of international legal convention.
Put bluntly, to return asylum seekers to a location where they will more than likely face death or severe injury is a gross breach of the 1951 Refugees Convention to which Australia is a signatory.
The report says: “hundreds of Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are likely to be sent home under Julia Gillard’s tough policy agenda to deter boatpeople.” Ms Gillard will apparently seek assurances from the governments of those countries that persons who are not judged to be asylum seekers by Australia will not be persecuted when they are sent back home. From a diplomatic perspective, such assurances are a sick joke given the fact that Afghanistan’s Karzai government in Kabul is hopelessly corrupt and dishonest and has no control over the security of the country.
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Have you ever wondered why it is that nobody is going to jail for causing climate change?
You or I can fined $375 for “aggravated littering” (such as dropping a cigarette but near a petrol station), but you can get away with sea level rise, drought, bushfires and global havoc without so much as losing a demerit point on your driver’s licence.
Australians have felt this frustration, as we watched our legal system powerless to stop the expansion of Japan’s so-called “scientific” whaling programme. It is not as if there is no precedent for punishing big polluters. Early this year BP was forced to pay almost US$180 million for pollution violations at its Texas City Refinery. Exxon was forced to cough up US$1 billion over the 1989 Valdez oil spill.
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