Carpet bombing the institutions, hypothetically

There was a man who suggested that razing Bugibba to the ground, possibly by carpet bombing, would be an acceptable solution that would rid us of the hideous mess of a town.

The solution was proposed as an alternative to razing Żebbuġ, which, according to the parameters of the discussion, was nice enough to merit being spared the ordeal.

All this razing talk was exchanged in the context of hypothetically meting out military treatment of the explosive usually reserved for ISIS to the Christian fellowship group called River of Love.

So far, so weird, fantastical and hypothetical. Irrespective of whether you place your bets on the ‘Buġibba Delenda Est side or whether you would spare Malta’s Benidorm the shower of missiles, you no doubt understand that this kind of talk is limited to the theoretical and can never constitute a real threat.

The main reason is that, save any proof to the contrary, no person on the island has the required air force and munitions to transform such words into action.

These hypotheses had been postulated in electronic form on the world wide web. A literal-minded member of the River of Love clan (of which I might safely assume there are more than a few – the literal-minded, I mean) felt threatened by the diabolical explosive plans and reported them to the police.

Said police, having presumably examined the allegedly threatening and offensive content officiously, opted to trigger the strong arm of the law in the form of the Electronic Communications Act.

Aside from the offence of misuse of computer equipment, the keepers of peace are also charging the man who suggested carpet bombing Buġibba with the offence of going online to threaten to commit a crime.

Control your deep desire to burst out laughing for a minute. This is a serious matter. The accused risk a fine of up to €50,000 – no small joke. Aside from the inconvenience of having to mount a defence in court.

Yes. In court. Matt Bonanno is being dragged to court on this spurious charge because our officers of the law deemed the complaint by the River of Love literal illiterati sufficiently justified to proceed with prosecution.

Now, aside from the fact that it takes a massive leap of imagination to consider a suggestion to carpet bomb Buġibba to be a credible threat to commit a crime, we must realise the enormous waste of resources resulting from this kind of action.

I sincerely hope that when the case first appears in court, it will be dismissed by the sitting member of the judiciary. What should have been a nolle prosequi by the police should be called out for what it is – a vexatious action that wastes the State’s resources to no end.

We can no longer speak of irony when we compare the dragging of feet of the law and its arms in other cases to the swift action taken in such banal instances.

The system is dysfunctional, and that remains an all-pervading fact. First, as tragedy then as farce, the philosopher said, and we are living the farce daily.

The sad note is that Bonanno’s case should not be a case at all. It is no landmark test of the limits of satire and fair comment. It’s an open-and-shut case that should be thrown out.

In the country of “the institutions are working”, the freedom of the press and expression remains elusively enigmatic. The institutions are not working.

The institutions are wasting our time and our money. Maybe we should nuke the lot of them and begin again. Hypothetically speaking, of course.


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19 days ago

Perhaps now is the time to strip Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984) of his knighthood.

”Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!
It isn’t fit for humans now,
There isn’t grass to graze a cow.
Swarm over, Death!”

‘Slough’ (1937)

19 days ago

Pulizija taz zufjett! Qed jiehdu nies l qorti fuq cucati! Imbad lil bullies jibzghu minnhom u ituhom l arja!! Hekk iridu jaghmlu hoss!! Imbad vittma tmur taghmel rapport tigi mghoddija biz-zmien!! Tal- misthija! Ma nafx jien min ghad ghandu fiducja fil-pulizija!?

Michael Satariano
Michael Satariano
19 days ago

The Police Force is weak with the strong and strong with the weak!

r slater
r slater
18 days ago

Carpet bombing of cities, towns, villages, or other areas containing a concentration of civilians is considered a war crime[5] as of Article 51 of the 1977 Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions.[6][7][8]

As the wiki page suggests surely Malta’s court should pass this case to The Hague? As they are the only relevant court that can decide on war crimes?

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