OK. None of us wants to be out here for long.
We go for this in one take, right?
...We're rolling, Mike. It's all yours...
... A derelict lot a block away from the courthouse in
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. A place that epitomises
the decline of a once-great nation. But this day will come
to symbolise far more than that. Nuremberg has been chosen
by the World as the venue for this trial largely because
of the associations of its name.
Following Powell's untimely death, there are no
high-office survivors of the regime that will be judged
here. It's a hundred years ago this month that the Wall
Street Crash marked an earlier slide in America's
fortunes. Judge Mbana referred to the centenary in her
opening address this morning, and expressed a hope that
America and the World will recover their confidence in the
21st Century as they did in the
She acknowledged too that America's wounds may take
longer to heal this time. The disbanding of the Republican
Party is only a first step.
Resentment is running very high in this part of the
world. The Mayor has just moved to ban newsmen of European
extraction from the county. Even as I speak, the
hastily-evacuated staff of the French Embassy are en route
to Emperor Chirac Airport.
Nowadays, the memory of a string of wars twenty years
ago is receding. Few now consider Middle-Eastern
aggression to be the Bush regime's greatest crime. The
worst excesses were arguably provoked by extreme
provocation in the form of wave after wave of terrorist
attacks. Even the insane escalation during the last days
of Israel appears some way down the charge-sheet here.
Top of that list instead is America's defiance of
international initiatives to protect the environment. The
mass destruction wrought by institutional corruption
around the turn of the Millennium will attract reparations
for decades to come. Since the League of Democratic
Nations snubbed Ford's and Exxon's applications for
indemnity, this once-mighty economy has been drained by
the staggering costs of the clean-up.
Journalists don't feel comfortable in this place, and
Europeans still less so. Always mistrustful of outsiders,
America's current hostility towards its cousins is
intimidating and ugly. Judge Mbana's closed today's
proceedings with a sympathetic word for the ordinary folk
of this land, acknowledging that modern Americans are
paying dearly for their erstwhile leaders' sins. In the
final analysis, she noted, their suffering adds to that of
millions of victims of Bush and his henchmen worldwide.
Perhaps America as well as the Rest of the World will
find catharsis through this New Nuremberg. Nobody seeing
this town, this state, this nation will doubt that its
people need it.
Michael Tetsunabe, for the BBC, in Nuremberg,