Poor Augusto Pinochet! Try to imagine Fidel Castro flying to England on private business and getting arrested for alleged crimes against humanity. Within hours, every talking head on this planet would be up in arms, demanding British blood and Castro's freedom.
It hardly needs stating that Fidel would be better suited to incarceration at Her Majesty's pleasure than Pinochet. El Jeffe's 40 years of misrule have brought untold misery and suffering to millions of Cubans. La Revolucion also meant the deaths of thousands of political opponents, and tens of thousands of ruined lives. While Pinochet paved the way for Chile's transition to the democracy it is today, after four decades of dictatorship, Castro shows no sign of mellowing.
Clive Nicholls, the Queen's Counsel representing Pinochet, warned that the denial of his immunity will open up the prospect of the Queen being extradited from a third country to Argentina to stand trial for the murder of Argentinean POWs by British forces in the Falklands, or to Ireland for the murder of Irish citizens by the British Secret Service in Gibraltar.
But "international morality" is a decidedly one-edged sword. Jiang Zemin, the president of China and the architect of the Tiananmen Square massacre, may safely come to the United States; Muammar Qaddafi may not. (No civilized person would want either of those two gentlemen at his dinner table, but that is not...