And thus the trial of Saddam Hussein and seven other high ranking officials of the Baathist regime proceeded, with testimony being taken. The graphic testimony included description of tortures and killing, evidently in revenge upon a Shiite village some of whose residents were involved in a plot to assassinate Saddam; details included a description of a meat grinder used for human flesh. Saddam Hussein himself stood up and made several outbursts, including at one point that he was not afraid of execution (healthy attitude, given his current position...)
What's fascinating, of course, is that Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator, doubtless responsible for the horrible deaths of thousands (and his sons I'm sure currently reside in an even lower circle of hell than is reserved for Tikriti Pere).
And perhaps the circus can go on without too many more members of the defense team being assassinated... particularly as those elections come up in a couple of weeks... maybe some Sunni politicians can get through it without themselves getting assassinated... Former U.S. Attorney General and world-renowned gadfly Ramsey Clark has arrived, to act as a "legal advisor" to the Saddam Hussein defense team... just part of the circus...
Oh well. The "trial" is not exactly an open process. Since there is nothing resembling "security" or "normalcy" in Iraq (and you have to hand it to Saddam... when he was in charge, there were both... nasty and tyrannical to be sure, but one could probably drive from the airport to downtown without being ambushed... unlike now...), can there be anything resembling "a fair trial"? Of course there can. The trial will, in the end, result in an awful lot of evidence, some of it even true, and the defendants will be found guilty and sentenced to death. There will be a huge outcry about it from the EU and the UN, but the democratically elected Iranian influenced government that will have to deal with the death sentence handed down by a court selected by Ahmad Chalabi's nephew... will have no problem carrying out the sentences.
Certainly, Saddam himself would have done nothing less, were he in a position to dispense or withhold mercy.
But there you go. Our President, who was the governor of a state that carried out more executions during his term than any other governor in American history (or so I'm told) isn't the least bit squeamish about our protectorate (and it is without doubt our protectorate) executing his family's bugaboo (i.e. the guy who cost Poppy the '92 election... which is all this was about anyway...)
Saddam is a bastard, to be sure. But karma is a most peculiar thing. Perhaps some big picture thinking should go into things.
Of course, while my fellow travelers on the left must realize that Bush isn't Hitler, our Loyalist readers must realize that Saddam isn't either. Our most inexact "Victor's Justice" may have boomerang consequences later. Nuremberg was kind of a one-off: WWII really was a special case... as was Cambodia's and Rwanda's killing fields, which ultimately involved some sort of international tribunals (tribunals which did not impose the death penalty on the guilty) and Mao's Cultural Revolution (which did not involve international tribunals). Saddam is, frankly, just another dictator, and if Mr. Allawi (the interim PM we installed) is to be believed, didn't do things all that differently from what the current proto-regime/Shiite militias are doing... but in any event, I daresay, a huge portion of the world's population lives under conditions that would not be unfamiliar to the people of Saddam's Iraq...
Will I shed a tear when Saddam is hanged (I suspect it will be hanging; it might be shooting, of course... Saddam himself often ordered that)... ? Certainly not for him. There will doubtless be stepped up violence by the Sunni/Baathist deadenders at all stages of the Saddam trial... others will die for this buullshit photo op, including lots of Americans. That's the way it is. Will it be worth it? Dick Cheney once asked the rhetorical question of how many American lives Saddam was worth, and he answered "not too damned many." Of course, that was before... now the only principle is that the ends justify the means...
In several of your recent columns, you have referred to your readership as your "Loyalists." This is the term used by the Protestant majority in Northern Ireland, who wish to remain loyal to England and/or the crown. I'm not sure you want to go there. I believe it was Paul Bremer who said:
"We don't mind the Shiites and Sunnis, we just don't want the Irish."
Posted by Still Crabby After All These Years at December 6, 2005 4:35 PM
Excellent catch, Crabby. The President fancies himself a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth (just as he fancies his mother to be a descendant of Franklin Pierce.) With the Bushes, let's just say that maybe its true, and maybe it isn't.
But given the pretentions of the first and only American President with the audacity to stay over in the royal policy of the monarchy we kicked out of our shores... I guess you can consider the Loyalists to one crown as effectively the Loyalists to the other, and vice versa. Loyalist, Monarchist... you say tomato, and I say Shrub.
Posted by the talking dog at December 7, 2005 5:44 PM
Royal palace... of course...
Posted by the talking dog at December 7, 2005 5:45 PM
"Shrub"? Nay, Ni! Ni!
Posted by Knight Who Goes Ni at December 7, 2005 5:52 PM