Skip to comments.See you in court, Butcher of Baghdad
Posted on 07/02/2004 9:11:09 AM PDT by knighthawk
There he was, back with the same old bluster. Saddam Hussein's recovered bravado, to be sure, is directly a result of his American captors' having provided him with a warm bed and three squares a day and dental care and whatnot these past seven months. This is not the same filthy, feeble Saddam who got dragged out of a hole in the ground. It's amazing how much fresher a man can feel when he isn't sleeping in the dirt. Several of his fellow defendants, for their part, seemed to be swaggering a bit less - Chemical Ali, for one, was visibly quaking, doubtless feeling the noose already - but President Saddam was so presidentially confident in the prisoner's dock that essentially he admitted out loud to one of the charges against him, invading Kuwait, even before prosecution formally proceeds. The apparent line of defense being: Sure, I invaded Kuwait. So what?
So begins what is bound to be one of the great courtroom carnivals of our time, as newly sovereign Iraq, unfortunately pretty much devoid of a solidly-in-place judicial infrastructure, wrestles with the matter of criminally trying a man who insists that he still runs the country in the first place and who maintains that not himself but U.S. President George W. Bush is the one who should be on trial.
It is going to be up to an Iraqi court to keep things on track here. Saddam and his lawyers manifestly intend to turn this trial into a bully pulpit for loud and long anti-Western demonstrations, and never mind the actual charges. But those charges are, in fact, very real ones, and prosecutors must not let the Butcher of Baghdad run away with the show as they seek to make their cases.
We'd guess that Saddam has been waiting for all this, licking his chops. For the next - how long? - couple of years, anyway? - he is going to try to remain the center of attention, the planet's most visible criminal defendant, celebrated and revered as a heroic martyr by large flocks of admirers. Those in charge of the new Iraq will need to recognize any such showboating and concentrate on getting the full horrific particulars of the many charges against Saddam - the gassings, the wholesale slaughters, the endless fields of mass graves - onto the world stage, into the world's ken, as soon as they can. It is those charges, not I-Am-Still-President Saddam himself, that must command the world's attention.
Heh, the clintonian response.
Q: Why did you do the things you did?
A: Because I could.
Pretty much admitting that he has no moral compass. (If it worked for Willy...)
It's nice to see that The Daily News is on the right side. Butcher of Baghdad. That puts the reality of the situation right up front where the average guy can understand it when he passes newsstands with this headline.
He looks pretty chipper for a dead man walking. He's become the Al Gore of the Middle east. He rants and raves, but nobody cares about what he says anymore.