December 9, 2005

"The bungling of the trial of Saddam Hussein."

Charles Krauthammer:
Instead of Hussein's crimes being on trial, he has succeeded in putting the new regime on trial. The lead story of every court session has been his demeanor, his defiance, his imperiousness. The evidence brought against him by his hapless victims -- testimony mangled in translation and electronic voice alteration -- made the back pages at best.

"This has become a platform for Saddam to show himself as a caged lion when really he was a mouse in a hole," said Vice President Ghazi Yawar. "I don't know who is the genius who is producing this farce. It's a political process. It's a comedy show."
Painful. Terrible.

20 comments:

Jacques Cuze said...

I don't know who is the genius who is producing this farce. It's a political process.

And what exactly led you to think it would be anything but that?

wildaboutharrie said...

Pardon my ignorance - but how can he refuse to attend? Can't they just shackle him and carry him in?

Jonathan said...

It was a mistake not to kill him.

Goesh said...

I agaree with jonathan that saddam should have been shot upon being discovered in his rat hole. I read where Iraqi law allows a defendent to not be present at his trial if he/she so chooses. Iraqis are glued to their tv sets, much like we were during the Watergate hearings. Talk about high drama...

Noumenon said...

How is this getting less coverage than the Michael Jackson trial? That wasn't even a comedy show.

Ddot the King said...

nice post. I have a post up about Saddam as well. You and your readers should check it out.

brylin said...

FREE SADDAM!!! (And immediately withdraw the Amerikkan occupiers! And pay reparations!)

brylin said...

Oh, sorry. I meant "FREE MUMIA!!!"

brylin said...

And "FREE LEONARD PELTIER!"

brylin said...

And sign the online FREE SADDAM petition!

erp said...

This is one of the rare times I disagree with the Hammer.

It's already been established that Saddam is a toothless lion. His Baathist party has been dismantled, the minority Sunnis are powerless and had no alternative but join the rush toward democracy.

Neighboring Arab countries haven't come to his aid. Lebanon is free and Syria will probably have a regime chance in the near future.

Rather than projecting power, he looks like exactly what he is, a deranged powerless man screaming impotent profanities.

Of course Iraqis are glued to their TV sets. He's loomed large over their lives for decades and now they can't get enough of seeing him sitting in a cage ranting and raving, but without the power to terrorize their lives.

PatCA said...

The defendants are following the playbook, polished after a century of practice by the left, for destroying terrorist trials. (I did lots of research on this for a screenplay about Andreas Baader).

I guess the Iraqis just don't have the history behind them to be able to handle the situation.

Abraham said...

I blame the media for this. They are the ones that decide what stories and headlines come out of the court appearances. I suspect they have been playing it the way they have out of some misguided attempt to bolster the Democrats' position on Iraq or make Bush look bad. I honestly can't believe my ears when I listen to NPR and hear Saddam described as a "broken old man," and what kind of clothes he is wearing, and every one of his complaints disseminated. Meanwhile, no mention of the actual outcome of proceedings, or even what the purpose of the court appearance was! They are turning Saddam into a sympathetic celebrity, for reasons that are not entirely clear to me.

EddieP said...

Abraham
It's what the current media does for a living. Prop up dictators so they can trash Bush. This showboating has gone on for years. Hitler did the same thing at his trial after the Beer Hall Pusch for which he spent some time in Landsberg prison. Herman Goering was masterful at it at Nuremberg, and Molosovic has turned the Hague into the same sort of laughing stock.

The west bends over backwards to give the appearance of a fair trial to these thugs and it is always thrown in their face. However, I think Saddam will not outfox the court. This is a chance for the Iraqis to examine him head to toe at a safe distance. There is some healing going on in spite of Ramzi Clark!

HaloJonesFan said...

I don't think that it's anything related to the media wanting Hussein to win.

I think it's just that he loves to mug for the camera. Seriously--look at the pictures of the trial. He's a goof! If he'd been born in America, he'd be a movie star. I just hope, for his sake, that he doesn't realize that we don't take him seriously at all.

Heh. Funny parallel, that; first Muhammad Al-Sadaf (I think that's the name, it's the Iraqi Information Minster) and now Saddam Hussein. the Goofy Iraqi Guys.

Heh. I could see a page-a-day calendar with Saddam Hussein Trial Photographs...

Jacques Cuze said...

I blame the media for this.

Oh come on, if you blame the media for this, then you will be letting the Clinton's off the hook.

Puhleaze!

Jacques Cuze said...

I just hope, for his sake, that he doesn't realize that we don't take him seriously at all.

Hmm, dictator, torturer, rapist, killer of thousands, tried to develop WMDs, paid off suicide bombers.

You should take him more seriously.

I wish Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Bush had taken their war more seriously. It is clear they thought that was a big goof.

Bob Mitze said...

Having just read Iraq The Model's post on watching the trial with his Iraqi friends, I'm glad the Iraqi's are putting him on trial instead of Americans having shot him. If Americans just shot him it would have been out of Iraqi control. It's better to have justice delivered by Iraqi's even if it means going through another media trial circus. It's the cost of doing justice in public instead of by bullet, and from the tone of Iraq The Model, the Iraqi citizens are capable of discerning the circus bits from the real.

HaloJonesFan said...

quxxo: You ascribe far too much importance to a bungling thug whose ego finally wrote a check that his oil money couldn't cash.

Balfegor said...

"It's what the current media does for a living. Prop up dictators so they can trash Bush."

I don't think that's really what's going on here. Dictators have been mugging for the camera for generations, and Milosevic did pretty much the same thing after the latest silly thing in the Balkans.

The biggest effect here, I'd guess, also has nothing to do with Bush; it is to undermine the dignity of the Iraqi court that's sitting in judgment on him. One reason not to send him to the ICC (or some other trumped up international court) was that Milosevic made monkeys of them all, and continues to make monkeys of them all. An Iraqi court, one would have hoped, would be more effective -- more driven -- to deliberate seriously, present and publicise evidence of past crimes, and then give the verdict (almost inevitably death). Alas, Hussein has made monkeys of them too. And for the Iraqi people, that is inauspicious.