December 21, 2005

"A noticeably calmer Saddam Hussein sat quietly in his defendant's chair."

At the resumption of his trial, Saddam Hussein has adopted a new demeanor -- for whatever reason. Tranquilizers? Resignation? New legal strategy? Re-analysis of the political effect of acting obstreperous? The reason he's trying to project: Religion?

UPDATE: Ah, he's chosen to play the victim.


Mark Daniels said...

Those tranquilizer dart guns are amazing things. Saddam probably only requires twice the dosage of your average male rhino in the wild.

Mark Daniels

Scott Ferguson said...

Is Robert McNamara still on his defense team? Maybe he talked some sense into him.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe they've fitted him with a little shock belt.

EddieP said...

I think they must have threatened him with a return to daily sessions with Ramzi Clark.

david bennett said...

Mr. Fergusan:

On what evidence do you base your claim that McNamera is on the defence team? This seems like the kind of lie that claims Hillary Clinton has opposed the war.

Ramsey Clark is on the defence team and to associate McNamera with that nut is dishonest.

I personally would prefer a trial that dealt with the full array of Saddam's crimes and used western standards of evidence. Human rights watch went through a lot of trouble to grab basics and tried to get the occupation to protect key sites until evidence could be gathered.

I would also prefer a trial in which western standards such as full right of cross examination of accusing witnesses was offered to the court.

I think Saddam may be successfully playing a game to further undermine an event to which critics can already say:

- If he is guilty of all those crimes why is only one incident in one village being dealt with?

- If his guilt is so sure why is he being tried by a third world mechanism rather than a court that meets democratic standards?

I believe he is very guilty, but that the mechanism chosen to prove it does not highlight the strengths of our system. We spend tens of millions on "public relations," but lose so much because he isn't given what we consider a fair trial.

The right says he doesn't deserve it, but this isn't the point. Our institutions are designed to offer every one basic protections, they have pretty much worked.

Pogo said...

Re: "Our institutions are designed to offer every one basic protections, they have pretty much worked."

The key words, of course, are "pretty much". These institutions pretty much let Slobodan Milošević turn his trial under the International Criminal Tribunal into a joke. It took bribes of oil from Saddam to look the other way on his transgressions, it let Darfur and Rwanda proceed unchecked.

The international process worked for the Nuremburg trials, but have failed in many others since, as miscreants have learned to turn its protections to their advantage. Smart mass murderers getting away with mass murder is not a sign of a healthy judicial system.

My bet is that the people of Iraq don't particularly care what "the rest of the world" thinks, when the rest of the world never cared much about them before.