Well this is just going from bad to worse, isn't it? Hussein is now going to be made into a martyr who will live for decades, rather than just become a ragged old man who becomes irrelevant in prison like Manual Noriega.
I thought this news item was interesting in the context of what I heard repeatedly on the news this morning about the death of Gerald Ford. There were repeated comments about his granting a pardon to the recently resigned Richard Nixon. The comments were consistently that it was the right decision for three reasons.
First, Nixon could not receive a fair trial anywhere in the US. Second, pursuing a criminal trial would have been very difficult for the American people after the long period of Watergate scandal. Third, putting former presidents on trial would be "unseemly" as that is something that only happens in "banana republics".
I'm not suggesting that Saddam Hussein should be walking the beaches of Santa Barbara, but it is interesting to see how the Americans deal with their own leaders and how they dispose of others' leaders. And let's be honest, Hussein's trial was as free from American political influence as was the non-trial of Richard Nixon.
Nice quote eljay. Not to mention you're entirely correct in the absence of American accountability. The real problem however with the White House view, is that Saddam Hussein received anything but a fair trial. With lawyers and judges being killed at every turn, it is hard to imagine that (without imputing any motive to anyone involved) he received an impartial and fair hearing.
Not that I doubt his guilt. I don't. And, notwithstanding my disgust for the death penalty, I agree with MexiCanuck ... he will be martyred if he is executed. The deepening civil war will only get worse if the Sunni militias can now look to him not as a conquered leader, but as a martyr and a hero.
Yeah I really wish the Communists had won the cold war and America had folded like a cheap suit instead of the USSR, the world would have been a much better place.
Bad enough we needed Russia's help in getting rid of Hitler, you can blame that warmonger Churchill for that one guys.
Stalin and Hussein were much the same, allies in times of war but at least Hussein will get his justice. Too bad the Russian people didn't get a chance to execute their former leader as well.
Sirius Guy, you are comparing apples and oranges. No one is defending Saddam, he was a tyrant. No one is suggesting he shouldn't pay for his crimes ... but is the death penalty the right response? In my view, not. WHat is wrong with life in prison?
Stalin and Hitler have nothing to do with Hussein. And the comparison is historically specious. The only relevance to the Cold War is that Saddam Hussein was a creation of the CIA who turned on him when he became a potential liability. There is nothing honourable or noble in the American invasion of Iraq. It is warmongering and no need to dishonour Churchill with even the most oblique comparison to Dubya.
Saddam is the neighbourhood mafioso scumbag who ruled his turf with an iron fist. The U.S. and other Western nations are the crooked cops who openly supported him - or conveniently looked the other way - while he did his and their dirty work.
Twenty years later, the agenda of these crooked cops has changed. The scumbag is a liability, so they want to take him down. Does he deserve to go down? Sure he does - he committed crimes. What continues to absolutely mystify me is that so many people are happy to let the crooked cops walk, despite the fact that they, too, knowingly committed crimes.
Their complicity and support make them at least as guilty as the scumbag: They were the "enablers" and the "emboldeners" who permitted the scumbag to do what he did and then rewarded him (politically, financially and militarily) for it.
To arrest, try and execute Saddam while letting his Western (and other) accomplices walk is not justice. It is a very bad joke.
Hey, no one ever said that real justice is easy. But letting individuals (businessmen and politicians) and governments get away with murder - or with support of murder - is a lesson that should not be taught.
Anyway, I've said enough. (Cheering erupts from the peanut gallery.)
hugh, if the Director of the CIA was held responsible for supplying Saddam with the chemical weapons used on the Kurds ... wouldn't a prison sentence serve to moderate the behaviour of US intelligence services in the future?