Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Saddam on Trial

Saddam will go on trial tomorrow and the bleatings of the human rights lobby and Saddam apologists (or am I being redundant?) wonder whether the trial will be "fair." Jonah notes:

I listened to a long report on NPR last night about Saddam's upcoming trial. The gist of the story is that Human Rights lawyers are worried that Saddam can't get a fair trial and that without one, there can be no justice.

He goes on to rightly note that executing Saddam right now would provide justice for Saddam but that a trial must be done for the sake of Iraq's future, extablishing that even an obviously guilty mass murderer as Saddam must have their day (or months) in court prior to dispensing justice.

This also gets to a major annoyance on my part. The complaints regarding Saddam obviously mistake a "fair" trial with one that gives Saddam a 50-50 chance of getting off scot free. That is bull. A trial that without a doubt will find Saddam guilty of multiple crimes against individuals, peoples, and all humanity will be quite fair.

We all know that at the end of the day, Saddam will be shot for his crimes. All I ask is that the gavel falls before the hammer falls. That's quite fair. And far fairer than Saddam ever gave.

UPDATE: Applebaum writes of a wider value of the trial of Saddam:

In the end, it is by the quality of that evidence, and the clarity with which it is conveyed, that this trial should be judged. The result is irrelevant: Quite frankly, it doesn't matter whether Saddam Hussein is drawn and quartered, exiled to Pyongyang, or left to rot in a Baghdad prison. No punishment could make up for the thousands he killed, or for the terror he inflicted on his country.

But if his Sunni countrymen learn what he did to Shiites and Kurds, if the Shiites and Kurds learn what he did to Sunnis, if Iraqis come to realize that his system of totalitarian terror damaged them all, and if others in the Middle East learn that dictatorships can be overthrown, then the trial will have served its purpose. That, and not an arbitrary standard of international law, is how the success of this unusual tribunal should be measured.

Let the international human rights lobby rail against this process of justice. Who really cares what they think? Saddam's execution is a done deal and nobody should cry over that (other than to regret he has but one life to give for his multitude of crimes). The real value of Saddam's trial and execution is what it teaches Iraqis about life in a rule-of-law democracy and what it shows people in other countries who suffer their own tyrant, believing they are unable to throw off the boot stomping on a face forever.