Sunday, October 29, 2006

Trial and Terror

How long is it going to take to hang this sonovabitch? The Nuremburg Trials lasted from November 1945 to October 1946 and resulted in the conviction of almost 200 Nazi war criminals. Saddam and his seven codefendents have been on trial since October 2005, and if we get a verdict by early November as promised , we'll be right on schedule. This guy is absolutely no use to anyone alive. Even if we convince him to publicly call for a ceasefire and apologize for his crimes, no one will believe him. The US needs to ensure that the trial stays on schedule, before we can really begin to set a timetable for US troop withdrawals.

A conviction for Saddam would be good for the United States, at this point, to remind the Iraqi people why they are sitting in their country in the first place: to get Saddam and his co-bastards. It would add legitmacy to the US occupation. It would reestablish our role as "the good guys". It would help establish the US forces in Iraq as peacekeepers and not just occupiers. It would help legitimize the current Iraqi government by effectively removing all possibility of Saddam's return to power. It would make a great made-for-TV movie. Let Iraqis give Saddam a taste of Iraqi justice. And once that's done, do the same thing for Iraqi police officers accused of aiding or acting in the death squads. It wouldn't hurt troop morale or domestic support either.

What's more, Iran would be happy if we were to hasten Saddam's reunion with Allah. There's little love in those Persian hearts for the man behind the Iran-Iraq war. If we have to use Saddam's blood to oil the wheels of diplomacy, so be it. Heck if it was possible I would say we should auction off his head to raise money for the war effort.

Right now, the trial serves only as an incentive for the insurgency and ressistance, as well as a huge discredit to American power. Regardless of what model you want to use for Iraq - reconstruction in Germany or peacekeeping in the Balkans - you have to see the importance of neutralizing Saddam. Removing the Nazis or Slobodan Milosovic was not enough, and there is no denying that their trials were 100% legitimate.

Best of all, this is a battle we can actually win. Stick to the schedule, keep the lawyers alive, make sure the verdict he gets is life or capital punishment, and get the whole thing on TV for the Arab world to see. A victory for Iraqis, carried out by Iraqis: with a little encouragement from the US, of course.

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