July 02, 2004

In the Dock

Bags beneath his eyes, beard greying, finger-jabbing with anger, Saddam was still the same fox, alert, cynical, defiant, abusive, proud. Yet history must record that the new "independent" government in Baghdad yesterday gave Saddam Hussein an initial trial hearing that was worthy of the brutal old dictator.

--Robert Fisk in today's Independent.

Funny, I didn't know Saddam informed defendants of their right to counsel back in the day.

Note the above quoted text represented the full front cover of the Independent (along with an accompanying picture of Saddam).

Don't miss this beaut later on:

But then, watching that face with its expressive mouth and bright crooked teeth, the eyes glimmering, a dreadful thought occurred. Could it be this awful man--albeit given less chance to be heard than the Nazis at the first Nuremberg hearings--actually knew less than we thought? Could it be that his apparatchiks and grovelling generals, even his own sons, kept from this man the iniquities of his regime? Might it just be possible the price of power was ignorance, the cost of guilt a mere suggestion here and there that the laws of Iraq--so immutable according to Saddam--were not adhered to as fairly as they might have been?

You couldn't make this stuff up, could you?

NB: Fisk allows, after all this tortured prose: "No, I think Saddam knew."

Gee, you think? He hadn't just heard about Halabja in the papers?

UPDATE: Tim Blair has more (well worth reading) on Robert Fisk's article.

Posted by Gregory Djerejian at July 2, 2004 11:35 PM