Over at Command Post
, I posted The Quotable Saddam.
* When he was charged with ordering the killing of Kurds in the poison gas attack at Halabja in 1988: "Yes, I heard about that."
* On the Kuwaitis: "They were trying to turn Iraqi women into prostitutes for just $10. How could you defend those dogs?"
* On his appearance in court: "This is all theater, the real criminal is Bush."
* Justifying the invasion of Kuwait: "It was for the Iraqi people."
So Saddam did his perp walk today and I have to say, it's a proud day for me both as an American and as a citizen of this planet. No matter how much some people want to dismiss this is mere theater (Saddam included) and no matter how many people are carping about how we ended up with Saddam in custody, it will not take away from this one important fact: Saddam is going to face justice.
Imagine that. This "illegal" war, this war that was "all about oil," this war that never should have happened according to some, has resulted in a terrible, terrible tyrant being taken out of commission and brought before the very people whom he tormented with fear for many years.
Is that not worth celebrating? I would hope that for this historic moment, people could put aside the ideals they have about this war and why and how it was started and be thankful for all Iraqis and for the rest of the world that Saddam Hussein can never kill again.
bq. "With all the mass graves
we have seen in Iraq, I think Saddam deserves capital punishment," said Sawsam Jamal, a Kurdish woman from Kirkuk, a region where the deposed leader reportedly authorized the gassing of thousands and the murder of thousands more. "Saddam should be wiped out as soon as possible so that the Iraqi people can awaken from this nightmare."
Of course, there are many in the Sunni Triangle area who still support the deposed dictator:
bq. "We had a better life during Saddam era," said Faleh, who works at the Ramadi Education Directorate. "We want a fair trial where Saddam can speak and defend himself against the fabricated charges filed against him. Saddam used to punish only the bad people who used to destabilize the country."
Of course he had a better life under Saddam. Those who walked the walk with Saddam's henchmen often had good lives. And if this quoted man believes that all the women raped and children killed and men decapitated by the Saddam regime were destabilizing the country, then peace isn't exatly his cup of tea.
There are going to be many, like Faleh, who want Saddam brought back to power. He will always have his followers because there will always be people who believe that absolute power and might, made evident through the systematic abuses wrought upon those who stray the wrong way, are the only way to keep those below you in line. As long as they have their cash flow and their lives and the lives of their families are secure, the torture and abuse of others doesn't matter.
These are the people who now call themselves insurgents. They parade the streets of the Sunni Triangle with rocket launchers. They keep women and children in "safe houses" so that when a safe house is raided or bombed, the US can look like child killers.
So I take what a man like Faleh says and discard into the propaganda pile, where the words of all those who fell under the hypnotic glare of Saddam's dirty money and false sense of security lay.
I won't say it doesn't worry me that a not insiginifcant amount of Saddam supporters still exist in Iraq. But I do believe that as the ranks of insurgents dwindle, the Saddam believers will become less and less visible.
Today is indeed an historic day. In keeping with my theme from yesterday - build on hope - I have to say that Saddam facing trial in his own country gives me great hope not just for Iraq, but for the world.
Do not be so quick to dismiss the significance of this event. Even a symbolic gesture, such as seeing Saddam in handcuffs, must be a wonderful sight to those who lived under his thumb for so long. It gives hope, and hope is the best of all foundations.
: From Robert Stewart's Saddam and Justice
in today's Washington Times.
bq. Asked whether he believed Saddam deserved the death penalty, Iraq's Interim President Ghazi al-Yawer said in a recent interview: "We are people of an Iraq that used to be when the trial starts, there's already a precooked or prepared sentence in the pocket of the judge. We don't want that to happen. We are different." Mr. al-Yawer's words signal optimism for an independent judiciary, one that will compile and weigh the facts rather than determine his fate before holding a fair trial.
Read the rest, as the say.