The Puzzle of Trying Hussein
Ah, reader, we meet again. Your expression tells me you are puzzled by the generalities and distortions proffered by the corporate media, yet you are not enlightened by the alternative generalities and distortions offered by dissenters. Perhaps you would like some answers to those questions no one has asked.
Okay, then, just when will war criminal Saddam Hussein come to trial?
Isn't it odd that a megalomaniacal head of state has been held incommunicado for all this time rather than let him hang himself with his own genocidal ravings? It might be that we will have to wait until hard thinkers figure out how to conduct a fair, open, just, and democratic trial without letting the defendant speak. The reason for such non-swift justice is not jurisdictional, nor is it connected with security. It is because Hussein's defence could go something like this:
"I was a stalwart ally of the U.S. and was hailed by their government for the way I stood up against communism as well as against extremist religious sects in Middle East. When Shiite extremists opposed U.S. interests in Iran, I got a nod and a wink to invade that country and was covertly supplied with arms despite congressional embargos. Then I was betrayed when the U.S. covertly supplied arms to Iran also, in order to create a stalemate that cost millions of lives.
"Following that betrayal, the U.S. again sought my favour, and when I indicated I would appreciate the return to Iraq of its former province of Kuwait, I was again given the nod and the wink. But again I was betrayed, this time resulting in the slaughter of more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, sanctions that killed as many as a quarter of a million Iraqi children, and the eventual transformation of Iraq into a terrorist anarchy.
"The last occurred after an invasion supposedly justified by my threat to the world based on weapons of mass destruction that had all been destroyed a decade before. The real reason for the invasion of Iraq was the personal animosity of U.S. president George W. Bush and the fact that I am almost unique among Middle East leaders in not bending to western pressure by in any way reducing my support for the aspirations of the people of Palestine."
The problem is that none of the above can be disproved, largely because so much of it is true. It indicates a hellishly complicated trial for a guy who everyone knows had his secret police insert glass bottles into people's anuses and then break them with hammers. What will happen is that occasional squibs of Hussein's testimony will be released and will be showered with vitriolic rains of invective pointing out that Hussein is a vicious crackpot. In democratic societies, hate propaganda is supposed to be avoided, but an exception will be made.
Given what is going to happen to Hussein, why did he cooperate so poorly with UN weapons inspectors when accused of having weapons of mass destruction?
Did you see what happened last week when the UN told Syria to get its troops out of Lebanon? The Syrians immediately redeployed them to other parts of Lebanon to confuse targeting of any air strikes that the U.S. or Israel might try. At the same time, they stated publicly that they would welcome a peace settlement that would allow the full withdrawal of their troops.
Are they total assholes? No, Middle Easterners are not in the habit of giving anything away until they hear the next offer. These are the kind of folks that Hussein had to think of when scores of foreigners landed in his territory and demanded to take a close look at every one of his military installations. First, he had to worry that the U.S. was just assembling target coordinates. Second, he had to worry that in the Middle East, where he had already broken the piss-off barrier more than once, people were sharpening their knives and hoping to help in taking him down. Third, the only way to keep the Kuwaitis, Saudis, Israelis, Iranians, Syrians, and Turks from using those knives to carve up Iraq was for Hussein to desperately keep on giving the impression he had something in reserve.
He hoped that international law would keep the U.S. on a leash until he had fully convinced his neighbours that he was still dangerous, then he could make a disclosure of his lack of WMDs while still holding onto power. The U.S. saw what he was up to and slipped the leash.
It so happened that they got the perpetrator. The problem now is what to do with a police dog that seems to be lacking a competent handler now that it has slipped that leash.