After a turbulent trial that has lasted nine months, that has provoked the murder of numerous lawyers and witnesses -- a trial that Ramsey Clark has called "a travesty" -- the verdict is out: Saddam Hussein is guilty.
Surely, no one is surprised.
But how many people grasp the cynical manipulation that has worked behind the scenes? The verdict was deliberately scheduled to be announced today, November 5 -- exactly two days before Election Day!
Now George Bush and his cronies can crow about their "success" -- how they brought a tyrant to his knees and to the gallows. That they have caused the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, that they have destroyed a nation in the process and flaunted international law, seems beyond their comprehension.
How can anyone in a civilized world justify or condone what has happened? Invading (preemptively) a sovereign nation, occupying it, capturing its leader, setting up a kangaroo court, and sentencing him to hang for crimes against his own people.....
Did we dare do this with Idi Amin, with Joseph Stalin, with Chou En-lai, with Pol Pot?
Of course not. Maybe those nations were too big too tackle, or too far away, or maybe there were no economic interests (e.g., oil) hanging in the balance. Or maybe our leaders then simply had a ommendable sense of caution, before waging a unilateral attack on a foreign dictator.
One burning question emerges from this:
Now that Saddam has been judged and condemned for his crimes, who is going to judge George W. Bush for his?
UPDATE: Yes, America finally woke up and declared war on Germany after Hitler had invaded and occupied several sovereign nations....who happened to be our allies. During the 1930s, while he was persecuting, imprisoning and murdering his own German Jews, America did nothing.
Similarly, we declared war on Japan after they directly attacked us; Emperor Hirohito's internal politics and policies towards his people were not a factor in that decision. My argument holds: Iraq is the first instance where America has intervened militarily to oust a foreign dictator who has committed crimes against his own people. From now on, are we going to police the entire world? Or are we going to use strong sanctions and smart diplomacy instead of guns?