This may not be a showtrial in the Stalinist sense – Saddam is, after all, guilty of the crimes of which he is going to be convicted. It is, however, a trial purely for show. But the people it’s trying to impress simply aren’t going to be. So I really can’t see why anyone bothers.
Why bother faffing about with the trappings of justice when we all know that Saddam’s supporters don’t recognise the legitimacy of the court and that the critics of the refusal to take this to the International War Crimes Tribunal, plus anyone who disagrees with the death penalty, have a tendency to feel the same way? And as Saddam’s so obviously guilty, why were they so afraid of putting him on trial in a court outside US control anyway? I simply don’t get it.
In any case, it’s sort of started, and the headlines are already utterly, tediously predictable:
Iraqis watch Saddam trial with relief or fury – and the furious will not be placated by it
Saddam Pleads Innocent to Murder, Torture – in a vain attempt to make his life last a bit longer
Judge says witnesses too scared for Saddam trial – perhaps because there’s still a load of his supporters roaming the country with lots and lots of guns and bombs, the government is not yet stable, the rushed constitution not yet in place, the government of suspect effectiveness and legitimacy, and the entire place reliant on foreign troops who will not be around to offer their limited protection to the witnesses forever? Just a wild guess…
Saddam defense blasts US, Iraq – attacking the legitimacy of the court being entirely fair enough, and the only hope they’ve got, what with the guy being guilty as Hell and all
Saddam argues with judge at start of trial – what, an arrogant former dictator not accepting anyone’s power to sit in judgement over him? Surely not!
Saddam struggles with trial guards – yet another non-surprise, which will only go to show his supporters that he’s still got fight in him, so they should still have fight in them
and, entirely unsurprisingly and so even more depressingly:
Insurgents kill 13 in attacks as Saddam’s trial opens
Here endeth Nosemonkey’s already nearly non-existant interest in what’s currently going on in Iraq. The whole thing’s just too depressing.