In 2004, more dumb things will be said by more educated people about the trial of Saddam Hussein than all dumb things about all other major subjects combined.
Already, we're hearing how Saddam "deserves" to be treated with more fairness, humanity, and dignity. We're told how he "deserves" a fair trial at the Hague, where Eurocrats will no doubt make the issue of American and British arms-trading from 20 years ago (as opposed to French and Russian dealings from less than one year ago) the central issue. One can even see the Butcher of Baghdad getting off on the top counts of the indictment — mass murder, genocide, etc. — but getting nailed for the lesser offense of illegally trading with the United States.
So let's clear up a few things. First, Saddam "deserves" nothing. Yes, he should have a fair trial (and a fair execution). But that's because he's a prop. If we can squeeze some good out of this evil man by giving him a decent trial we should do it — because the Iraqi people deserve it, not because he does. I'm in favor of a big legal circus, if a big legal circus will help put that brutalized nation on the path to a decent life. However, if it were clear that loofahing him with a cheese grater would do even more to improve Iraqi life, than I'd be for that.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Jonah Goldberg makes a surefire prediction for 2004.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 9:45 AM