Monday, February 13, 2006

The Trial of Saddam Hussein

The trial of Saddam continues at its snail's pace and the former dictator continues to make use of the proceedings to deliver his harangues. I strongly suspect that he will die of old age before the Iraqi government gets around to shooting him. This op-ed from the Ayn Rand Institute argues that he should have been shot immediately following his capture, or once any needed information was gotten from him. That is my opinion also.

What law is Saddam on trial for breaking? He was a dictator--he was the law. If he gave a command to have someone executed, or to gas a village, it was 'legal' in the sense of not being against the laws that governed Iraq at that time. His word was law. That's what it means to be a dictator.

And being a dictator is what Saddam is guilty of. He was a murdering tyrant. One does not try tyrants though. After overthrowing them, the only rational thing to do is execute them. It's ridiculous to go through all that trouble to get rid of a tyrant, and then hold a trial where the judges are obliged to pretend that maybe it was all just a big mistake and he wasn't really a tyrant after all. It makes a mockery of justice, and it mocks the lives of the people he murdered.

Overthrowing a tyrant makes it, ex post facto, a capital crime to be a tyrant. Since everyone in the country knew the name and identity of the tyrant, the only pertinent question that could be put to the defendant is: are you Saddam Hussein?

Yes? Then stand next to this wall, please.

No comments: