Back to Baghdad

November 12, 2006

Since George W. Bush did everything possible to make Saddam Hussein his running mate, it’s only appropriate to check back in with Iraqi blogger Riverbend. Evidently, the political timing of Saddam’s death sentence is as obvious on the Tigris as it is on the Potomac:

Everyone expected this verdict from the very first day of the trial. There was a brief interlude when, with the first judge, it was thought that it might actually be a coherent trial where Iraqis could hear explanations and see what happened. That was soon over with the prosecution’s first false witness. Events that followed were so ridiculous; it’s difficult to believe them even now.

The sound would suddenly disappear when the defense or one of the defendants got up to speak. We would hear the witnesses but no one could see them- hidden behind a curtain, their voices were changed. People who were supposed to have been dead in the Dujail incident were found to be very alive.

Judge after judge was brought in because the ones in court were seen as too fair. They didn’t instantly condemn the defendants (even if only for the sake of the media). The piece de resistance was the final judge they brought in. His reputation vies only that of Chalabi- a well-known thief and murderer who ran away to Iran to escape not political condemnation, but his father’s wrath after he stole from the restaurant his father ran.

So we all knew the outcome upfront (Maliki was on television 24 hours before the verdict telling people not to ‘rejoice too much’). I think what surprises me right now is the utter stupidity of the current Iraqi government. The timing is ridiculous- immediately before the congressional elections? How very convenient for Bush. Iraq, today, is at its very worst since the invasion and the beginning occupation. April 2003 is looking like a honeymoon month today. Is it really the time to execute Saddam?

Even as we trade high-fives over the Democratic sweep, I am aghast at the extent of the damage Bush has done, and how much chaos he has managed to unleash in the Middle East.


One Response to “Back to Baghdad”

  1. Caveat Says:

    In my opinion, the worst thing that could happen to the middle east is the execution of Hussein who, despite his tyrannical persona, was a secular leader.

    He should be kept alive, a la Hess, in order to prevent extremists from using him as an example of martyrdom.

    But hey, what would I know?

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