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November 28, 2005
The Tyrant's Tirade

The trial of Saddam Hussein continued this morning, as most of his trials have gone thus far -- with an opening tirade from the deposed genocidal tyrant to get the trial off to a start. Saddam complained about not having a pen, being guarded by foreigners, and a broken elevator as his latest contribution to his trial for mass murder, continuing to demonstrate that he still doesn't quite grasp the stakes involved:

He was similarly argumentative on Monday, complaining about the fact that he had to climb four floors to the courtroom because the elevator was broken.

He also objected to being escorted up the stairs by "foreign guards".

In a series of heated exchanges with the chief judge he also complained about the fact that his guards had taken his pen away, rendering him unable to sign the necessary court papers:

"I will alert them to the problem," Judge Amin said in response.

"Don't alert them! Order them. You are an Iraqi, you are sovereign and they are invaders, foreigners and occupiers," Saddam Hussein fired back.

The professionalism of the Iraqi court stands in stark contrast to the circus atmosphere provided by the defense. For instance, Ramsay Clark made yet another bungee appearance today for Saddam, flying in at the last minute to assure himself of some news coverage. Four other defense lawyers for other defendants simply didn't show up, as if their invitations got lost in the mail.

What has gotten lost in all the coverage are the real victims of Dujail, who died by the score in revenge for an assassination attempt on Saddam in 1982. It may not qualify as the greatest of Saddam's crimes, but these murders took place at his demand for the audacity of a few who wanted an end to his tyranny. The people he ordered killed had nothing to do with the assassination plot; they simply lived in the town where the attack took place. It's a tactic taken by tyrants throughout the ages -- making an example of towns like Dujail to frighten people into meek submission to brutal tyranny. In fact, it's just another form of terrorism.

Even if the media has forgotten this, the Iraqi court has not. The media continues to cover this with a wink, telling its readers and listeners that the Iraqis and the Americans want to start with "minor" cases against Saddam Hussein. Dujail goes straight to the heart of how Saddam kept himself in power, and now shows the idiotic nature of those who would defend him. I believe that this case makes a perfect opening round for the trials of Saddam Hussein and his sick coterie of sycophants.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 28, 2005 5:36 AM

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