Tuesday, December 16, 2003
I hope this is exactly what happens
Salam Pax weighs in on the capture of Saddam Hussein. And as a former member of Amnesty International and general bleeding-heart liberal, let me just say that although I agree *in theory* that the US should uphold its obligations under the Geneva Conventions in terms of Hussein's status, the realist in me thinks anything short of handing Hussein over to a mob in the streets to tear apart probably constitutes a fair trial, given the circumstances. The best you might be able to hope for is a public tribunal...I don't know how the justice system works in Iraq, but an American-style jury of his peers, supposedly unbiased, would be very, very difficult to find anywhere in the world at the moment. I'm not saying rip off his fingernails, but it's certainly more than his victims were ever accorded, and certainly his actions have proven his guilt by now. Frankly, at this point it's more about the priciple of upholding international law and basic human rights that should be accorded to anyone than any concern over the personal comfort of Saddam Hussein. But then, the present administration has already garnered much controversy over its interpretation of the articles of the Conventions that deal with prisoners of war. (Choosing to deem certain prisoners as illegal combatants, which is recognised in one definition or another by several countries but not by the signatories as a whole, or terrorists/spies, which are excluded from the protective articles, from what I've read.) So I'm not sure how it'll play out.