Spare Saddam

Dr. Michael Ford

27 December 2006


            Frankly I did not think former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark could sink any lower in my estimation before he became part of Saddam Hussein’s defense team. But he managed to excel in folly even beyond my expectations. Now to misquote a famous phrase, “there he goes again.” When I read that Ramsey Clark said Saddam Hussein’s life was in President Bush’s hands I had to go back and read the lead statement again lest I had gotten it wrong.

            President Bush is neither the head of the new Iraqi State, nor is he the presiding judge at Saddam’s trial. For Bush to intervene, if he could, would indicate the new Iraq government is nothing more than the puppet government of the United States. It would be international folly to even consider listening to Ramsey Clark; not the first time that has been true.

            Clark claims rejecting Saddam’s appeal "will have long-term consequences for the peace and stability of Iraq, and for the rule of law as a means to peace." Maybe he slept through the fact that a live Saddam has been an excuse for violence and attempt to undermine the rule of law by some ever since he was captured. But we do not really know what Clark’s brain runs on do we?

            Clark called the Iraqi Special Tribunal, the court that tried Saddam and his co-defendants, as "notoriously unfair." He did not like anything about the justice system saying the "so-called appeals court in Iraq, which did not take the time to examine the trail record and defense briefs." Just because Saddam does not get thirty years of appeals as he might under the American system does not mean it is “unfair.” It might mean it is efficient.

Clark once said when Saddam and others were turned over to Iraqis they would be exposed to "summary executions, torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment - all in violation of U.S. law. It did not happen Ramsey. One wonders if the man does not ever get tired of being wrong? Saddam will be executed for offenses related to the killing of 148 Shi'ites in a village called Dujail after a failed 1982 assassination attempt, not for the rest of the thousands he murdered. But at least he will be gone.

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