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IRAQ WAR -
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Saddam’s trial: A comedy show

Posted in the database on Friday, December 09th, 2005 @ 13:32:31 MST (1054 views)
from Al Jazeera Magazine  

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(AFP PHOTO) Saddam Hussein gestures during his trial in Baghdad's Green Zone area

The expected response from Americans, including journalists, to the recent trial of the toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was since the man violated due-process rights of his own citizens, then it doesn’t really matter whether he gets a fair trial or not. And it doesn’t matter either if he got executed.

Instead of a requirement that the former Iraqi President’s guilt be proved, there is an assumption of Saddam’s guilt that pervades the American media. And there is a very strong reason for that- It serves as a secondary rationale for the U.S. illegal war on Iraq, with the argument that “no one can say that Iraq isn’t better off without Saddam Hussein.”

And thus, by giving great attention to the unsavory Hussein, the Bush administration’s backed media draws sympathy for the American President’s decision to invade Iraq, despite the fact that the principal justification for the war – that the former Iraqi leader possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction – turned out to be fictitious.

An editorial by Brendan O'Neill stated that the trial of Saddam has descended into farce. “No one seems to take it seriously. Saddam shouts at the judges and moans about having to walk up four flights of stairs to the courthouse because the lift is broken; today the court is in session but without Saddam, who yesterday told the judge to 'go to hell'. Coalition officials, meanwhile, seem to want little to do with the whole process.Iraqi vice-president Ghazi Al Yawer recently despaired: 'I don't know who the genius is producing this farce…it's a comedy show,' “the article said.

Saddam's trial reveals the contradiction at the heart of the occupation’s venture in Iraq: enjoying extraordinary powers in the country it devastated, yet with little legitimacy behind it. American managed to occupy Iraq and oust its President in a few weeks, but it has neither the international legitimacy nor the local connections that might make such a trial a serious or meaningful affair.

News reports and TV footages from the courthouse have exposed the emptiness of the occupation’s mission.

The claim that the war was aimed at bringing democracy to the Iraqi nation is another farce. In postwar Iraq, no proper authoritative or democratic system was installed to organize a serious case even against what the U.S. calls “tyrant” and dictator”.

The judges responsible for trying Hussein are Iraqis who had little experience to handle such an important trial. Although there are 30 judges handling Saddam’s case, the name of only one was revealed for security reasons, as earlier this year one of them was assassinated. “It is a measure of the court's lack of local authority that the judges have to remain anonymous and worry about being knocked off.”

Saddam refused to show up in court Thursday protesting being mistreated while in detention.

• Illegitimate court

He "pointed out that the defendants had been mistreated, not allowed private meetings with their counsel, denied time and facilities to prepare their defense, denied access to the evidence, and denied the 'equality of arms' because the prosecution that had almost unlimited resources at its disposal," Saddam’s lawyers said in a written statement.

The former President asserted that the Iraqi court where he is being tried was "illegal" and that it will not give him a fair trial.

His defense team has repeatedly accused the Higher Iraqi Tribunal of being illegitimate since it was formed under U.S. occupation.

"President Saddam Hussein refused to attend the sessions of the extraordinary court that was created by the United States government as the occupying power of Iraq claiming that the Court is illegal and can not provide a fair trial," the statement said.

Ironically, despite the fact that this trial has become a 'comedy show', UK and the U.S. now hope it will transform Iraq.

If this trial shows anything it is that the past isn't the problem; it's the present, and the replacement of a dictator with a puppet and criminal government.

_______________________

From The Borowitz Report

WITH SADDAM A NO-SHOW, SADDAM LOOK-ALIKES GO ON TRIAL

Doppelgangers Will Return Credibility to Proceedings, Rumsfeld Says

With Saddam Hussein a no-show at his own trial, the U.S. today found an unorthodox solution to the impasse: the former dictator’s look-alikes.

The look-alikes were fixtures during the regime of the brutal madman, who used them as decoys to frustrate would-be assassins, but since the fall of Saddam they have found employment opportunities few and far between.

“In Baghdad, nobody wants to go to Starbucks and be served by a barrista who looks like Saddam Hussein,” said Saddam Hussein, 57, one of several look-alikes who have been called out of retirement to fill in for the evil defendant. “When my agent called and told me about this trial thing, I was stoked.”

Another look-alike, Saddam Hussein, 43, said that the call to fill in for Saddam at the trial came just in the nick of time: “I swear, last week I was this close to shaving off my moustache.”

At an acting studio in downtown Baghdad, the former Saddams have been rehearsing for the past few days, hoping to get their impersonations of the former dictator up to snuff.

“It’s a lot of waving your fist and looking defiant,” said Saddam Hussein, 61.

In Washington, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hailed the decision to put Saddam’s look-alikes on trial, telling reporters, “Now the Iraqi people can feel confident that Saddam Hussein, or someone who looks a lot like him, will be brought to justice.”

Elsewhere, President Bush announced a new guest worker program under which illegal immigrants will be allowed to work as scapegoats throughout the 2006 election campaign.

http://www.borowitzreport.com/



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