Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tribunal of the Century

In what has to be the hottest celebrity trial since that of O.J. Simpson, Saddam Hussein kicked off the proceedings with a predictable plea of not guilty.

The country’s president, Jalal Talabani, was quoted saying that Hussein should be “executed 20 times,” proving that Talabani has a finely tuned sense of brutal justice, though a far shakier grasp of redundancy.

The New York Times cites one legal organization dismissing the trial as “a display of ‘victor’s justice.’” Well, duh. The same Times report says that human rights groups are already protesting the tribunal, saying that Hussein’s not getting a fair shake and that the death penalty shouldn’t be a possible outcome. I don’t think I’ll lose much sleep over all this. What’s a fair shake for someone who’s killed at least 300,000 people by most estimates? And what’s an appropriate penalty – taking away his subscription to The Nation?

The much more pressing question, to my mind, is why are the participants sitting in a connected series of babies’ cribs?


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