Friday, December 09, 2005

Take the trial back from Saddam Hussein

In a further sign that the lawyers have hijacked American national security strategy, two years of preparation for Saddam Hussein's trial have allowed the former dictator himself to turn it into a propaganda circus.

While the American team supervising the process has focused exclusively (again) on process, Saddam and his team - which includes Ramsey Clark, head of the International Action Center - have turned the trial from an indictment of his crimes to an indictment of the United States and the new Iraqi government.

The sight of a well-dressed, defiant, self-assured Saddam Hussein gives an image that the dictator will return, frightening the Iraqi people and emboldening his followers.

There's time to fix that. With Saddam boycotting his trial in protest, here's what the US can help its Iraqi allies do, as Charles Krauthammer recommends in today's Washington Post:

1. Bring Saddam into the courtroom wearing prison garb and shackled.

2. Isolate Saddam in a glass booth. Silence his interruptions and histrionics.

Otherwise, "our only hope, as always with Hussein, is that he destroys himself with his arrogance and stupidity. He has stupidly walked out of his own trial. This is our opportunity."


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