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October 17, 2005


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It's my understanding the Iraqis wish to prosecute what they feel is an open/shut case against Mr. Saddam. In addition, I believe it's STILL impossible to carry out the death penalty more than once.

So, instead of getting embroiled in a trial covering the deaths of hundreds of thousands and lasting for YEARS which (the new) Iraq CAN ILL AFFORD TO DO, they apparently prefer that justice in this case be swifter than some legal minds in the U.S. might wish.

Who knows, perhaps to a Shi'ia in Basra, or a Kurd in Mosul, the prospect of Saddam being executed "in the near term" for his crimes is EXACTLY the type of "closure" he (and all other victims) feel they deserve.

John Quiggin

A point you haven't noted is that, not only is this a (comparatively) minor crime, it's also a very old one. So, a more appropriate analogy might be trying and executing the Nazis for the "Night of the Long Knives" when they purged the SA.

A conviction and execution based solely on a crime committed over 20 years ago (well before the famous Rumsfeld hug) leaves little basis for the claim that the war was justified as a humanitarian intervention.

If you're going to go this way, it would have been better simply to shoot Saddam without trial on the basis that everyone knows he is guilty.

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