A few comments about the hearing last Monday.
1. The Iraqi government is pressuring the Iraqi Special tribunal to speed up proceedings. The press treats this as a case of politics illegitimately attempting to influence the course of justice. Maybe so, but the opposite inference is equally plausible. It may be that, given politics in Iraq, the tribunal is proceeding too slowly because the Iraqi judges are afraid of offending foreign opinion or simply because they place too much weight on the technical requirements of their job. If a constitutional settlement must await the outcome of the trial, then the longer that the trial continues, the more people will die in the insurgency. And as much as the West loves legal process, the Iraqi public might have trouble understanding why such a simple case should take such a long time to resolve and wonder whether they really want to cast their lot with Western style legalism.