December 15, 2003


CNN reports:

When the soldiers first found Saddam, he raised his hands above his head, military officials said.

"I am Saddam Hussein," he said, according to the officials. "I am the president of Iraq and I want to negotiate."

The U.S. soldiers reportedly responded: "President Bush sends his regards."

The only matter for discussion now is how and where Saddam should be tried. Kep Enderby, letter-writer to the Sydney Morning Herald, believes "no Iraqi court or tribunal should try him because it is said the Iraqis were the victims of his crimes ... It would be like having a victim of an alleged crime, and not a judge, decide the guilt or innocence of the person accused of having committed the crime. To meet proper standards of justice, any court or tribunal set up should be seen to be neutral and independent. Only the United Nations can do that."

Quite so, agrees Ron Mead:

I expect a number of people will say it's impossible for Saddam to get a fair trial in Iraq. Perhaps he should be tried by the UN, where there is a much greater understanding of the needs and aspirations of brutal dictators.

Ha! Canada’s leader, writes Mark Steyn, also prefers an international approach, although Bush seems to have pre-empted him:

President Bush discussed the capture of Saddam today with the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Italy and Poland. Speaking to himself, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin called for the Iraqi President to be tried by "a court of international jurisdiction".

The UK Telegraph's John Keegan wants Saddam to die. Australian Prime Minister John Howard would be content with that outcome, too. So would Labor leader Mark Latham:

If he's to be tried under Iraqi law I would expect the full weight of that law to be held against him, and if that includes the death penalty you won't find an objection coming from me.

Greens leader Bob Brown, who said back in March that the war in Iraq "is not our war ... This is George Bush's war and this Prime Minister is in the service of George Bush in this illegal war”, has now changed his tune:

It is important [Saddam] is tried by an international tribunal and not by a US tribunal because it is an international issue.

Wake up, enviroboy! Even the gentle creatures of the sea are supporting the US these days.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 15, 2003 11:45 PM

Hilarious and soooo appropriate !

Posted by: Jim at December 16, 2003 at 12:07 AM

What, Brown going back on his word? Impossible.

Posted by: Vikki at December 16, 2003 at 12:40 AM

Yeah, all of a sudden the "not in our name" crowd wants to take charge of Saddam's trial.

Interesting that the very same groups who wanted him left in power are now working their asses off to make sure he doesn't face the death penalty. Do they have no shame? Is there no dictator too filthy for them to embrace?

Posted by: R. C. Dean at December 16, 2003 at 01:12 AM

I think we should all wait and see where Barbara Streisand comes down on this issue before we choose our course.

Posted by: E.A. at December 16, 2003 at 01:24 AM

Forget Babs, what about Mike Farrell?

Posted by: gaz at December 16, 2003 at 01:30 AM

I say let the Iraqis try him with some noxious French lawyer by his side. Just to make it more interesting it could be done in the Kurdish part of Iraq.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at December 16, 2003 at 01:34 AM

Won't they demand a Security Council vote for the decision on where to try him to be truly"multilateral"?
Of course the animal's "human rights" have to be upheld so maybe they can get some of those lawyers for the WTC Sheik to represent him.

Posted by: Barry at December 16, 2003 at 01:41 AM

Off topic, but read the latest Philip Adams "article." Even by his standards it's completely pathetic, replete with fake turkey and Michael Moore ramblings and concluding with a feeble, bitterly dissapointed joke about Willie Nelson. I know he's dissapointed but goddam...I guess his year couldn't have ended soon enough.

Posted by: gaz at December 16, 2003 at 01:46 AM

The UN certainly does have a "much greater understanding of the needs and aspirations of brutal dictators." There is no shortage of them represented there, after all.

I'm sure the Iraqis can be trusted to give Saddam a fair trial followed by a fair beheading.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at December 16, 2003 at 02:14 AM

Wouldn't it be cool if Bemmer had announced Saddam's capture in Dr. Seus-style ryming couplets?

We did not find him in a tree, we did not find him in the sea!

Posted by: Amos at December 16, 2003 at 02:20 AM

For non-americans, a guide to the wolverine.
Yes, it is related to the weasel (Family Mustelidae), but it's bigger, lots meaner, and renowned for chasing grizzlies away from their kills. Now THAT'S tough!

Posted by: mojo at December 16, 2003 at 03:00 AM

At the end of WWII didn't the Nuremberg trials' judges come from nations that had been harmed by Hitler? Were any of the judges from neutral countries?

It seems fitting to me that Saddam and all his henchmen be tried by an Iraqi court system. Let the UN and everyone else stay out of it.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at December 16, 2003 at 03:21 AM

Saddam's Capture Leads to Arrests
Looks like Saddam was leading the charges from his hole in the ground after all:

U.S. military officials said Monday they had arrested several resistance leaders in Baghdad based on documents found when Saddam Hussein was captured.

Officials said that some of the documents detailed a meeting of resistence cell leaders -- and included their names.

-Full story at CNN-

Posted by: Andyzero at December 16, 2003 at 04:49 AM

Tim, I just want to say that when first I encountered your sentence starting "Canada’s leader, writes Mark Steyn," I misread it as "Canada's leader, Mark Steyn." Now wouldn't that be a nicer world to live in.

Posted by: Combustible Boy at December 16, 2003 at 05:23 AM

I am not sure about those comments that Saddam Hussein made. I didn't think he knew how to speak english - but I guess everyone knows the essential phrases:

"What time is it?"
"Where are the toilets?"
"Where is the bus station?"
"Dont shoot!"
"I am the president of Iraq and I want to negotiate."

I use that last one in electrical stores all the time.

Posted by: Rob at December 16, 2003 at 09:07 AM

Will people ever learn? Like everything that has happened to this point in Iraq, Saddam's fate will be decided not by the assorted pundits, media experts, and associated whiners - it will be decided by one George W Bush. And thank God for that.

Posted by: Sean O'Callaghan at December 16, 2003 at 09:17 AM

forget all that! where does jack strocchi stand on this issue?

Posted by: roscoe at December 16, 2003 at 09:32 AM

Kofi's up to his veto-ing tricks again.

When Kofi says no, who listens?

Posted by: ilibcc at December 16, 2003 at 12:06 PM

I see the cheeky darkie is getting his oar in again.

Meanwhile, what's the betting that the French and the Germans want the contract to supply the machine guns for Saddam's execution?

Posted by: freddyboy at December 16, 2003 at 12:59 PM

isn't the badger nasty like a wolverine? thought it was..maybe i'm getting my not-so-cute furry little animals mixed up. the sea animal card.

Posted by: samkit at December 16, 2003 at 01:12 PM

"...cheeky darkie..."

Uh, freddyboy? Could you drop the racist talk? It just makes you sound like an asshole.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 16, 2003 at 02:28 PM

The Badger has a similar feisty attitude, but is much smaller. An adult Wolverine can run 50-60 lbs.

Posted by: mojo at December 16, 2003 at 02:36 PM

Since the UN made millions of dollars adminstrating Saddam's oil-for-food (palaces) program, the UN has a conflict of interest putting Saddam on trial.

Posted by: perfectsense at December 16, 2003 at 03:24 PM

I’m so glad to get away from that turkey story, it had me rewriting poems & lyrics. When I started trying to do a Doors-style “Writer on the fowl,” that was enough. This is much better.

“US Move” by Yeah
Took a straight & stronger course to corner Sodamn Insane.
Made the Ba’athists run so fast, they hadn’t got time to take their brains.
’Cause it’s time, it’s time in time for all time & Saddam is captured—
For Iraq to try.
Did it, did it, did it, did it, did it, did it, did it, did that.

Posted by: ForNow at December 16, 2003 at 03:53 PM

So he can't get a fair trial cause the Iraqis are his victims? I guess anyone stealing from the government could raise the same defence because they are really stealing from all of us.

Posted by: Pedro at December 16, 2003 at 06:15 PM

Does Enderby think that the Iraqis are incapable of exercising the same wisdom that the Dutch and Czechs showed when they tried their Nazi overlords?
Back in your box, Kep.

Posted by: David at December 16, 2003 at 07:35 PM

Look here....

"ELEANOR HALL: Well after a long weekend defending herself Magistrate O'Shane has gone quiet today and so has the Supreme Court judge whom she accused of making offensive comments, but one man who is talking is former Supreme Court judge, and a former Labor Federal Attorney General, Kep Enderby, one of the rare voices speaking out in support of Ms Pat O'Shane.

Posted by: Tony.T at December 16, 2003 at 11:25 PM

Thanks mojo, that was interesting. And I had a laugh about the contrast between the valiant wolverine and the pathetic dictator hiding in a hole in the ground and giving up without a fight.

Posted by: David Blue at December 16, 2003 at 11:50 PM