Yes, it’s true, I’d love a Roman triumph with Saddam paraded through the streets in chains, but I know that’s unrealistic. Cooler heads will prevail. George Will has an excellent piece in today’s WaPo on how the tyrant should be tried. Noting that the Saddam’s capture has ‘triggered a predictable chorus from those who have consistently subordinated the interests of Iraq, and other things, to their agenda for aggrandizing international institutions,’ Will argues that Saddam should be tried by Iraqis — and for specific horrors and not the nebulous (and, in my book dangerous) abstraction of ‘sins against humanity.’ A real trial in Iraq, Will points out, will ‘demonstrate progress toward something even more crucial than the reliable production of electricity — competence at governing.’ The recitation of Hussein’s enormities will also be uncomfortable for those who argued to leave the tyrant in power. Sic semper’.
Yesterday, when Saddam was captured, I recalled a Jim Hoagland column earlier this month about the true nature of the ‘insurgents.’ Hoagland reiterates some of this in his column today, and, again, it bears repeating: ‘His being caught ‘like a rat,’ in the words of Maj. General Raymond Odierno, will help puncture the myth that the terrorist insurgency being led by Hussein’s Baathist remnants represents a heroic form of Iraqi or Arab nationalism. The rear-guard campaign they wage is a rear-guard attempt to regain privilege and domination by a small group of Sunni Arabs, who have used death and destruction as their only tools of government and now of rebellion.’