Sierra Leone “Blood Diamond” Thugs Guilty in International Court.
These guys are despicable human beings. They deserve to be removed from society and imprisoned for life. And they have been. They won’t be hacking off any more arms and legs. They won’t be raping and sodomizing helpless women. And they won’t be recruiting children to fight their battles for them. But they will not be executed. For their crimes they will sit in steel cages for the rest of their lives, contemplating and (hopefully) regretting their savage brutality toward their fellow human beings.
It seems obvious to me that Saddam Hussein should have been tried* before the same kind of international UN court. Instead, he was tried in what was described by many legal observers to be a kangaroo court, made up of his political enemies. Then he was turned over to his religious enemies for execution. This was one of many unfortunate miscues committed by the Bush Administration in the prosecution of their invasion and occupation of Iraq. But it was a big one. The martyrdom of Saddam Hussein has, no doubt, played a huge role in the alienation of hundreds of thousands of Sunni Iraqis who are now part of the “insurgency.” A majority of Iraqis, including some of Hussein’s enemies, have condemned the United States for this blunder. Sadly, we may never have a chance to win back their confidence.
* NOTE: Since I, myself, condemn the policy of unilateral invasion of Iraq for the purpose of “regime change” as a criminal and immoral act of aggression in the first place, I do not subscribe to the theory that we (meaning the United Sates and our handful of co-invaders) had any right to capture and try Saddam Hussein (or cause him to be tried) in the first place. I acknowledge that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but we know a lot of bad guys (some of whom are our best friends in the region.) This post goes to the question of the appropriate venue for dealing with persons accused of crimes against humanity. Now exactly who should go before international tribunals for war crimes…that is another (perhaps, yet unanswered) question.
Cross Posted at The Whole American Hog