Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Trial of Saddam Hussein

I just finished watching the last few minutes of "The Trial of Saddam Hussein" on PBS. It looks like a very interesting documentary that basically concludes the court was not independent, nor was the trial completely fair to the defendants. I wish I had turned the channel to PBS an hour ago when the documentary started. It comes down to this: it was and still is impossible to hold a trial in Iraq with western judicial standards.

Saddam's defense attorneys assert that the execution of Saddam was an act of vengeance, not justice. Most Iraqi Shia would disagree. I will never forget the day Saddam was executed. On that day I received a phone call from a Palestinian American friend, who said "bad move Shia". The Sunni Arab reaction to the trial and execution of Saddam is symbolic of the deep sectarian divisions in the Arab world. Instead of heeling wounds, the trial and execution seemed to only intensify the sectarian conflict.

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