The Daily Demarche
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Al Jazeera supporters are right.
As London recovers from the latest act of terror to strike the city a terrorist and mass murderer in Iraq begins his march to justice. Saddam has begun his day in court, unfortunately media coverage is minimal due the continued threat to the west posed by al Qaeda and its sympathizers. Luckily al Jazeera is covering the trial:

Long-bearded Saddam, who was wearing a white shirt, a suit jacket and glasses, appeared to be defiant and stared directly into the judge's eyes, who in turn seemed uncomfortable and avoided eye contact with the ousted president.

I'd be uncomfortable too, looking into the eyes of a man who ordered a province of his own country to be gassed, although I assume al Jazeera finds the judge's revulsion to be a victory of will for Hussein. Not surprisingly, some of their readers feel the same way (from the comments on the AJ site):

he lived like a lion and even living like lion. these pupets don't dare to look into his eyes. they know he can not do a thing but their guilty and fear don't let them to look into his eyes. salute to a lion heart.

and

saddam husseins trial should be open so that the whole world can understand the history of these past crimes and that there are many others deeply implicated, particularly the usa.

Luckily, there are other sources of news to refer to- the Internet allows anyone interested in learning more to do so, easily. Take this view of Saddam, for example:

A man describes how Saddam Hussein's secret police shoved a dissident's baby into a sack with a vicious cat that scratches it.

Undercover agents throw a man to his death from the roof of a building.

Iraqiya state television is reviving images of life under Saddam as a court prepares to announce his trial date.

``I wish they were here to see the day when Saddam is finished,'' a tearful woman who lost her relatives under Saddam tells viewers of Iraqiya, which broadcast footage of abuses filmed by members of Saddam security forces as they committed them.

Grainy footage of senior officials, including Ali Hassan al-Majid - nicknamed Chemical Ali because his men allegedly gassed 5,000 Kurds in 1988 - shows them questioning Shiites after a failed rebellion in 1991.

One official calmly smokes a cigarette and then kicks one of them in the face. The bound men were later executed. Other reminders include a blindfolded man with his hands bound behind his back being pushed off the roof of a building.

Another scene captured on video shows a man being held on the ground with an arm extended. The arm is beaten with a club until the bone breaks.

So, for perhaps the first and last time, I agree, at least in part, with sentiments expressed on the al Jazeera site- the trial of Saddam Hussein should be open and transparent, it should be broadcast on the satellite channels and the Internet, the entire world should have the opportunityto view the process of the rule of law in action. The lion of the desert will quickly be exposed as the hyena he is, or was- with full apologies to hyenas.

(End of post.)
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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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