The justice of a trial
In my last post, about Saddam as press hero, I wrote about transmuting the very human desire for personal revenge into the desire for a different sort of justice, the justice of a trial.
No sooner said than done, apparently. I just came across this wonderful post by Mohammed of Iraq the Model, entitled, "Let Justice Be Served." In it, he describes that exact process taking place as he and his friends watch the trial:
“Why do we have to listen to this bull****?” said one of my friends.
“I prefer the trial goes like this:
Q:Are you Saddam Hussein?
Then take this bullet in the head.”
Everyone could find a reason to immediately execute a criminal who never let his victims say a word to defend themselves “let’s execute him and get over this” sentiments like this were said while we watched the proceedings which were rather boring and sluggish for the first half of the session.
At the beginning we were displeased by the presentation of the prosecution which was more like a piece of poetry in the wrong time and place and this is what encouraged the defense to give us a worn out speech about objectivity and how the court must not go into sideways; the thing which both the prosecution and the defense were doing.
Anyhow, the prosecutor began reading the facts and figures about what happened in Dijail. The defendants went silent but Saddam objected on some details and then prosecutor said “Do you want me to show the film where you said and did that?” Saddam stopped talking and the prosecutor asked the court to allow showing the film, we don’t know if it was played there as transmission was paused for a while.
As the prosecution went deeper into details and facts, the way we viewed the trial began to change and those among us who were demanding a bullet in Saddam’s head now seemed pleased with the proceedings “I don’t think I want to see that bullet now, I want to see justice take place as it should be”. We were watching an example of justice in the new Iraq, a place where no one should be denied his rights, not even Saddam.
We smiled seeing the news anchors lower their voices and nodding down when the prosecution grew stronger and more reasonable and convincing and they also abandoned the previous poetic sentimental tone that couldn’t stand in the face of facts and figures...
We’re drawing the outlines of a change not only for Iraq but also for the entire region and I can feel that today we have presented a unique model of justice because in spite of the cruelty of the criminal tyrant and in spite of the size of the atrocities committed against the Iraqi people, we still want to build a state of law that looks nothing like the one the tyrant wanted to create.