The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Let the execution begin, at a neutral site

The word bias comes to mind when speaking of the Saddam Hussein trial, especially considering its location. The trial is taking place in Baghdad in the “former headquarters of Saddam’s Baath Party.”

According to Hamza Hendawi of the Associated Press, Hussein is being tried for the killing of 150 Shiites residing in Dujail in 1982, among other incidents “including the Anfal Operation, a military crackdown on the Kurds in the late 1980s that killed some 180,000 people; the suppression of Kurdish and Shiite revolts in 1991; and the deaths of 5,000 Kurds in a 1988 poison gas attack on the village of Halabja.”

After the capture of Saddam Hussein, many began to wonder when his trial, and seemingly inevitable conviction would go through. No one thought that it would take this long for the trial to commence. The trial began on Wednesday, October 19, 2005.

The trial should have taken place in a more neutral nation. The United States, or any nation in the Middle East for that matter, could never be impartial when deciding the fate of a man who has made enemies with so many countries.

The trial was televised throughout Iraq. Between fighting with the guards, arguing with the judge, claiming that the trial was not legitimate, and proclaiming himself to still hold the office of the president, it became clear that this is not a man that deserves freedom.

One should question the reasoning behind why the trial would take place in Iraq, let alone in the

building where Saddam’s Baath Party operated no less.

First, all and any defendant must receive a fair trial by jury.

Why bring him home just so that he could be acquitted or convicted by the citizens of Iraq, the people that suffered most under his wrath?

However, many Iraqis probably prefer that the United States had never gotten involved with Iraq and had never tried to oust Saddam Hussein from the role of president and in turn replace the government there. I’m sure that many would rather have had Hussein remain president.

The trial began with presiding judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin asking to know how the former president pled. Hussein simply replied, “I said what I said. I am not guilty.”

The seven other co-defendants responded to the same question in the same fashion. They still regard him as the president of Iraq and as their leader.

Judge Amin, and the other judges, have adjourned the trial until November 28, 2005. Hussein’s attorney, Khalil al-Dulaimi motioned for the adjournment so that he could obtain the names of the prosecution’s witnesses.

“I hope he is executed, and that anyone who suffered can take a piece of his flesh.” These are the words of Salman Zaboun Shanan, a construction worker in Baghdad. He and his wife cursed Saddam and spit at their television as the trial progressed.

This is the general sentiment of many Americans, other Iraqis and people around the globe.

Anyone who attempts genocide and ruins the lives of an entire people will certainly have a majority calling for execution. Saddam Hussein, during his time of reign, disrupted the lives of many Shiites and injected their lives with fear.

With their lives slowly returning to a state of normalcy, they believe that justice by the hands of the people is the only course of action.

One can only hope that this is the last time that any government leader has attempted genocide; that this issue never arises again and there will no longer be a global panic over weapons of mass destruction.

However, this is highly unlikely considering North Korea and other nations are beginning to enter the nuclear arms market.

As the trial continues, former President Hussein will be made an example in our time.

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