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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Saddam's Trial

I've been looking at the right wing sites and blogs (via Solomonia - where else?) on Saddam's trial. There is some unease at Amnesty's and Human Rights Watch's concern for a fair trial (is an unfair trial expected?). What struck me was that on all the sites/blogs I read there was no mention of Rumsfeld's very famous meetings with Saddam and the US very famously selling of weapons to the known murderous US backed tyrant Saddam. I wonder if this could be behind some unease at a fair trial? Perhaps more might mentioned if the trail is 'too fair'???


Blogger Layman said...

I think it is quite a leap to accuse right-leaning bloggers of wanting an unfair trial of Saddam to cover-up US arms transfers to Iraq.

In the first place, the blogs I have read on the subject agree that the process needs to be fair (Solomonia, the only site you refer to, says there "needs to be some sort of process with a rational basis," but notes its not a typical "whodunnit" trial). The perception seems to be that AI is more concerned about Saddam getting a western style hyper technical fair trial than in the civil rights abuses Saddam engaged in while he was in charge of the trials of everyone else in Iraq. I've not seen a hint of "fear" about damning evidence about the US coming out. If you have, perhaps you could direct me to it.

Additionally, the fact is that the US has been a very minor supplier of arms to Iraq. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, from 1970 to 2004, the U.S. has accounted for only .47% of arms transfers to Iraq. That's not even half of one percent. The US comes in 9th behind the USSR, France, China, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Brazil, Egypt, and Denmark. It barely edges out Austria and Switzerland.

Now, I'm not defending the .47%, but I hardly think it can be the basis of any significant blame against the US for Saddam's atrocities. As a result, I doubt it would be relevant to any issue at trial. What role do you think such evidence would play in demonstrating Saddam's innocence? Is this, "The Great Satan made me do it" defense? If it will not tend to demonstrate his innocence, then the only point would be to embarass and distract, which is exactly what the evidentiary rules regarding relevance are designed to prevent.

October 26, 2005


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