There was an open poll on Community2
asking: What do we do with Saddam? Here are some of the answers (names removed to protect the expatriates):
- "Since it's the spirit of Christmas... roast his chestnuts over an open fire."
- "Put him in a 'wacky roomates stuck in prison' sitcom with Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson."
- "Publicly hang him and create all sorts of tensions in Iraq then bugger off in good old Western style."
And so on and so forth.
So... seriously, kids... what do you do with a deposed dictator? You can do a lot of things with him, of course, but what can you realistically do? Let's look at some rational options.
1. International Law
Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. "International law? BUSH?! Are you shitting me or what?" Well, actually, I kind of am shitting you on this one, but that's beside the point. The point, rather, is this: back in the glory days of the Clinton administration, you'd expect Saddam to go to the Hague or Brussels or someplace. I think Bush is about as likely to give Saddam to Europe as he is to give a blow job to Elvis. But again, that's beside the point.
International law would mandate:
- Lots of judges in funny-looking robes and funnier-looking wigs.
- A very cold-looking courtroom, designed in the Scandinavian Minimalist "Kill me now so I don't have to sit here any longer" architectural style, brought to your nightly newscast in full-grainy-color PAL via satellite.
- A trial that would take no less than three and no more than thirty years, during which time Saddam would stay at a four-star hotel (or equivalent prison cell).
- Nobody understanding what the hell happened for at least another decade, until some geek writes a book about it for his history Ph.D. and demonstrates to the world that it was all wrong, it was really Comical Ali the whole time, and don't you all feel stupid now?
But once again, that's beside the point. Bush doesn't care about international law. "International law? Ha! My lawyer
will get back to you on that one. Ha!" So let's stop talking about this before it gets too depressing, and move on to something more pertinent.
2. Domestic Tribunal
I'm pretty sure that international law says that Saddam isn't supposed to face an ad-hoc tribunal in the United States for something he did while president of Iraq, but let's get the hell away from international law for a while. We have the old bugger and we can do with him whatever we damn well please, so why not make it quick and surgical, and throw him up in front of a show trial?
Well, it certainly wouldn't make Bush any more popular with his critics, but then again, what would?
Remember that in order to rebuild Japan, Douglas MacArthur had to institute the "Everybody Dies" judicial system. That is, everybody who had an important role in the war against the U.S. also had to die. (The exception, of course, was the Emperor, but he was de-deified, so it sucked to be him anyway.) So why not put Saddam on this lucrative plan?
Well. The issue is, who signs the death warrant? The U.S. starts the war, wins the war, and kills the dictator, all more or less single-handedly, in the name of the Iraqi people? They might just start saying "Yo, yo, yo, leave us outta this, maaaaan!" In Japan, it was an international tribunal, so at least there was some feeling of consensus.
Shit! I'm getting into international law again! Back-paddle, back-paddle!
3. Back to Iraq: Layin' the Smack
Here's what I'm thinking tonight: What if someone in D.C. had a major-league brain fart and decided to let Saddam stand trial before his own people? There could be a number of outcomes...
- We discover that they all really did like him, and that they want nothing more than to make him president again and give him all their oil. (Probability: Raiders winning the Stanley Cup)
- Saddam escapes from captivity and runs off to hide with Osama Bin Laden in Bhutan or wherever the hell he is. (Probability: Bush legalizing third-term abortion)
- The Iraqi court acquits Saddam on a technicality and lets him free, presumably to start a cable news channel or something. (Probability: Michael Jackson being innocent)
- The Iraqi court convicts Saddam and tells him to kiss his neck goodbye. (Probability: Republicans picking up Senate seats in 2004)
- An Iraqi wingnut shoots Saddam before the trial is concluded. (Probability: Howard Dean becoming president)
- An American wingnut does the same. (Probability: Dean winning the Democratic nomination)
So anyway, that's how that goes. It worked in South Africa
, sort of. They had many more people to deal with, but it worked in the end. And I have a feeling that Iraqis could dig up all sorts of dirty stuff on Saddam if they wanted to. It would make them feel good... powerful... free
But, somehow, I don't think any of this is going to happen. Here's what's probably going to happen:
4. The Conspiracy
Saddam is being transported from his hyper-maximum-security prison cell to his hyper-maximum-security courtroom in Mount Weather or someplace. (While I'm on the subject, wouldn't it be hilarious if Johnnie Cochran offered to defend him? Okay, I can hear you guys in Baghdad screaming in terror, so back to the point...) As he's getting out of the U.S. Marshals' Suburban, four gunshots are fired from the window of the adjacent federal building, killing Saddam. The gunman is cornered by police, fired upon multiple times, and then jumps off of a waterfall, never to be seen again. He is never prosecuted. Nor, for that matter, is Saddam, except in an ongoing closed-door investigation that wraps up 50 years later by concluding that Saddam pirated Sky News and lied on his tax returns, but that it's all an issue of international law, which has been moot for the past fifty years.
Any way you cut it, Saddam Hussein is gonna be dead.
So, as I said on C2: Crucify him during halftime
of the Super Bowl