I must start by apologizing for my awkward title. I am referring to the ABC News interview of Dec 16th, where Bush said he thinks Saddam Hussein should face "the ultimate justice" for his crimes.
Many people can critique Bush's policies. I choose not to do so since these have already been argued ad nauseum, and I have little to add, besides even more bile.
For Bush to say this, however, is not a matter of policy or having differing opinions. This is a matter of breaking protocol, legal process, ritual, separation of powers, ettiquette, whatever you want to call it.
I do not know if George W Bush has ever served on a jury. However, if he has, he may be familiar with the rules that I was told when I served on a jury: until all the facts are in, you don't make a comment on how the facts add up. You certainly don't make a comment on what punishment someone deserves until you have actually made found them guilty. Is sitting in a jury room for a two hour recess, unable to talk about the case you are witnessing difficult? Is it hard to ignore the tales of murder and mayhem you have been listening to for the past few hours, and instead try to strike up a conversation with your fellow jurors about your cat and how to make soup out of little equal packets? Of course it is. But those are the rules of process that a juror in any case must obey. For the highest official in the land to give a sentence before a trial has started is a terrible blow to legal process.
A government can have policies and plans and operations and schemes. These reflect what they want.
But before they can get to what they want, they must have standards and rules and procedures that should be followed closely. The reason is, these reflect what is, and what is must be acknowledged before plans can go forward.
George W Bush is the perfect child of the 1960's. The 1960s were the decade when people forgot where they came from, and instead focused on what they wanted. This type of attitude reflects running over the methods and the procedures in able to get what impulse demands. Something that is slightly amusing in rough and rugged Hollywood mavericks, but something that I do not find amusing when when adults choose not to grow out of it.
For the ABC article, see: