Friday, October 21, 2005

Back after a long time. Many things to do, and very little time. Here is the first impression on the trial of Saddam:

No doubt, it is very encouraging to see him in court. I always thought that the waiting period for trying him has been ridiculously long. It is an insult to Iraqis that this case has not been put as the first priority.

The trial, however, did not start well. There is some obvious incompetence and lack of professionalism on the part of the judge and the prosecutor. I can't believe that these are the best Iraq can offer (I know they are not).

Call Saddam what you want, but he is not an easy or a soft target. I doubt that these guys can try him.

The other setback was the killing of one of the lawyers who are representing one of the thugs on trial. This is going to complicate things. Already people are talking about holding the trial out of Iraq -- a bad idea of course. I have seen some reports trying to accuse the government of the killing. This is absurd. It is most likely that people who want to hinder the process and embarrass the government who did thins. Lothsome as they may be, these lawyers should be allowed to do their work and the government should ensure their protection.

The coverage is another fiasco. It is nonsense to claim that it is a public trial, when the broadcasting is hours late and edited like there is no tomorrow. Also, the technical aspects of the trial are disastrous.

This is an important affair, where any error may change history. There should be no room for incompetence or nepotism

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