Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Executing the Law in Iraq: Valuable Lessons for America

John W. Lillpop

On December 14, 2003, American military forces opened a rat hole on a small farm south of Tikrit, Iraq. Out of that miserable hole crawled one of the most despicable and loathsome freaks ever to have plagued this planet.

Saddam Hussein, once feared and despised in nearly equal measure throughout Iraq, emerged from that hole as a haggard, beaten coward.

The “Butcher of Baghdad” was taken into to custody to answer for his alleged crimes against humanity, including burying people alive in mass graves, gassing his own people, and other heinous acts of unspeakable brutality.

It was Saddam’s severe misfortune to have been apprehended in Iraq, rather than in America.

Had the killer been driven from a hole in, say, California, he would have had a legion of ACLU lawyers clamoring to defend him. After several years of wrangling and legal table tennis played to perfection by his corrupt lawyers, Saddam would have been sentenced to death.

His sentencing would have started another ten or fifteen years of legal maneuvering know as the appeals process. During this period, lawyers driving to and from court would face a greater probability of dying in a fatal automobile crash than Saddam would face as a result of justice being served.

Conjugal visits, cable television, supervised physical exercise, and maybe even Internet access would have made Saddam’s days tolerable, if not enjoyable.

But, alas, Saddam was captured in Iraq, not America. So instead of conjugal visits, large contingents of lawyers, and prison amenities worthy of a king, Saddam got—Ramsey Clark.

Perhaps the Lord does have a sense of humor, after all. That would explain the irony of Saddam Hussein having his very life boiling down to the competency of Ramsey Clark. That is a good one, Lord!

Even more ironic is this: Just slightly more than three years after Saddam was captured, his death sentence was upheld by Iraqi chief judge Aref Shahin who decreed that Saddam must be executed within 30 days of December 26.

Consider what has transpired since 2003: Iraq has been through “shock and awe” courtesy of the United States Air force, has been invaded by the mightiest military force in human history, and been splintered by sectarian violence many consider to be “civil war.”

Yet, in spite of all of that, Iraq managed to try Saddam Hussein, adjudicate his appeals, and sentence this subhuman beast to hanging in just over three years! All that remains is the actual hanging.

Those responsible for managing America’s system of jurisprudence could learn a great deal from Iraqi chief judge Aref Shahin.

John Lillpop is a recovering liberal, "clean and sober" since 1992 when last he voted for a Democrat. Pray for John: He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people like Nancy Pelosi are considered reasonable!