Thursday, April 03, 2003

War Criminals, Who Should Deal With Them and How?
By Alexander Marriott
UNLV Rebel Yell: April 7, 2003

As the war goes on in Iraq we’ve already been confronted with what the Iraqi people have had to live with for nearly three decades, the utter savagery and barbarism of Saddam Hussein and his thugs.

With speculation about a possible chemical weapons attack, reports of executed American prisoners of war, and the continuing murder of their own civilians, the question arises, what do we do with these criminals after the war (assuming they live through it of course)?

One school of thought is to turn them all over, Saddam included if he is still alive, to the international court at The Hague to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity and war crimes. The theory here is that this will legitimize our actions with a veneer of international support and justice. But does this option really achieve a just end? The Hague can only impose a life sentence so that the countries that fund the international court can pay to keep Saddam alive for the rest of his life. Is this justice? A person can cause wholesale destruction for decades and slaughter countless numbers of people only to be jailed in the Netherlands where everything will be done to make sure his punishment is neither cruel nor unusual. Which in today’s terminology means he cannot go without gourmet meals, a television, access to any and all books he wants, and communication with the outside world. Not only this but his place of confinement will be a lightning rod for terrorists all over the world to plot his forcible release.

Another option is to copy our already established template from Nuremberg, except it would be in Baghdad. Let the Iraqi people try Saddam for his crimes against them, I’m sure there will be no shortage of people with horror stories about the murderous tyrant. Let his henchmen meet the same fate. And should a guilty sentence be reached then the mighty sword of justice will crash down upon them as it has been poised to do for years.

The liberated Iraqis will need this more than anything to dispel Saddam’s aura of invincibility and to take away any fear that he could return again as Napoleon did from Elba. Not to mention it sends the message to dictators all over the world that when people have their vengeance, it will be legal and merciless. Perhaps Fidel should start thinking about this, unless all of his people hijack their way out of Cuba before he is gone.

Not to detract from the seriousness of the matter at hand though. These savages who run Iraq are not only a threat to the people of these United States, but they are a blight upon the history of mankind. Their lack of respect for the sovereignty of individuals and their rights is truly despicable and sickening.

The people who get tried in these forums usually claim they were either “Only following orders” or that the court has no right to try them. The first claim is a denial of free will, which contradicts itself because how did the guy giving the order give it? The second claim is just stealing the concept of “rights” when it suits them.

They didn’t care about rights when they condemned people to torture and death for thinking differently. They didn’t care about rights when they raped women in order to force compliance. They didn’t care about rights when they used chemical weapons. They didn’t care about rights when they cut out tongues, when they used human shields, or when they abused and tortured our POWs. For them to claim afterwards that a court has no right to try them for these crimes and many more is merely the final crime of another group of tyrants. They are so used to just dictating the law, the economy, and everything else that they seem to forget objective law and the will to enforce it still exist in the world.

They will know this soon enough and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

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