We have reached a point in the narrative of Iraq’s liberation, where any sign of success or progress is scrutinised and prodded until it yields failure. In this case, the naysayers of the West have decided that the trial was unsound and that the sentence meted out to Saddam – because it has been abolished in Britain – invalidates the entire proceedings.
Not so many years ago, the idea that this most brutal of tyrants might one day be tried by his own countrymen would have been regarded as something worth striving for. Now that it has happened, the sentence is being presented in far too many quarters as a bad outcome, as further evidence of the “chaos” of liberated Iraq and its “inevitable slide” into civil war. That civil war may indeed come, not least if we “redeploy” our troops out of Iraq anytime soon. But nothing will persuade me that Sunday’s verdict was a bad day for the country that Saddam oppressed for so long, or for the world.
Nov 7, 2006
Matthew d'Ancona on reaction to the Saddam verdict: