Justice in Baghdad

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There are some who think that Saddam Hussein should not be given the courtesy of an extended legal proceeding. One Iraqi citizen was quoted recently as saying that Saddam should be put in a cage so that all who wanted to could spit on him, until he drowns.

History is laced with tyrants and dictators who inspire such hate. The temptation to try them swiftly before doing away with them altogether is great. But consider the loss, in legitimacy, and to the historical record, had the Nuremberg trials been just for show. Now…Saddam Hussein will be tried in a court of law. But critics of the plan to do so in Iraq by Iraqis say that without international input, vengeance, not justice, will be the final outcome. What’s at stake in the Iraqi people versus Saddam Hussein.


Dr. Mowaffak al-Rubaie, member of the Iraqi Governing Council

Noah Feldman, senior advisor for constitutional law to the Coalition Provisional Authority, and assistant professor of law, New York University

Benjamin Ferencz, prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials

Reed Brody, special counsel at Human Rights Watch in New York