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Question Time

by | 2nd, July 2004

‘WHETHER or not the Allies are still looking for weapons of mass destruction is beside the point since the invasion of Iraq is now billed as the capture of Saddam.

‘Look out! He’s got a gun!’

The casus belli that was the big bombs that would kill us all in 45 minutes has been distilled to the man who would have fired them – if they existed, of course.

And there’s the Saddam finger that might have pressed the button that would have launched the putative weapons being wagged on the cover of the Times.

Yesterday was the day when the great dictator was paraded in a courtroom that used to be one of his many palaces and is now the scene of his public trial for all manner of heinous crimes.

A part of the transcript from his early exchanges with the judge, in what promises to be fascinating if at moments prolix conversation, is reproduced in the Telegraph.

Judge: “Are you the former president of Iraq?”

Saddam: “I am Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq.”

Judge: “You are the ex-leader of Iraq and the ex-leader of the dissolved armed forces. Were you leader of the Ba’ath Party and head of the armed forces?”

Saddam: “Yes. I’ve introduced myself to you, but you haven’t introduced yourself to me. So who are you?”

This courageous judge, evidently no fool, was not going to give a man like Saddam his name.

Especially when Saddam than says: “I don’t want to make you feel uneasy. But you know that this is all theatre by Bush to help him with his campaign. The real criminal is Bush.”

The idea of Saddam’s interrogation being somewhat staged is hard to discount with any real vigour – as the Guardian says, every move is being relayed by TV to the watching Iraqis.

What better way to deflect attention away from the Americans – and those pictures of abused Iraqis – than by parading the dishevelled instrument of so much of their misery live on TV?

But as for Bush and theatre… Well, who would buy that? The idea of Bush being at the theatre for anything other than to catch up on his sleep is preposterous.

This is something Bush can understand more readily. This is revenge.’

Posted: 2nd, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink