Paul Geary asks if Saddam deserves a trial.
My short answer is: No.
Here’s my slightly longer answer.
The dictator who got the fate he most deserved was Mussolini, strung up like butchered meat by his own people. Hitler’s end was almost nasty enough, and would have been nastier still if the Soviets had caught him. If we’d captured him, we probably would have put him on trial.
War crimes tribunals are no damn good for anyone above the rank of major, or its civilian equivalent. If you catch a war criminal, the best thing to do is shoot him. Put him on trial, and you give him a soapbox. You also give him the dignity of a legal status he denied to his own people, and the people of neighboring countries.
Some might argue that by shooting war criminals on sight, we’re setting a bad example. Wrong. We’re setting a proper (if brutal) example: If you think dictatorship if brutal, wait until you see the righteous fury of a free people. In other words: Do not mess with us.
If that’s a lesson the dictators – would-be and actual – of the world can never seem to remember, it’s because we hardly ever remind them.
UPDATE: Speaking of dictators, The New Editor reminds us of another one who ought to take the 9mm retirement plan.