Not Proof Positive
I don’t buy your “no serious doubt” contention at all, Rod. Walid Phares is saying on MSNBC that Saddam is Memorex. He suggests that the absence of a mention of the bombing of Baghdad, of his main palace is screamingly telling. Strikes me as perfect sense. He would have mentioned POWs, recent battles…and, yes, B-A-G-H-D-A-D. There’s no way this is fresh. “Dead or Alive?” remains unanswered.
…if he is alive, the guy certiainly isn’t in the best shape. He’s reading again. He barely looked up.
After that speech, there can be no serious doubt that Saddam is alive. Most of it was blustery boilerplate that could have been pre-taped weeks ago. But toward the end, he specifically praised the resistance in Umm Qasr, which asserted itself in the past day or so, and encouraged the besieged populations of Basra and Mosul to be patient and wait for victory.
Saddam -- or “Saddam” -- Speaks!
Up late? Here’s a TV plan for you: Iraqi TV has announced that Saddam is going to make a “historic speech” at 3 a.m. Eastern. Cable newsnets to cover. Nobody can say yet whether it’ll be live, or Memorex.
If Saddam Hussein is relying on Russian surgeons to help him, his time is truly nigh.
Ezekiel 25:17 (The Pulp Fiction Version)
Just the sort of thing President Bush should carry in his wallet:
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and goodwill, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down on thee with great vengence and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers, and you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengence upon thee.”
BU’s Randy Barnett weighs in on the Oscars:
OK, the boos from the audience (and Steve Martin’s retort about the
Teamsters helping him into the trunk of his limo) made it easier to take
Michael Moore’s award and anti-war grandstanding. Just imagine how
cheers and a standing ovation would have felt. But I am struck by how
Hollywood’s “restraint” is itself a bit offensive and condescending
(symbolized by Susan Sarandon’s sly peace sign), financially motivated
as it is. And one more thing: “Hollywood” is incapable (so far at
least) of expressing actual support for American and British troops in
the field. Were anyone to do so, you can imagine the booing we would
hear then. The whole exercise seems hollow and empty this year.
Akbar Feedback Ii
While it was ten years ago that I was in the JAG Corps in the Navy, I think I can still assure you that the Uniform Code of Military Justice provides a much more extensive procedure than you outline in your Corner post. Procedurally, there must be a preliminary hearing (an “Article 32″ hearing), which determines if there is Probable cause. Once that determination is made, then there will be a determination by the commanding general as to whether to refer to a General Court Martial. I suspect that the general with that authority in this instance will not be the CO of the 101st, but someone above him.
The scumbag will, of course, have a right to counsel, and a right to a “jury” (members panel) made up of officers and at least one third enlisted senior to him. I am sure his attorney (Ramsey Clark? Johnnie Cochran?) will want a psyche evaluation, etc, etc, etc.
Essentially, it won’t be that easy. Unfortunately in this instance. On the whole, the military justice system works well, and does endeavor to protect the rights of the accused, something many people to this day do not accept.
Man. That was fast. Several emails from military (retired or active) and civilian. Interestingly, the military guys are less gun-ho for rough justice than the civilians. Here’s the first from a military guy I’ve grown to rely on:
Jonah – I commented on this earlier, but we’re not going to do any combat zone executions. It will look too much like what the Iraqis do. If this guy is executed, it’s going to be strapped to a gurney… at Fort Leavenworth, after all appeals are exhausted, years from now.
Not that the UCMJ doesn’t offer the option – but this war, this theater, this time, no one is going to tie this guy to a stake and shoot him.
Because legal or no, it will simply look too much like Saddamite justice.
I listened to a seemingly Arab-born Middle East expert on MSNBC tonight (didn’t catch his name) who explained that Al Jazeera has changed its tone in the last two weeks in terms of Iraq coverage. He said that they stopped calling Baghdad the Iraqi capital and started calling it the historic capital of Islam. He seemed to be saying that the Arab network of record was trying to make the war on Iraq into a war on Arabs. Someone needs to tell the embedded Al-Jazeera reporters its time to get out of American tanks and walk.
It seems to me, if Akbar has confessed — and it sounds like he has — it’s hard to see why he shouldn’t have a field court-martial and be executed. I don’t mean to sound callous or knee-jerky or consumed with blood-lust or anything else of the sort. But why have military codes of justice and capital punishment if not for something like this? Again, if his guilt is not in doubt and he’s “sane” enough to have passed the psych-evaluations to be there in the first place, why not execute him? He threw several grenades into his commanding officers’s tents, while they were sleeping, in a combat zone. He committed one count of murder and more than a dozen counts of attempted murder. According to military sources, he was motivated by sympathy for the enemy. What other criteria are missing to justify a firing squad? I suppose he could have been following direct orders from the enemy or some such. But I don’t see how there could be anything that would make him more deserving of the death penalty. And, if they are going to do it, they should get it over with as quickly and professionally as possible with as little Johnny Cochran, Alan Dershowitz circus stuff as possible.
If there are people with military or legal or especially legal-military experience who can explain to me why I am wrong, I am all ears.
A reader: “Moore wins for Columbine—-guess the Academy wanted to one-up the Nobel
Peace Prize committee.”
Michael Moore, Unpatriotic Jackass
More of what Michael Moore said in accepting his Oscar for Bowling for Columbine: “We live in a time in which we have fictitious election results that elect fictitious presidents. We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. … We are against this war Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush! Any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up.”
I say send his privileged white butt to do taste-testing at that chemical weapons factory we just discovered. I’d like him to see if it’s baby milk.
“Shame On You, Mr. Bush”
I just turned the Oscars on in time for Michael Moore: We live in fictitious times…with a fictitiously elected president…sending us to war for fictitious reasons.
To my surprise, there was some very loud booing. Applause, sure. But booing, too. And he got cut off with the “time’s up” music.
Listen to him tomorrow afternoon on the Oliver North radio show. He’s covering North’s show while Ollie’s abroad.
The Jed Report
Jed Babbin has checked in elsewhere on NRO.
It’s “woodland” pattern, not “jungle.” Another uniform point: one
eagle-eyed reader noticed that some of the troops are wearing regular combat
boots (black), not desert issue (tan). On the other hand, as several
readers have pointed out, Iraq isn’t ALL desert. Perhaps some of these
units are scheduled for duty in more leafy terrain. Speaking personally, at
this point I will buy the guys a dozen uniforms myself, if someone tells me
where to send the check.