SIC SEMPRIS TYRANNIS
Sic Sempris Tyrannis -- Thus perish all tyrants! My first response at the news of Saddam's capture was to check out coverage in the English-version Aljazeera, which ran basically the same straight-forward account that is circulating through dozens (probably hundreds) of other newspapers. Far more interesting is an article entitled "Early Analysis". Of course, the Iraqi Governing Council has stated,"With the arrest of Saddam the financial resources feeding terrorists have been destroyed and his arrest will put an end to terrorist acts in Iraq." I put more stock in the analysis of Toby Dodge, analyst at Warwick University and International Institute for Strategic Studies, UK:"It's a huge coup and most Iraqis will be celebrating the capture of this tyrant. But it's not as clear-cut as that. The insurgency has grown well beyond Saddam's control or even influence. There are 15 to 30 groups that have no direct contact, financially or strategically, with Saddam Hussein. His capture gives the United States a window of opportunity. If they redouble their efforts and increase their troop commitment, they could contain or even roll back the insurgency. But the temptation of Bush, facing a re-election campaign, will be to call this victory and cut and run. That would be a disaster for Iraq, for the Middle East and for the strategic interests of the United States in the region and beyond."
The Jerusalem Post reports"Iraqi governing council members described Saddam Hussein as 'unrepentant, defiant and sarcastic' about the Iraqi people at a news conference transmitted live on nearly all broadcast channels worldwide....Earlier, Chalabi told the Pentagon-funded Al-Iraqiya TV station, 'Saddam will stand a public trial so that the Iraqi people will know his crimes.' Chalabi is a leading member of the U.S.-appointed council who has close links to the U.S. administration of President George W. Bush." It seems clear that Saddam will be tried in Iraq by the US-dominated Governing Council (or, rather, its judicial creation -- the special tribunal established last week to try top members of the Saddam government for crimes against humanity.) But a question hangs as to whether there will be a"World trial" as well. The latter would be a risky venture for the US because that trial could not be easily controlled, especially if France, Germany or Russia were prominent players. article in JP may explain why there is a comparatively muted reaction from the Arab press at this point:"Many in the Arab world greeted news of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's capture with disbelief. Then, when it became official, emotions ranged from joy, to hunger for revenge against the tyrant, to sadness that an Arab leader - even Saddam - should come to such a tawdry end." It may take awhile for reactions to sink in and settle...tho' with the situation so fluid, reactions may have erupted before I post this entry. Certainly, the Palestinians know where they stand: Saddam's arrest is bad news for them.