Is Saddam's trial a farce?

News organizations periodically report on the trial of Saddam Hussein. I find that my patience wears thin such that I no longer wish to read these stories. It is nothing if not predictable that Saddam will use whatever means necessary to beat a rap which is, by all accounts, going to be pretty bad. It is not clear to me why he is allowed to be present at his trial given his grandstanding. Or, if present, why he is not gagged.

But this begs the question: is it even possible to hold a trial like this in a country where violence is so prevalent? When the defendent and his lawyers do not recognize the legitamacy of the court? When judges and prosecutors are slain and forced to resign? Can the (relatively) reasoned discourse of a legal trial make sense amidst wider chaos?

Legal trials must occur amidst relative peace and calm. The ability to have a trial, rather than resort to violence, is a hallmark of civilization.

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