originally posted March 30 2006
Don't know if any of you have been following the trial of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but for those of you that haven't, a quick update from someone who's been following it carefully:
It's a chaotic, embarrasing mess.
Since found hiding out in a spider-hole near his hometown of Tikrit, the US Justice Department has been preparing to put him on trial for his resume of unbelievably grisly atrocities against his own people, and neighbors during his 25 year reign. If you do the math in his favor, you might be able to attribute only 2 million deaths to him directly. He's been a pretty naughty boy.
This should be an open and shut case right? To the simple-minded, yes. And that could be our problem. We are, by contrast with much of the world, civilized, and perhaps we've been that way too long.
More than half a century ago, Winston Churchill had some very simple postwar plans of Adolf Hitler. He let others know that, "If Hitler falls into our hands, we shall certainly put him to death."
That we didn't, after catching Saddam, immediately move to eliminate him from the barely-held-together political topography of Iraq, is looking more and more on the level of the sanity Saddam himself is so brazenly putting on for the camera's.
G. Bush said/promised plainly: "Saddam will face a justice he denied so many".
I'm afraid we may be putting too much un-creative stock in our concepts of "democracy" and "justice", thinking that by granting freedom, suddenly Jeffersonian style democracy would take root: yeah right, the Shia majority voted in an Islamic government (not that sweet a change considering, albiet violent, the Hussien government was secular), and to think they're ready for our brand of justice...sadly, it doesn't look that way.
But that's how it is. So, now he's on trial, and from the first few moments (which I stayed up till 4am one mid-week morning to watch), it became clear that the whole trial idea...well, it was clearly a bad one.
Hussein immediately took control (c'mon, he's a dictator guys, remember, they have some strong-suits), and basically started pimping the first judge (who eventually stepped-down and was replaced under backroom pressure for being Saddams bitch), berating him with rants such as: "Down with the traitors. Down with the traitors. Down with Bush. Long live the nation. Long live the nation.", you know, cool, catchy, convenient slogans for insurgents to chant while slappin IED's together, and their wives around.
Numerous walkouts, numerous postponements of the trial, basically none of the beneficial media the US adminstration had so naively hoped for.
"Naively, isn't that a bit harsh" you might say? Fuck no!
Think about it, we're not putting some white collar Ken Lay on trial, this Saddam fucking Hussein. Delusional? yeah. Murderous? duh, absolutely nothing to lose...well, that's where the spanking comes in (more on that in a sec.)
At present, Saddam has nothing to lose. He knows the Americans consider death the ultimate penalty. He further understands that we put men to death in this country for the murder of 1. This doesn't bode well for a dude who might be able to hide a few...thousand. But he's still got another million or two bloody limbs hanging out the proverbial trunk. He's a cooked goose, and he knows it. Why not mock us all the way down, why not die a marytr...hey, I'm sure somewhere deep down, down in Saddam's private place, the place he accesses right before bed, and after pulling the legs off a cockroach for not respecting him as absolute ruler of Iraq; he hopes he'll be rescued.
Why in the world would he sit passively while the US Justice Dept. manipulated court parades a bunch of savaged witnesses before the media making him look like the barbarian he is? Well, that gets me to the meat of my proposition. I think I have a world-changing plan that could not only help turn the tide of this trial in our favor, but perhaps other trials of brutal dictators, from Serbia, to Rwanda, to Liberia. What do we do?
We spank him.
You read me right. We spank the naughty fucker. We spank him good and hard everytime he explodes into an outburst and makes a mockery of the court.
Now, I'm not advocating we do it right away. No, no, we warn him first. Something to the effect of: dirga, dirga, muha....no, sorry, translated in English: "dude, look, in case you don't know it, there was like...well, this whole war. Two actually..but anyway, yeah, there was this whole war, and, um, you lost. I'm sure you tried, but we actually kicked your ass in like 4 days. I understand it's hard to take after being lied to, after wearing the Emperors New Clothes pretty much everyday. But really, it's over. You're in our custody now. OUR CUSTODY, and you're going to start treating this court with respect, or, well, look over there in the corner". This is when Saddam would look over to the right, to see something like (I liberally estimate) 8 guys all surrounding this one particularly large, and frustrated looking Iraqi...with a paddle in his hand. For effect, the paddle could be inscribed with the Iraqi word for "Justice".
The Judge would go on to say: "So, yeah Saddam, basically, if you don't chill the fuck out, those dudes over there are going to grab you, 2 to a limb if need be, and they're going to put you over Asim's (the big guy) knee. Then, well, then Saddam, Asim over there's going to swat your bottom".
Not being an expert in Middle Eastern culture, there might need to be a pause here for various exhalations, prayers to Allah, etc.
But not from Asim. He'd need to keep pretty cool through the whole thing.
If pressed, if really pressed to guess whether or not Saddam would truly get spanked...I'd put the odds of one spanking at 92% (give or take a couple hundred basis points). Two...I'd put those odds at 15%. Past two, meaning if Asim's forced to take Saddam over his knee a second time, I really think, again, if asked, I think then the whole odds thing goes out the window, and it probably becomes some perverse national spankfest.
Which would probably turn out, at least from a media/entertainment standpoint, pretty fucking cool. But I digress.
I want you to think about how significant those odds could be, and why I believe them to be true. But first, we have to refocus on Saddam's motivation: In his mind, he's already dead. He clutches but two remaining hopes; to be rescued, and resume control of Iraq; or to die a martyr, and enjoy a legacy of power and prestige.
Which is, incidentally, really, really hard to do when taken over a grown mans knee and spanked like a redheaded stepchild on international television.
But I do think it would take one good solid spanking to get in his head that we're serious; that being cracked repeatedly on the bottom by a large, sweaty, slightly weirded-out ex-constituent, all the while kicking, screaming, protesting, and perhaps even whimpering; is really embarrasing. It is. And I seriously doubt any man with an ego the size of his, no matter how stubborn, would want to endure that experience twice.
This radical policy shift would represent a win-win for the US. If Saddam, when warned, through whatever creative imagination he has intact, could anticipate the utter bodyblow to his ego and legacy such a punishment would ingender, and decided to cooperate and stand trial, we win.
If he doesn't, and I guarantee you our Jerry Springer addicted public would be down on their knee's begging for him to-not, well, aside from getting better viewer ratings than Idol, I think the barbaric dictators in office around the world, and in those training, would take a savage hit to their perceived authority as men of power.
And if that's not a win in this shit-bog of a mess, I don't know what is.