12/22/05 — No surprise: Ramsey Clark on Saddam’ side

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No surprise: Ramsey Clark on Saddam’ side

It should have been a surprise to no one that Ramsey Clark showed up wanting to help represent mass murderer Saddam Hussein.

Clark was appointed U.S. attorney general by Jimmy Carter. Many citizens subsequently must have wondered why. Perhaps it was Carter’s sop to his party’s left-wingers.

(Carter, a much-admired former president, seems always to have tried to please everyone. When U.S. hostages were seized in Iran, President Carter announced he was dispatching a squadron of fighter-bombers to a base within striking distance of there. That sparked an outcry from anti-military activists. So Carter promptly assured them that the aircraft were not armed!)

Clark has run into a problem in his efforts to be an attorney in the high profile cases in Iraq. He can’t speak the language.

But, at least during the early stages, that shouldn’t have mattered. The man doing most of the talking was Saddam himself. He shouted defiantly at the judge and repeatedly denounced the legitimacy of the tribunal.

Unlike the disheveled geek-look-alike that U.S. soldiers snatched from an underground hideaway, Saddam appears in court to have regained his old arrogance.

Now for some Monday morning quarterbacking:

While the trial has turned into something of a protracted “photo op” for Saddam and admirers like Ramsey Clark, the world would have been better off had it been avoided.

Better if that soldier who lifted the tunnel cover and spotted Saddam had simply dropped in a grenade and slammed the hatch shut.

There undoubtedly are many of Saddam’s surviving loyalists enjoying the daily suicide bombings and insurgent ambushes of convoys, feeling confident that their “great leader” not only will survive but return to power. Perhaps Ramsey Clark is hoping for a cabinet position.

Published in Editorials on December 22, 2005 9:39 AM