I think this is the first time Harry’s Place has linked to a Janet Daley article but in The Telegraph she offers an excellent guide to how the anti-war camp should respond to future events in Iraq:
What To Say If:
Saddam refuses to co-operate with his interrogators.
The arrest of this man is a sideshow. He clearly knows nothing about the current state of resistance and has played no role in the planning of insurgency. His trial will simply be an exercise in vengeance with no constructive outcome for Iraq.
Saddam sings like a canary, identifying the perpetrators of insurgency.
Saddam is obviously being tortured by his American captors. Or else, they are lying about his testimony and justifying their own persecution of innocent Iraqis on the basis of his alleged “confession”. (Note to broadcasters: these hypotheses need not be stated baldly. They can simply be hinted at or implied by leading questions and incredulous facial expressions.)
Saddam admits to having had weapons of mass destruction all along and gives a detailed account of a) where they can be found, b) how and when he destroyed them.
If a) then switch the focus immediately to the role that America (with particular reference to Donald Rumsfeld personally) played in the past in allowing Saddam to develop these arms. Avoid if possible any tactless references to the much more recent contributions of our European partners in building Saddam’s armoury. If b), float the idea that Saddam is lying – simply telling his captors what it would suit their political purposes to hear, in the hopes of cutting a deal for himself.
If Saddam’s trial is conducted by Iraq without outside interference.
This is nothing more than a kangaroo court: a lynch mob bent on tribal vendetta, licensed and abetted by America, which has, typically, waged an irresponsible war and then walked away, washing its hands of the consequences.
If Saddam’s trial is conducted under American and British supervision.
This makes a mockery of the hope that Iraq is becoming a self-determining democracy. It is now nothing more than a neo-colonial satellite of American imperialism. The United States has, typically, set up a puppet government in Iraq in order to establish control over the region.
If Saddam’s trial, by whatever agency, produces previously unknown evidence of crimes against his own people that is so horrific that it shames those who resisted his forcible removal.
No one (certainly not you) ever said they thought Saddam was a hero, or that they wanted him restored to power. They just wanted international law to be permitted to take its own good time to decide how and when he should be stopped.
If the arrest, trial and possible execution of Saddam results in a free and democratic Iraq.
This is irrelevant to the War on Terror. Iraq had no links with al-Qa’eda. Bush and Blair will never defeat terrorism until they catch Osama bin Laden.