Not-so-shocking “verdict”

The World Tribunal on Iraq held its final session in Istanbul this month.

According to the Democracy Now website:

The gathering was modeled after the International War Crimes Tribunal that British philosopher Bertrand Russell formed in 1967 during the Vietnam War. Speakers included Indian writer Arundhati Roy, former UN Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, independent journalist Dahr Jamail and others. This year’s gathering was the culminating session of commissions of inquiry and hearings on the Iraq war held around the world over the past two years.

OK, I won’t hold you in suspense any longer. The verdict on George W. Bush and Tony Blair was (brace yourself) guilty on all charges.

The verdict also affirmed “the right of the Iraqi people to resist the illegal occupation of their country.”

I can find no evidence that anyone with even a slight doubt about opposing the war was represented among the “witnesses” or the “jurors.” If someone like, say, the Iraqi blogger Ali had asked to testify, would he have been allowed? Or would that have spoiled the whole show?

I also can find no evidence that the same folks held even one tribunal for Saddam Hussein during his brutal years in power.

As for a tribunal with only one side represented and with the verdict a foregone conclusion– haven’t we been here before?