The Arab world awaits the Bush War-Crimes Trial

Reactions vary on Saddam verdict - Los Angeles Times:

'The White House 'needs to justify the deaths of 3,000 American soldiers and prove that the losses were not suffered in vain,' said Vladimir Zhirinovsky, deputy speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Itar-Tass reported.

'Bush wanted to prove that he has achieved at least something in Iraq,' Zhirinovsky told Russia's NTV. 'They will postpone everything once the Tuesday election is over. They will postpone it until the U.S. presidential election.'

Some of the most poignant regrets came from the Arab world, where many people continue to live under the harsh dictatorships exemplified by Hussein's rule, but where outrage over the U.S. presence in Iraq runs bitter and fierce.

Ordinary Arabs lamented the trial as a slap at the dignity of the entire Arab world. 'He was the president of an Arab country and this was a political trial carried out under American occupation,' said Lebanese restaurant worker Jamal Ajoub, 42.

Lawmakers in Amman, Jordan condemned the verdict as illegitimate, calling the tribunal 'a historic farce.'

Even activists who do battle against the repressions of their own governments were quick to condemn the verdict as an American-engineered piece of propaganda.

'The whole proceeding was illegitimate,' said Magda Adli of the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence in Cairo.

'Everyone knows that the crimes and the genocides committed by the occupation during the past four years against Iraqis are equivalent to four times the crimes they claim were committed by Saddam,' she said.


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