Who’s in charge over there?
If I receive a parking ticket, choose to fight it, and then promptly refuse to show up for court, a warrant will immediately be issued for my arrest and a large man with a hat on his head and a gun on his hip will haul my butt into the courtroom faster than Cacioppo can leave Happy Valley again.So why is it that one of the world’s most notorious murdering thugs can tell a judge to, “Go to hell!” and simply refuse to show up for court the following day? I did not realize Saddam Hussein was in charge of the proceedings in which he himself (along with seven of his gansta henchmen) is charged with ordering the torture and deaths of more than 140 Iraqi citizens from the town of Dujail over 23 years ago.Although it is an understatement to say that I, too, would be scared to death of those kind of charges being leveled against me, is it not somewhat frivolous to shout, “I have not changed underwear in three days!” as a viable excuse?Besides, the stench must be awful.And which version of democratic justice are they using over there? Is it the “innocent until proven guilty” kind or the more Islamic “chop off the head and ask questions to Allah later” style?Hussein acts as if he is happily driving himself to the courthouse each morning and has the option whether to show up or not. Somehow I just don’t envision Rummy allowing such a choice. Why in the world don’t they just pick up his shackled and scraggily behind and toss him into the giant baby crib with all of the other defendants? Do none of them have to show up if they don’t want to, either?Next thing you now he’ll be threatening to hold his breath until his face turns blue if his steak isn’t well done or the wine is the wrong temperature.The Butcher of Baghdad also proudly states that he is “not afraid of execution.” So what in the wide wide world of torture are we waiting for?Oh, that’s right, his new American attorney. We can’t do anything until we deal with him first.American attorney, you ask?Yessirree Bob.Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, despite having once been the chief law-enforcement officer of our very own little nation (during the Johnson administration), has taken it upon himself to provide legal defense to anyone on this planet that he personally deems to be a victim of oppression. Funny, but I’m a tad fuzzy on the whole Saddam being a victim thingy.Maybe it’s just me, but this anti-American crackpot defending Hussein is like Osama defending O.J. Lawyer bin Laden: “My client is charged with slicing the neck of his adulterous wife. Excuse me, but where is the crime? As Allah – praise be to him – has stated, if there ain’t no crime, thou shall not do time.”Anyway, Clark failed in a bid for the Senate in 1976, and since then (in apparent retribution for losing) has represented such happy-go-lucky folks as American political prisoner Leonard Peltier (guilty of murdering two FBI agents), David Koresh and his fellow Branch Davidian fruitcakes (guilty of pretending to be a magical being), Sheik Omar Abd El-Rahman (guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to appease magical beings), Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic (charged with war crimes and genocide oblivious of magical beings) and everyone’s favorite fascist demagogue, Lyndon LaRouche.It’s like reading a veritable Who’s Who of What’s Wrong With The World, Vol. IV.To top it all off, after the first Gulf War in 1991, Clark initiated a war-crimes tribunal, which tried and – SHOCK! – found guilty President George Bush, generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, and a plethora of other cronies. It, of course, had no legitimacy whatsoever, but was ironically held in New York City really, really close to the U.N. building.The man greets all of America’s enemies with open arms and a fill-in-the-blanks legal brief.Methinks that in reality we shall have no fear, for Ramsey Clark is to court cases what Democrats are to major elections: He loses a lot more than he ever wins.So perhaps we just need to continue our patience with Mr. Hussein. Sooner or later he will be found guilty of one atrocity or another, and after a decade or so of failed appeals, will be forced to endure a lifetime of political asylum in some Third World hellhole (with a nice beach) who will accept him and his up-till-then undiscovered bank accounts worth billions.Lesson of the day: Pay those parking tickets up front, but if you choose to fight, make sure you are the one in charge in the courtroom (with clean underwear) and have friends willing to blow themselves up on your behalf.It can only help.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgVail, Colorado