Saturday, October 22, 2005[posted by jaed at 1:08 PM]
A few predictions
I've been thinking that it's only a matter of time before mainstream thought in this country begins the process of lionizing Saddam Hussein. With his trial beginning, the tone of media coverage is starting to bear out my worst fears. (You wouldn't think it would be possible to admire someone who has done what Saddam has uncontestably done, but in a country where people wear Guevera t-shirts without hiding their faces, I suppose just about anything is possible.)
- The words "defiant", "strong", "canny", and "independent" will become de rigeur in all stories concerning Saddam's trial.
- The meme that the trial is "illegal" (because not blessed by "international-law experts") will spread. Shortly, it will be routine to refer to the "illegal trial" in editorials, and to "the trial, whose legality is disputed" in news coverage.
- If and when he is executed, the television news coverage will feature somber voices.
- On the day, no Iraqis who were victims themselves or who lost family will be quoted. Only Baathist voices will be heard, mourning "the great lion", and so on.
- Editorials will announce that since obviously the Iraqi people mourn Saddam Hussein, his execution will only increase the "Iraqi" "insurgency".
- Within two months, Saddam's daughter Raghad will be the subject of a sympathetic television interview, perhaps by Barbara Walters. The interviewer will not ask her what kind of a tree she would be, but will ask how she felt "the day you lost your father".
- Raghad will do a lecture tour of the US, and will be invited to speak at several prominent universities.
- None of the victims of Saddam Hussein will be invited to speak in any of these venues, then or in the future.