The end of trial and execution of Saddam Hussein is a chance lost for justice and closure for the people of Iraq, consequents of which is demonstrated by Japan whom half century later, still haunted by the confusion over its war past that was never effectively resolved by the illegitimate Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal.
So, what are the possible consequence of an unfair trial even if its for the infamous Saddam Hussien? Looking to Japan for lessons . Externally, Japan is in an on going feud with its neighbors over history interpretation, war compensation, (in)sincereness of apologies, status of war crimes and Yasukuni Shrine. Internally, confusion over war past has continued to divide Japanese society, frequently exploited by politicians elites as a “wedge issue” to drum up emotions and divert attention from their incompetencies.
As Japan’s older generation slowly fade away with society’s memory of war and younger generations confused over the issue, lessons of the Second World War that cost millions of life may be soon be forgotten.
Iraq’s future is at state, and consequences dire.
One may argue, slow justice is not what Iraq can afford at its present state.
Even if the the trial is prolonged, the process of a legitimate fair trial could have been a chance to prove to the people that Iraq is changing, rule of laws can be counted upon, winner don’t all, power is limited by justice, despot politics is over and the new government is just and worth supporting.
Although unjust trials don’t necessarily make Saddam innocent, but it may made him martyr in the eyes of some, just like Japan’s war criminal whom are still honored by Prime Ministers annul visit to Yasukuni Shrine.
Want to know more?
☆Questioning the legal validity and capacity of the trial.
Failed Justice in Iraq: The Trial of Saddam Hussein, John Pace
Blog converge of the trial
Grotian Moment: the Saddam Hussien trial blog
News and articles from legal professional and academic on the trial
Saddam Hussien Trial , Jurist
☆A nuanced look at Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal’s impact on Japan’s society and popular culture, a must read for the interested
Goodbye Godzilla, Hello Kitty, Norihito Kato
Japan’s trouble with its past.
Japan’s War Guilt Revisited, Orville Schell
A major Japanese news paper went back 60 years to find justice
WAR RESPONSIBILITY–delving into the past (1) / Manchuria start of slide into war