The historical background to the problem of dealing with deposed dictators:
Since 1648, when the Treaty of Westphalia created the principle that sovereign states, and therefore their sovereign heads, are both legally and morally absolute, there has been no legal basis for proceeding against such a person, however heinous the crimes he is known to have committed.

In other words, there isn't any internationl precedent to go on despite the pious calls of those that believe the best way to deal with Saddam is to have him tried by an international court convened by the UN.

Did you get that? As you read of such statements in the coming days, reflect on the fact that those same people are the ones who argue that full soveriegnty must be handed back to the Iraqi people and pronto.

Let's hold them to that, and look, perhaps unrealistically, for an admission finally that Saddam must be tried by an Iraqi court or tribunal, which almost certainly will institute the death penalty for the purpose. The best possible outcome of Saddam's capture would be a public trial with enough time to present methodically a representative set of charges covering all his years in power followed by a date with a hangman, said date to be well recorded for posterity, and most of all for Iraqis.

Steve | 18:10 |