The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 November 2006

Saddam Guilty Verdict, Talk Radio


Saddam Verdict Affects Politics, Talk Radio

Today's guilty verdict against Saddam Hussein and two others is bound to have a major impact on global politics, Tuesday's American elections and the current media environment.

But how can we measure its effects? It's a Sunday, when talk radio stations are usually loaded up with infomercials touting fraudulent schemes and snake oil. So when does the discussion begin?

Cable news channels are in a slightly better position, but many taped weekend programs will have to be dumped in order to bring viewers the latest developments. What a great day to cancel all of the usual Sunday crap and go live!

For talkers, the angles are easy: will this verdict serve as a reminder of a very good reason for invading Iraq? Will the American and European left react with anger?

As Michelle Malkin recently noted, even in advance of the decision, moonbat conspiracy theories were being floated across the Internet as trial balloons. How far will they push them now?

And, overriding all else, it's important to look at how Saddam's death sentence affects the current internal situation inside Iraq, as well as any effect on midterm American elections on Tuesday.

For hosts, another great angle is to focus on the antics of former Carter Administration Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who truly seemed to believe that Saddam was a good person who was wrongly accused of these crimes.

It's also a great opportunity to pound away at those who openly supported Saddam during his murderous reign of tyranny, such as Rep Jim McDermott (D- Seattle, shown in photo during friendly visit).

Just imagine what talk radio could do if it wasn't so often held back by programming malpractice. If your local station was smart enough to dump its weekend crap and go live, please leave a comment below.

From CP / AP:

BAGHDAD (AP) - Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced Sunday to death by hanging for war crimes in the 1982 killings of 148 people in the town of Dujail, as the former president shouted ``God is great!''

Saddam, his half brother and another senior official in his regime were convicted and sentenced to hang. Saddam yelled out defiantly: ``Long live the people and death to their enemies. Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!''

Some feared the verdicts could intensify Iraq's sectarian violence after a trial that stretched over nine months in 39 sessions and ended nearly 3 1/2 months ago. Clashes immediately broke out Sunday in north Baghdad's heavily Sunni Azamiyah district, and a Sunni political leader condemned the court decision.

``This government will be responsible for the consequences, with the deaths of hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands, whose blood will be shed,'' Salih al-Mutlaq, the Sunni politician, told the al-Arabiya satellite television station.

During Sunday's hearing, Saddam initially refused the chief judge's order to rise; two bailiffs lifted the ousted ruler to his feet and he remained standing through the sentencing.

Before the session began, one of Saddam's lawyers, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, was ejected from the courtroom after handing the judge a memorandum in which he called the trial a travesty.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdul-Rahman pointed to Clark and said in English, ``Get out.''

In addition to the former Iraqi dictator and Barzan Ibrahim, his former intelligence chief and half brother, the Iraqi High Tribunal convicted and sentenced Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the head of Iraq's former Revolutionary Court, to death by hanging.

Iraq's former Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Three other co-defendants were convicted of murder and torture and sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

One defendant was acquitted for lack of evidence.

The guilty verdict for Saddam is expected to enrage hard-liners among Saddam's fellow Sunnis, who made up the bulk of the former ruling class.

The country's majority Shiites, who were persecuted under the former leader but now largely control the government, will likely view the outcome as a cause of celebration.

UPDATE: Kerry- loving DailyKos nabobs already pouring on the sour, negative spin this morning:

But how will this impact the nation as a whole? Will this verdict stop the violence, or fuel it? Or will it have little impact at all once the sound of celebratory gunfire is replaced by the all-too-familiar sounds of civil war?

The administration, via Tony Snow making the rounds on the morning shows, is arguing that the verdict is a sign that progress is "beginning to bear fruit." But we have heard that line before, as purple fingers were held up as proof of progress and promise of hope. We've witnessed "turning point" after "turning point," but still Iraq has been spiraling out of control.

On a micro-level, for those Iraqis who have carried decades-long pain in their hearts and who today have had that pain replaced by joy, this verdict provides some closure. But on a macro-level, for a nation ripping apart at its seams, no verdict is powerful enough to close the rift between rival groups. As Mahoud Al-Bahari, a 45-year-old journalist, put it, "If stability was back, this would mean the end of the dictator."

Today, the world looks at the face of this dictator who will soon die for his acts. Tomorrow, our glance will be cast once again upon the soldiers and civilians who are struggling to provide that which no verdict and no hanging can provide: an end to this hamster-wheel foreign policy, an end to the bloodshed, an end to the civil war.


It's not just the Iraqi people who seek it. It is also us, all of us, who ache for an end. Iraqis and Americans together have had our soldiers, our fortunes, and the future of our nations held hostage by the egos of our respective leaders, those leaders who do not lead, but who stubbornly drag us into the darkness. It is us, all of us, who desperately seek that closure, that exit off of this blood-soaked path to nowhere.

Hey, why the long faces, guys?

ALSO: take a look at this screaming Huffington Post headline presented in huge type:

Saddam Convicted, Sentenced To Death...

Snow: We Were Not “Scheming” To Make Saddam Verdict Close To Election...

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Technorati tags:

Saddam image: AP, Daily Kos book down the drain: David A Lunde


  • Maloney, The only headling I saw at your link was:

    "Bush Has “Shrugged Off” Military Papers Calling For Rumsfeld’s Resignation"

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 05 November, 2006 15:10  

  • A little while back, Ed Schultz relied to a listeners question about whether he had seen the Gay Cowboy movie "Bareback Mountain"
    Ed replied that he doesn't go to movies and that he waits til they come out on DVD.

    Funny thing is, a few weeks later, Flight 93 came out and Ed Schultz gushed how he got his fat as* first in line to see the movie.
    Now, why did he lie about his movie watching habits? Just be honest and say, Gay Cowboy movies are not his cup of tea.. Just be honest and say it..


    By Blogger dennis_kookinich, at 05 November, 2006 17:07  

  • d_kook

    Interesting comment, but knowing that Schultz prides himself as a patriotic good old boy Democrat, his only motivation for getting his "fat ass" to the theater to see this movie MAY have been so he could talk about it on the radio.

    The problem with the right is there are too many false patriots who equate patriotism with boycotting the Dixie Chicks rather than scrutinizing the conduct of their elected leaders.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 05 November, 2006 17:34  

  • Elmonica: What does your (or kook's) comment have to do with Saddam's verdict?

    By Blogger JD, at 05 November, 2006 22:18  

  • JD,

    However, being that I was responding to D_kook, shouldn't you be asking him?

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 05 November, 2006 22:55  

  • Elmonica: d_kook isn't a regular here; d_kook doesn't have a penchant for threadjacking and trollery, as do you - reference your initial response in the thread and elsewhere; d_kook was just asking an off-the-wall OT question, however you chose to answer it, whilst throwing in bile where it wasn't called for. Etc., Etc., Etc....

    By Blogger JD, at 06 November, 2006 00:51  

  • The left does not agree with the verdict, because they are against capital punishment. I am sure we will see their protesters in Iraq protesting his hanging.

    By Blogger PF1, at 06 November, 2006 00:54  

  • jd

    Sorry for upsetting your code of blogger conduct and sensibilities.

    New Rule: If a non-regular posts an off-topic comment no one is allowed to respond.

    As for for my first post, I faithfully read Maloneys' links and found an alternative "blaring" headline other than what he said and that I thought it was of interest. Obviously HP must have updated their blog.

    By Blogger Elmonica, at 06 November, 2006 01:08  

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