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TV Coverage of Saddam Hussein Trial? Preposterous!

Reported by Janie - August 4, 2005

Yesterday (8/3) on Dayside, guest-host Mike Jerrick interviewed the National Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Counsel, Ahmed Younis, and discussed the upcoming trail of Saddam Hussein.

Jerrick began the interview by asking a rather absurd question to his guest: "Saddam Hussein's trial, could be televised throughout the Arab world, and around the world…if the logistics are all worked out, there could be cameras in the courtroom. Can you imagine this? Is that a good idea?" Younis was forced to spend the interview defending why the trial should be covered (he made a rather interesting point, that the Iraqis are afraid of a conspiracy on the part of the United States, and are looking for transparency in the matter).

When Jerrick turned to the audience for their opinion on the matter, and one audience member responded: "To me it's a pep rally for his followers. They're going to watch this, and say there's our hero, let's follow him, and they're going to do what they have to do."

Comment: Why would this even be an issue? The United States – the ultimate democracy, has aired almost every political trial in our history (since the invention of television) including the McCarthy hearings, the Watergate proceedings, Iran-Contra, and the Clinton impeachment. The Hauge in Europe has even aired the trials of such dictators as Slobadon Milosevic. If we are taking part in a war to bring democracy to Iraq (at least the THIRD reason given for why we are at war), why should their people not be allowed to see the trial of their former leader? Unless the United States has something to hide from the people of Iraq, there is no reason for this trial not to be aired. While the audience member makes an interesting point, on the reverse side of the coin, if the trail were not to be aired, it would fuel the fire of the insurgents even further, and possibly anger the average Iraqis who could begin to believe that we are attempting to hide something.

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