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Author Topic: Saddam Verdict Could Be November Surprise  (Read 2192 times)
Tender Branson
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« on: November 04, 2006, 03:04:46 am »
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Saddam Verdict Could Be November Surprise

Nov 3, 2006 10:26 pm US/Pacific

Sunday's verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein could be a November surprise for President Bush.

Three years after his capture, Saddam Hussein may be hanged if an Iraqi court finds him guilty of killing nearly 150 Shiite villagers while he was dictator.

Some Iraqis never thought they'd see this day. But will the first trial verdict after the U.S. invasion bring justice?

Jamal Dajani broadcasts Arab stories for American audiences at LINK TV.

"Many people believe the trial is a charade, that it has not been done with balance and fairness," said Dajani.

He says the 9-month trial was riddled with problems. Among them: Hussein's defiant outbursts and the killing of three defense lawyers.

The trial was supposed to unite Iraqis behind their new government.

"They thought perhaps if we showed Arab world or Middle East we'll bring the criminal to justice, then that will heal the divisions. Instead, it's created divisions and controversy around it," Dajani said.

With sectarian violence already soaring, Iraq's army is preparing for a bloody backlash, whatever the verdict.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says his Shiite party expects nothing less than a death sentence and Hussein's fellow Sunnis may launch attacks if he gets it.

"Believe me, the doors of hell will be opened in Iraq and its neighbors of Iraq," said defense lawyer Ziyad Kheleel Annajdawi.

Hussein's lawyers complain Sunday's verdict was timed to give President Bush and the Republicans a boost two days before close congressional elections.

CBS 5 Political Analyst Joe Tuman said, "I'm sure the administration hoped and hopes it will be vindication of their policies because they got Saddam Hussein."

But more bloodshed could fuel Democrats' attacks against the war.

Polls show seven in 10 Americans don't think President Bush has a plan for Iraq.

"For those people who still worry about terrorism in this country, the question remains whether or not our being in Iraq assists us in fighting or gives terrorists a distraction and doesn't make us any safer," Tuman said.

Arab media are giving unprecedented attention to the midterm elections, even more coverage than the presidential elections in Egypt and Yemen.

Arabs hope Democrats win Congress and change U.S. foreign policy to pull out of Iraq.
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 08:23:36 am »
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Everybody knew the verdict before the trial started.  This will be nothing to the election.
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2006, 08:25:11 am »
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Everybody knew the verdict before the trial started.  This will be nothing to the election.

Never underestimate the effect of "positive vibes."
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 08:28:12 am »
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Everybody knew the verdict before the trial started.  This will be nothing to the election.

Never underestimate the effect of "positive vibes."

Agreed.
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2006, 08:41:43 am »
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Negative vibes for me, but perhaps not so for the duped, bloodthirsty American electorate.

That said, I don't really think they're going to care all that much about this - any news from Iraq will just remind them that we're there.  The obvious question is, even if you for some inexplicable reason want Saddam dead, was it worth it?
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2006, 08:46:25 am »
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For some the reasoning could that thet haven't thought about Saddam.

So the idea is - Saddam = Evil - and evil guy is going to get it, and the US is responsbile... hopefully that thinking would extend to "was it worth it"... but the self-righteous bunch and the "U - S - A!!!" bunch will be hard.
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2006, 08:56:35 am »
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For some the reasoning could that thet haven't thought about Saddam.

So the idea is - Saddam = Evil - and evil guy is going to get it, and the US is responsbile... hopefully that thinking would extend to "was it worth it"... but the self-righteous bunch and the "U - S - A!!!" bunch will be hard.

One could hardly imagine that idiotic bunch ever voting for a Democrat...
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2006, 09:25:54 am »
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Well I certainly don't think a guilty verdict on Saddam Hussein should alter the dynamics of the midterm elections whatsoever. Nor is it what I might call a surprise, more a case of stating the obvious. Iraq is the issue and things are not going well at all. And the fact things are so bad has scatt to do with the midterms being around the corner either. They are bad anyway and its odious for Republicans to assert otherwise

Of course, Osama Bin Laden might yet put one of his appearances in. And if he does, that just reinforces the opinion that it suits George W Bush that he's still at large

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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2006, 10:51:31 am »
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Kerry's botched joke will have more impact than the Saddam verdict. And to clarify, I mean that this won't have any impact. No one disputes that Saddam was a murderous prick.
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2006, 11:21:36 am »
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Kerry's botched joke will have more impact than the Saddam verdict. And to clarify, I mean that this won't have any impact. No one disputes that Saddam was a murderous prick.

^^^^

At this point, anything that puts the focus on Iraq doesn't help the GOP. This might help people think a little less unfavorably about Iraq, but it also makes people think about it more overall, and the overall view of it is still going to be highly negative for Americans, so if anything it's a wash.
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2006, 12:34:02 pm »
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I say no because:

-Everyone already knows Saddam will be found guilty anyway
-Americans don't care about Saddam anymore, but the mess Iraq is, and this brings attention back to it
-There's a good chance the Sunnis are going to riot like mad
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2006, 01:37:20 pm »
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-There's a good chance the Sunnis are going to riot like mad

Yes, that's a very good point.  It's quite possible that the Sunni insurgents have a big "response" planned for when the verdict is read.  At the same time, I expect that the verdict will prompt celebrations among the Shiites and Kurds.  So it's quite possible that the media will cover this in a way that reinforces in people's minds the fact that Iraq is so terribly divided, with little chance of national reconciliation any time in the near future.
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2006, 02:17:10 pm »
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I say no because:

-Everyone already knows Saddam will be found guilty anyway
-Americans don't care about Saddam anymore, but the mess Iraq is, and this brings attention back to it
-There's a good chance the Sunnis are going to riot like mad

Bush didn't breeze to victory in 2004 even though that election was only months before Saddam was captured in a spider hole. I think this event is substantially less significant to voters.
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2006, 02:18:27 pm »
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Not that it could happen, but hypothetically, how would a "not guilty" verdit impact the races?
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2006, 02:21:14 pm »
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Not that it could happen, but hypothetically, how would a "not guilty" verdit impact the races?

I was thinking about that last night.  It could either inspire rage or defeatism from the electorate, or both.  It could make things go all crazy, or not.
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2006, 02:21:59 pm »
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Bush didn't breeze to victory in 2004 even though that election was only months before Saddam was captured in a spider hole.

Months *before*?  Wasn't Saddam captured in December 2003?
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2006, 02:29:45 pm »
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-There's a good chance the Sunnis are going to riot like mad

Yes, that's a very good point.  It's quite possible that the Sunni insurgents have a big "response" planned for when the verdict is read.  At the same time, I expect that the verdict will prompt celebrations among the Shiites and Kurds.  So it's quite possible that the media will cover this in a way that reinforces in people's minds the fact that Iraq is so terribly divided, with little chance of national reconciliation any time in the near future.


Good points. As I said, I think at this point anything that puts spotlight on Iraq is bad for the GOP overall. The more coverage it gets, and the more attention is focused on it, the worse it is for the Republicans at this point.

If we ignore the political analysis and focus on the trial itself for a moment, obviously I am quite glad Saddam is finally getting what's coming to him. But in the long run it may not be helping the overall mission or goal; it's about the Iraqi people and the security of the United States at this point. Saddam is old news.
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2006, 03:15:15 pm »
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Not that it could happen, but hypothetically, how would a "not guilty" verdit impact the races?

Now, that, however, would have a serious impact, IMO. A big negative for the GOP. The whole "was Iraq worth the blood and treasure" issue is already important in this election and Saddam getting the OJ or Michael Jackson treatment would pretty much answer the question for voters in the negative.  Bush and the GOP is afraid that the electorate will see the mission of bringing democracy as completely hopeless-- and this would push a lot of people into the completely hopeless camp. It would be like discovering that the new Iraqi government was doing the things that Saddam's regime did that caused us to attack them-- like building WMDs or something.  Voters would say, "what's the point?" It would make a lot more people view it as a sad debacle. It would make voters angry like the OJ trial made (white) people angry.

It would really be sort of a tipping point kind of event moreso than one that is of great importance on its own, because it wouldn't have a lot of significance on its own without the other failures.
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2006, 08:48:05 pm »
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It's already very early morning there. The verdict could come down in a few hours. The Bush administration must be hoping that this timing somehow helps them in the midterms. Here's to hoping that Bush gets an "F" anyways.
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2006, 08:55:37 pm »
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Saddam will be found guilty and there will be a surge in violence, but probably not a very large one. The insurgents who were fighting for Saddam are probably dead or have fled the country at this point. The ones fighting us now are trying to establish an Islamic state or get at a rival ethnic or religious group.
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2006, 08:58:18 pm »
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Bush didn't breeze to victory in 2004 even though that election was only months before Saddam was captured in a spider hole.

Months *before*?  Wasn't Saddam captured in December 2003?

Saddam was caught Dec. 13th, 2003. I remember the day and what I was doing.
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2006, 09:02:08 pm »
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Bush didn't breeze to victory in 2004 even though that election was only months before Saddam was captured in a spider hole.

Months *before*?  Wasn't Saddam captured in December 2003?

Saddam was caught Dec. 13th, 2003. I remember the day and what I was doing.

I had only recalled it being a Sunday morning and being less than a year away from the 2004 elections.
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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2006, 09:23:23 pm »
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Re: Saddam's capture in December 2003: That was also around the time Howard Dean's presidential campaign began its meltdown.  Some were arguing at the time that the two were related.  That the temporary boost in optimism about the war scared some Democratic primary voters out of nominating a candidate who might be too dovish to win the general election.
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« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2006, 09:55:25 pm »
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Re: Saddam's capture in December 2003: That was also around the time Howard Dean's presidential campaign began its meltdown.  Some were arguing at the time that the two were related.  That the temporary boost in optimism about the war scared some Democratic primary voters out of nominating a candidate who might be too dovish to win the general election.

I think Dean would have won 04 against Bush. He had a great record and nothing really they could use against him.
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