Ash U. Bali

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On Thursday, July 1, 2004, the Iraqi public and audiences around the world were transfixed by the image on their television screens: Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, sitting in the dock in a courtroom, listening to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for which he is to be prosecuted. Yet the first images of the court proceedings against Saddam Hussein were also a reminder that symbolism is in the eye of the beholder. What to some might appear as a triumph for the enforcement of international standards of justice and the transition to the rule of law in Iraq, may to others seem a show trial adding insult to the injury of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

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