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all god's children got lawyers
by robert a. melos

Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy! The century is so young to have so many “trials of the century” under its belt. Yet, a truly global trial is about to begin in Iraq.

What’s that?

You’ve heard nothing of this latest trial of the century?

Have you been living under a rock?

Well let me tell you about it. Pull up a chair, have some tea, and a tale of the upcoming trial of Saddam Hussein I’ll tell. You see, in days of old, long before any of us were born, or before any currently living soul was born, the world was a terribly violent place. I know that may be hard to fathom, but it’s true.

Once upon a time neighboring clans, and later neighboring villages, and then neighboring countries, and finally not so neighboring countries, would go to war with each other. Why? Um, well, one country had something the other country wanted, or one leader insulted the virtue of the daughter of the other leader, or cattle or land or some other thing of value, like the honor of your father, or oil, might have been an issue between the two countries.

Now in those days, war was declared with great ease. It wasn’t like today, where a leader has to get permission to declare war on another leader or another country. Back in the time before civilized governments, a leader could just declare war and his armies would invade the opposing country and kill all their soldiers, rape and pillage their women, cattle and villages, and eventually kill the opposing leader and take control of the land, expanding the original leader’s holdings making him a far more formidable opponent.

Of course we’ve progressed beyond those barbaric days when decapitation and tossing enemies to the lions was all the rage. Now we are a civilized race, the humans. We don’t just go to war at the drop of a hat, or devastate an entire country all in the name of our fathers. But I digress.

I was telling you the tale of the upcoming trial of the former Iraqi President or dictator, depending on with whom you speak. It seems, after his capture by the forces of good, unlike what would’ve happened centuries ago, the dictator president, one Saddam Hussein, was not instantly put to death in a show of superiority and strength, as was the old way of the world. Rather he was simply jailed by the most generous and benevolent leader of the United States, his sworn enemy, George W. Bush.

While it would’ve been much simpler to behead Hussein on the spot, or make a world holiday of it by televising his execution on CNN, with commentary by Geraldo Rivera and a half time show with Nick Carter and Jessica Simpson, George W. Bush knew he could not take the simple way out. The human race had entered a new century and the people of the world did not want violence to begat violence to begat violence, etcetera and etcetera.

So instead of outright conquer and murder, the human race has developed a legal system of checks and balances to ensure a fair trial before condemning one’s enemy to death. And of course that is only if the death penalty is in existence at the time of the trial. We don’t want to condemn anyone to death if the death penalty doesn’t exist, because, well, that would just be wrong.

Where was I? Oh yes, this upcoming trial. Well, I’ve never been one to watch trial television, even though I’m told Court TV is fascinating. However, I do hope the good people of Iraq allow this trial to be televised. It promises to be most entertaining. I can imagine the judge attempting to keep order over a man who does not recognize the authority of said judge, or anyone else for that matter, over him. “I’m out of order!” Hussein will shout. “You’re out of order! The whole damn world is our of order!”

Yes, I can well imagine a deposed military dictator demanding his right to counsel, but also demanding his right for himself to cross-examine witnesses. I can see a goat herder, once allegedly tortured by the deposed dictator for the crime of not pooper scooping after his herd, being cross-examined by Hussein.

“Mussaiki Al-Bin-Bobi, you alleged that, on the fifth of May in 1999, I had your sons drawn and quartered, your wife raped, and then had you tortured in the now defunct Abu Ghraib prison?”

Mr. Al-Bin-Bobi will understandably be nervous, what with the throngs of television cameras, all the official looking people and foreign dignitaries in the courtroom, and his new wife, Maribu, sitting just a few feet away, but he will persevere. “Yes, your excellence, um, Mr. Hussein, that is my statement.” He will say, as a fine perspiration beads his forehead.

“Behead this infidel!” Hussein will shout, but quickly recover before his slip is noticed. “But none of what you claim is possible, Mr. Al-Bin-Bobi. I was not in the country on May fifth of 1999. I was on a private yacht in the Mediterranean with several of my closest friends and family. I have witnesses who will corroborate this.”

“Therefore, Mr. Al-Bin-Bobi, if that indeed is your name, I submit you are lying.” Hussein will continue, pointing his finger accusingly at the witness. “I have no further questions. Kill him! I mean, you may step down.”

Yes, I do amuse myself, and make light of the latest so-called trial of the century to be, because, much as Bill Clinton admitted he had his affair with Monica Lewinsky because he could, I too can mock the world. Granted I may not have Clinton’s charm, or his way with mockery, but nonetheless, I mock because I can.

So please join with me in the wish that we, the entire world, will be afforded the spectacular, spectacular show this trial promises to be. If for no other reason than to steal ratings from the abysmal dreck the networks plan on feeding us as entertainment in the future.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

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tracey kelley
7.2.04 @ 3:32a

Yep. All we need is a herd of white camels being chased by a helicopter.

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