In its typically high-handed, presumptuous style, the New York Times tells Iraq how the trials of Saddam Hussein and his henchmen should be conducted. Actually, I doubt that the Iraqis will pay much attention, since, if the Times’ advice over the last two years had been followed, Saddam would still be inhabiting his many palaces rather than a prison cell.
As Tim Blair noted earlier this morning–it’s hard to get up early enough to scoop a blogger in Australia–the Times’ real agenda with regard to Saddam’s trial is not hard to discern. Today’s editorial says:
The actual trials should not begin until an elected government takes power, a step planned for next January. Starting them sooner might produce political dividends for the appointed Iraqi interim government or the Bush re-election campaign.
For the Times, the liberation of 25 million people is only a rumor. What counts, as always, is November’s election. The Times’ fervent support for John Kerry drives not only the paper’s editorials, but virtually every news story that could possibly have a bearing on the election.