December 16, 2003 - Fond du Lac Reporter: RPCV Congressman Tom Petri urges caution for Saddam trial

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 11:26 am: Edit Post

RPCV Congressman Tom Petri urges caution for Saddam trial

RPCV Congressman Tom Petri urges caution for Saddam trial

Petri urges caution for Saddam trial

Let Iraqi people determine fate, legislator says

By Brian Tumulty
gannett news service

WASHINGTON — President Bush pledged Monday that he will work with Iraqi’s fledgling government in coming up with a way to try former Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein that will withstand international scrutiny.

“We want the world to say, well, this: He got a fair trial,” Bush said at a White House news conference. “Because whatever justice is meted out needs to stand international scrutiny. I’ve got my own personal views of how he ought to be treated, but that’s — I’m not an Iraqi citizen. It’s going to be up to the Iraqis to make those decisions.”

Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, cautioned that the United States should keep in mind the future stability of Iraq in deciding how to deal with Saddam.

“What we want to come out of any trial is a sense of closure and a sense of transition to a new government for Iraq,” Petri said. “If we focus on the past and revenge, it begets more revenge.”

Petri recalled how Japanese Emperor Hirohito escaped criminal punishment at the end of World War II as a way of helping to maintain the peace in Japan.

After the surrender of Japan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur decided to allow Hirohito to keep the symbolic title of emperor, although Hirohito later renounced his position as a religious deity.

The way Saddam was found over the weekend — U.S. Army troops were following a tip — is a good sign that Iraqi citizens have begun to trust the occupying forces, Petri said.

“Iraqis now know they can talk to someone among the Americans,” Petri said. “I think it will embolden Iraqis to be more cooperative.”

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Story Source: Fond du Lac Reporter

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Iraq; Congress; COS - Somalia



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