Tuesday, April 08, 2003

T&R Lies: Already reports appear of vigilante justice in the streets, reprisals against those who were Saddam loyalists, civilians looting and stealing guns from Republican Guard caches. A certain amount of this is too be expected, and a certain amount of it, arguably, is necessary for a populace that has lived so long under the bootheel. But the question will asise, what will we have as the legally sanctioned version of this? There has been talk of a de-Ba'ath-ification process, something akin, I hope, to Nuremburg, where the henchmen of this regime will come to justice, where the people will go to seek retribution. The UN is big on "truth and reconciliation" commissions, like in South Africa. Truth is a good goal, and the party files should go a long way to that end. Reconciliation? Hmmm. Maybe that's just a squishy way of describing what I'm thinking of, but it sounds more like a pop-psych, feel-good sing along. I'm thinking about a process that features more gallows than good feelings.

I saw this picture and was horrified. Something should be put in place quickly to serve as an outlet for these feelings. This may sound squishy, too, but these people need closure. Firstly, we don't want to have to police civil disorder. Secondly, this kind of freelance "truth and reconciliation" can quickly become a political tool in the cloudy days when a transitional government is unformed and various groups jockey for position.

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