Violence in Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s Mass Murder Trial

JULIE CHEN, co-host: And our focus is on Iraq this morning with David Martin’s exclusive report that the Pentagon has asked for more troops to be sent in to help quell the worsening violence. And Saddam Hussein’s trial heating up with the former dictator on the stand at his mass murder trial. Michael O’Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Good morning, Michael.

Mr. MICHAEL O’HANLON (The Brookings Institution): Good morning, Julie.

CHEN: Let’s begin with Saddam Hussein. He is on the stand at this very moment. You never know what to expect from the former dictator. How significant is it that here he is on the stand basically answering questions about major accusations against him?

Mr. O’HANLON: Well, it certainly helps, and it’s part of Iraq’s historic change. But I think also we could overstate its importance in terms of the daily life of Iraqi citizens. And the correspondent reported that, in fact, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of impact on the resistance these days, for example, that Saddam’s on trial or that he’s being defiant, or that he’s speaking. So while I think it’s significant in broader historical terms, it’s not the hugest thing for most Iraqis there today.

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