The Left, who have apparently never met a dictator they haven’t liked, are upset over the guilty verdict in Saddam Hussein’s trial. Specifically, Human Rights Watch is announcing that Saddam’s trial is “indefensible.”

The U.S.-based rights group said the court had shortcomings in the timely disclosure of incriminating evidence, that the defendants were not allowed to properly confront witnesses, and that the judges at times did not maintain an impartial demeanor.

“The court’s conduct, as documented in this report, reflects a basic lack of understanding of fundamental fair trial principles, and how to uphold them in the conduct of a relatively complex trial,” the report said. “The result is a trial that did not meet key fair trial standards. Under such circumstances, the soundness of the verdict is questionable.”

If this trial had been held in the United States and were subject to our laws and judges, Human Rights Watch might have a case. But the trial was held in Iraq, under their set of laws and as a purely internal matter, so the group’s whining about it not being up to international standards sounds a little hollow. And I immediately discounted Human Rights Watch’s analysis of the case when I read the following paragraph:

The group, which is against the death penalty in general, also said the death sentence against Saddam is “an inherently cruel and inhumane punishment,” and “in the wake of an unfair trial is indefensible.”

[These guys have a great future on the comedy circuit if watching human rights doesn't pan out. Saddam fed people into wood chippers, maintained rape rooms, and gassed Kurds by the hundreds, and they're worrying about "cruel and inhumane punishment" for the thug? It is to laugh. --TPK]

That position–that any death penalty is indefensible–is what drives this announcement from Human Rights Watch. Any verdict that would call for Saddam’s death would automatically be seen as questionable to them. But if we believe that Iraq is a sovereign nation, then the Iraqis can run their own courts by their own standards. And American buttinskies should butt out.

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