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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Arab Reaction to Saddam Trial Mixed

20 October 2005

The Arab world has reacted with mixed emotions to the opening of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's trial on charges of killing 143 of his countrymen.

Among Iraqis who watched the proceedings Wednesday, many Sunni Arabs said Saddam is their hero, and they denounced the Iraqi court trying him as American-made. Shi'ites and Kurds, who suffered under his rule, welcomed the trial as long overdue justice, with many calling for Saddam to be executed.

Outside Iraq, editorials varied in Arab newspapers Thursday. In Kuwait, which Saddam's military invaded in 1990, al-Watan said "Iraq's devil is before the judiciary." But in Saudi Arabia, al-Riyadh daily warned that while the world agrees on Saddam's crimes, the trial could turn him into a hero in the eyes of those who want to see him that way.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa is on his first visit since Saddam's ouster, to meet with senior political and religious leaders.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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