After months of dominating the courtroom with his mocking protestations, Mr. Hussein had come to earth with a thud. In a 20-minute statement, the chief judge, Raouf Abdel-Rahman, confirmed that Mr. Hussein and the other seven defendants would face formal charges of crimes against humanity for their role in a "widespread and systematic attack" on the people of Dujail, a mainly Shiite town, after a failed assassination attempt against Mr. Hussein in 1982.
The indictments meant that the five-judge panel, after weighing testimony and evidence given over seven months, had decided there was a strong case for the defendants to answer on the harshest of all the possible charges.
It was a watershed moment, and one that reflected how far the court has progressed since Judge Raouf joined the panel in January, taking charge of a case that was at risk of imploding under the buffeting of chaotic events within the courtroom and outside.
And with the formal indictments, even Mr. Hussein and the three other high-ranking defendants showed signs of a new, more cautious approach to the proceedings
Saddam, who has consistently maintained that he is still the president of Iraq and, in general, acted as if he were the star of some pseudoreality-TV show is perhaps finally beginning to understand that he is going to held accountable for his crimes.
This news must also be disheartening for the poor, oppressed ex-dictator.
It is certainly disheartening for the usual enablers of terrorism on the left , who equate any success in Iraq with (gasp!) success for the evil Bushitler. Therefore they will do anything in their power to minimize, undermine and distort any postive accomplishment in Iraq --or for that matter, anywhere in the war on terror.
Events like this one, probably make them apoplectic.
I can't help contemplating what a difference it would make in people's perception of Iraq and the war if events like the one linked immediately above, actually made headlines in places like the NY Times or the Washington Post; or were discussed objectively in the "reality-based" community.
OTOH, I can see the headlines now: "Mayor From War-Torn Iraq Paraded Before Anxious Troops". Or, it would be written off as some sort of blatant propaganda effort by the sadistic military. No, I'm sure they would feel much more comfortable doing their own usual blatant propaganda effort--for the benefit of the enemies of the US.
Saddam's not the only one who needs a reality check.