Today is an important milestone for Iraq as the country takes another major step forward in the building of a free society based on the rule of law. The verdicts issued by the Iraqi High Tribunal against Saddam Hussein and the other seven defendants demonstrate the commitment of the Iraqi people to hold them accountable.
The judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys in this case all showed courage in the face of intimidation. Their determination to pursue justice is a signal that the rule of law will prevail in Iraq despite the difficult situation that the country now faces.
A former dictator feared by millions, who killed his own citizens without mercy or justice, who waged wars against neighboring countries, has been brought to trial in his own country – held accountable in a court of law with ordinary citizens bearing witness.
Although the Iraqis may face difficult days in the coming weeks, closing the book on Saddam and his regime is an opportunity to unite and build a better future. As the Iraqi people move forward, the United States will support them in their efforts to build a just and democratic society.