Wednesday, June 18, 2003

APPEARS TO ME THE WHOLE BLEEDING COUNTRY is content to rest on its laurels. First we have unmitigated looting in a land that claims itself to be the "cradle of civilization". And then there is this story.
U.S. authorities announced creation of a new criminal court Tuesday and a panel to purge judges loyal to Saddam Hussein. The U.S. military said a sweep of loyalist strongholds resulted in 400 arrests, and an American soldier was killed in Baghdad.

The reforms announced by L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. official in Iraq, are designed to improve a judicial system that catered to Saddam's desires rather than the rule of law.

...Some judges and lawyers scoffed at what they called U.S. interference in their courts.

"The Americans are an occupation force and we are the source of one of the oldest codes of law -- Hammurabi's Code," judge Qassem Ayyash said. "It's like teaching a driver how to drive."

That's as may be, however this extract from Hammurabi's Code reads like something from a Monty Python sketch.

If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

And this link proves I don't make this stuff up.

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