If each relative of someone murdered by Saddam were allowed to throw a stone, the line might stretch back for miles. Television pictures of that line, broadcast throughout the Arab world, could completely undermine any notion that this is just an American vendetta against Moslems.
By the time the last person in line got a chance to throw his stone, Saddam would probably already be dead. But it could still be a catharsis for those who could feel that they had done something to avenge their loved ones.
Presiding over a matter of this magnitude and applying traditional laws and practices could help establish the credibility of the new Iraqi authorities. To our inevitable critics in Europe and elsewhere, we could say: "This is not the American way of doing things. But this is the Iraqis' country."
Moreover, some of our troops might start packing up while we were saying it. We don't need to stay there any longer than is necessary for the internal security of the country.
The worst thing we can do is bring in an international army of occupation. The United Nations has already cut and run after the recent terrorist attacks in Iraq. That is par for the course for the U.N.
There is something about international operations that attracts the intelligentsia like a moth to a flame. But it has been known for centuries that too many cooks spoil the broth -- and power in the hands of people who are accountable to no one is still a formula for disaster.