And inside a cage…
So finally Hosni Mubarak appeared before a court, behind a cage to answer for some of his crimes against his people.
Lying on a bed, this eighty something year-old man looked a sad and pathetic figure.
When Saddam Hussein appeared before a kangaroo court installed by the American appointed government of Nouri al Maliki, it was hard not to feel some sympathy.
For here was a man who despite all of his many faults had attempted to forge a nation out of three squabbling former provinces of the Ottoman empire.
Everything he had done, he had done for the sacred soil of Iraq, even the massacre of Kurds at Halabja.
Saddam was not uniquely evil, he was a ruthless dictator who was a fierce nationalist.
Not everyone was going to like him – certainly not those Iraqis who fled his repression.
And not the Americans who after a decade of bombing and sanctions discovered that he was actually becoming popular with his people – and further – for standing up to ‘Yanky Imperialism’.
The trouble is what can you say in defence of Hosni Mubarak, who ruled with an iron fist since the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
Mubarak always gave the impression that he lived and thrived on feeding off the blood of his people.
When he was stripped of the chance to continue to do so, he simply wasted.