14 NOVEMBER 1958, Page 6

A Spectator's Notebook

WHAT TO Do v■i111 the leaders of the widen rclginie is always a nasty problem for revolu- even though one may sympathise with the difficul-. ties of General Kassim and his government, there is no denying that the antics of the special military court in Baghdad have been distinctly unedifying --the president of the court has behaved like a rather incompetent Prosecutor—and the sentences of death it has now passed on Jamali and two generals are as monstrous as the charge against them—conspiracy against the sovereignty of Syria —was absurd. Jamali's policies and his journalism in the early part of this year were in my view mis- Laken. But however much you disagreed with him, his conversation or, more accurately, his mono- logues left no doubt whatever of his complete sincerity and patriotism. And I have no reason to doubt that the same is true of those condemned with Jamali. As he says in an article in this issue, Mr. Roy Jenkins, MP, got the impression that General Kassim would moderate the punishments moused by the military court. I hope that he is -ight and that General Kassim will lose no time in rescinding these inexcusable sentences.