Saddam Hussein is gone — but then, so was any genuine semblance of justice
Dec. 30, 2006 — Milan (apj.us) — There is something authentically creepy in the air today.
Saddam Hussein of Iraq was one of the nastiest universally known tyrants in history. He was accused of torturing and murdering friends and relatives, ordering the poison gassing of five thousand countrymen, executing outspoken staff in his office anteroom, plotting to kill President george H. W. Bush ("41"), and raising two lunatic sons who seemed to outshine their father in the arena of deranged terror — both of whom were killed by American forces in Iraq.
Almost all of those charges are provable or proven.
This morning, at around 6 AM Baghdad time, Saddam was hung by the neck until dead.
This execution was "legal," we are told.
I am convinced that is a sad lie.
Like most of us, I paid some, but not much, attention to his trial because the media worldwide — including Arab news venues — did not cover the Saddam trial in depth.
It was as if the world was cringing in shame at the charade.
Once in a great while, when Saddam would rise to give one of his ranting speeches, or when a judge sitting on his case quit, or when one of his defense team was murdered, CNN or the BBC or the New York Times would mention it — almost in passing. Al Jazeera, itself the bespoke tailor of news to the Arab world, had little to say about Saddam save to join in the hysterical countdown to his execution, which began to sizzle yesterday sometime near 12 noon Washington time.
Rumors ran wild:
- "Saddam transferred from U.S. to Iraqi hands. Does this mean the end for him?"
- "Saddam may already be dead!"
- and finally, "Saddam Is Dead"
… which turned out not to be a rumor but fact — executed in the cover of night as might a vampire kill its prey.
In fact, the execution of Saddam Hussein was a given all the while, and this makes my skin crawl — not because he was executed (although I am ardent opponent of the death penalty), but because the entire "trial" was such a trumped-up charade — a scripted play, a trite soap opera, a B-movie produced and directed by my President yet sure to win not one Academy Award nomination.
Here is what President George W. Bush said yesterday about Saddam Hussein's death:
Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial – the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime. Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.
Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror. We are reminded today of how far the Iraqi people have come since the end of Saddam Hussein's rule – and that the progress they have made would not have been possible without the continued service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress."
Mr. Bush's words ring synthetic and thin, inasmuch as little of what he stated is a reflection of reality or verity.
Saddam Hussein did not, in any manner, receive a "fair trial" — and perhaps he did not deserve one.
Maybe he should have been gunned down on the spot as he was dragged from his fetid spiderhole in Iraq after being turned in by a colleague trying to save his own skin. Perhaps he might have been tortured as well, just before one of boys pulled the trigger on him — and that would have been a fitting death for such an evil man.
Saddam, it was claimed, was to be tried for many crimes — the most poignant being attempted genocide. But the trial on genocide never happened, because he was found guilty of murder of some 148 Shi'ite Iraqis in the town of Dujail (which is about thirty five miles north of Baghdad) nearly a quarter century ago, in 1982. These murders occurred, according to Saddam's defenders, because a group of people attempted to assassinate him in Dujail.
After the assassination attempt, Saddam, his police, and the military began an investigation and arrested hundreds of people in Dujail, many of whom were imprisoned for years and then later released. Saddam also signed the death warrants of 148 people whom he was informed were part of the plot to kill him.
This is all that seems clear, although Saddam denied signing the death warrants. The film the prosecution presented showed absolutely nothing except Saddam questioning some men and boys and then ordering them to be detained and investigated.
Instead, my government decided to make an example of Saddam and terrorize him in other ways. To understand this, you must imagine all the Presidents of the United States during the 19th Century — from Thomas Jefferson to Grover Cleveland (and including Abraham Lincoln) — on trial for genocide perpetrated during the so-called "Indian Wars," which killed off three-quarters of the native population of America from gunshot or disease over that hundred year period.
Imagine this trial to be held at Apache headquarters set up by the British who had re-conquered the United States in 1900 and went about appointing Native Americans to high posts while manipulating them from behind the scenes.
Of course, none of the twenty or so Presidents would understand the charges brought against them because they were immune from charges such as these — as was Saddam under Iraqi law at the time the U.S. toppled his regime.
As the outcries from Christian White men and women across the globe increased, the British wuold continue to deny having control over the Apache Trial — even though the laws of the Indian Nation of America, the judicial structure, the constitution itself, many of the judges and attorneys, and even the courtrooms and jails themselves were constructed by the British who held the Indian population in general at gunpoint.
The former American Presidents would be kept in locked-down, solitary cells for 23 hours a day. They would not be allowed to meet with their lawyers (if they had any) without representatives from the Apache tribe and the British government sitting in the same room next to them listening to every word and reviewing every document exchanged.
Imagine that most of the lawyers for our Presidents were assassinated by either Native Americans or British posing as Native Americans.
Of course, you can be certain that there would be no jury present and that presiding judges would be threatened with death by White Christians or quit in disgust with the over-zealousness of the British occupiers.
Note that President Bush called Saddam's ordeal a "fair trial" not once but twice in his terse remarks following the execution of Saddam Hussein. In doing so he made a mockery of American justice and democratic principles, which he so badly wants all of us to believe he is trying to instill in Iraq.
But the grim, disgusting truth is that Saddam did not get a fair trial, yet in the end was the victor and now a martyr to millions of Sunni Arabs and even Iraqis who worshipped or respected him — and believe me, there are million who do, even today.
He was the victor because he proved beyond a shadow of doubt that America could murder him in full view of the world without suffering any consequences — even though he deserved, under any canon of ethics, to pay dearly for his crimes.
These, my words, are harsh, because this morning I am so humiliated to think that my President would or could stand up before the world and say that the farce in Iraq provided some crucible of justice for anyone, including Saddam.
The question is not whether or not Saddam Hussein was guilty — he was certainly so — but whether or not he was more or less guilty than the thousands of Nazis we let off the hook after WWII because we needed their brainpower or money, or because they bribed their way out of paying for their war crimes. Is Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti any more guilty than the nearly two dozen presidents of the United States who presided over the murder of perhaps a million Native Americans, almost always for the purpose of greed? Was he any more guilty than Harry Truman, who vaporized tens of thousands of innocent Japanese men, women and children although he had already won the war?
I am not sure.
I have no right to determine by myself who is guilty and who is not.
But I do have the right though to criticize the methods, because they were not only unnecessary but smacked of arrogance and evil themselves.
Every critic of the Saddam Hussein trial, many of them more learned and acceptable than I, invoke the same criticisms. Some call the trial a "Kangaroo Court." Others say that the United States gave up its almost single opportunity to prove its heart and mind are in the right place in this adventure.
And there is no doubt about one truth: Saddam Hussein should have been tried by an International Tribunal, as are most war criminals. There was no need whatsoever to allow a government made up largely of Iraqis who hated him for all their lives to try him because they were Shias, not Sunnis — and Saddam was a Sunni, a minority that controlled Iraq over decades of abuse. Saddam would have been found guilty in almost any tribunal.
The problem was that America and certain of our puppets in Iraq believed that the longer he lived, the harder it might be to pull the wool over the world's eyes. He was in the way, spouting off, talking trash about how we had supported him not very long ago with almost $3 billion worth of American arms to fight Iranians by the Reagan Administration, a cadre containing many of the same hoodlums as does this Bush Administration and the one before it, so cunningly allowed.
This speaks ill of our President and his cronies — particularly those who spearheaded this trial, planned it, wrote the laws surrounding it, and allowed it to take what was a predetermined course. Did anyone doubt Saddam would be found guilty? Did anyone doubt he would receive a death sentence in a nation bred in death?
And where is the outcry from the vast majority of nations whose laws outlaw the death penalty? Have we frightened them so much as to silence them?
Or have we bribed them or intimidated in some other way?
So, Saddam Hussein's death has become a tragedy — not for him but for us. While our idiot President and his own cabal of murderers rejoice, I fear most of the world's citizens who will not think much of our government — and have not for many years now.
Does George W. Bush in fact think this incident will impel his ratings aloft? I think so. I think he is dumb enough to suppose that no one will marvel that Saddam Hussein was tried for murder and Mr. Bush will not be. After all, Saddam also murdered Iraqis, he claims, either in a state of war, or in retribution for assassination attempts on himself or violations of Iraqi law — despite the fact that these laws were made by him, and changed whenever he had the whim.
Yet Mr. Bush too changes the law, and challenges the constitution almost daily. Only his trumped-up Supreme Court and savage Neoconservative constitutional lawyers save him from impeachment.
As commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces he is, after all, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi innocents, women and children included, in a "war" based entirely on lies told to us by him and his wretched Administration.
In some ways, Mr. Bush himself has been on trial for many years now, and found guilty by nearly 70 percent of the American population. It shows at the polls and in the polls.
Thank God we don't live in Iraq — or we might well arrange a Kangaroo Court for Mr. Bush as well!#