Upcoming Events

International | Rights and Freedoms

no events match your query!

New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Victor's Justice: Saddam is Executed

category international | rights and freedoms | feature author Monday January 01, 2007 21:44author by Justin Morahan - Peace People (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Hussein Trial Farcical, Unjust, Kafkaesque, Unbelievable

featured image
Rummy's Other Mission Accomplished

Justin Morahan notes the following points in his article on the trial of Saddam Hussein:

• Four defence lawyers were assassinated during the trial (two by alleged US/Iraqi collaboration)
• Four of the 5 original judges have either resigned or been killed
• The US spent hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the prosecution
• No confidential visits were allowed by defence lawyers to their clients and none at all until after the start of the first trial
• The Defence team was allowed only minutes to begin presenting its defence after the charges were made known on May 15th 2006
• Defence had to end its case within weeks but the Prosecution were allowed months
• Evidence was withheld from defence counsel.
• Defence lawyers were denied access to investigative hearings, denied prior notice of witnesses and denied permission to visit the scene of the alleged crime.
• Trial sessions were announced oftentimes without advance notice or consultation with the result that even the most experienced lawyers missed the hearings.
• Four of the five judges who started in the case were removed by publicly acknowledged US interference
• During the trial, George Bush declared that Saddam Hussein "will be" executed
• Transcripts of the proceedings were refused to defence lawyers.

and more....


The sentence of death on Saddam Hussein in Iraq has been imposed by an illegal court, packed with biased prosecutors and judges who needed United States authorisation before they were ratified, according to a report by Ramsey Clark and Curtis F.J. Doebbler. The authors describe the trial as an attempt to impose victors' injustice on the Iraqi people. The war against Iraq was illegal and "To initiate a war of aggression ... is the supreme international crime" - (Nuremberg Tribunal)
"Rather than being brought to justice for their crimes, the Bush Administration and their allies have resorted to trying their victims. " Behind every door ... there are Americans pulling the strings.

The conduct of the trial, its setting up and aura were dark and surreal. For example:

• Four defence lawyers were assassinated during the trial (two by alleged US/Iraqi collaboration)
• Four of the 5 original judges have either resigned or been killed
• The US spent hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the prosecution
• No confidential visits were allowed by defence lawyers to their clients and none at all until after the start of the first trial
• The Defence team was allowed only minutes to begin presenting its defence after the charges were made known on May 15th 2006
• Defence had to end its case within weeks but the Prosecution were allowed months
• Evidence was withheld from defence counsel.
• Defence lawyers were denied access to investigative hearings, denied prior notice of witnesses and denied permission to visit the scene of the alleged crime.
• Trial sessions were announced oftentimes without advance notice or consultation with the result that even the most experienced lawyers missed the hearings.
• Four of the five judges who started in the case were removed by publicly acknowledged US interference
• During the trial, George Bush declared that Saddam Hussein "will be" executed
• Transcripts of the proceedings were refused to defence lawyers.

In Sept 2005 four prominent statesmen wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations advising him of the threat to participants in the trial. The warnings were ignored and "several weeks later, two defence lawyers were murdered in a manner evidencing the involvement of the US authorities and the Iraqi authorities who are cooperating with them".

In May 2006 a defence witness was killed after his whereabouts were disclosed to the US authorities

Two of the Judges had publicly condemned Saddam Hussein before the trial began and were not impartial

Unlike the Irish system, in Iraq, the Judge is the evaluator of both law and fact

On 12 June 2006, a judge read out in court a series of allegations about the defence lawyers to the effect that they had bribed their own witnesses. The allegations were purportedly made by the defence witnesses who had in the meantime been beaten, arrested and denied access to Counsel of their own choosing by the Iraqi Government with the cooperation of the US authorities. The defence lawyers were threatened with arrest if they challenged the court's actions.

This abuse of law, says the report, is contributing to the increased violence in Iraq. http://www.justiceonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=IST

Now, from an Irish perspective, (not dealt with in the report), this illegal court was set up as the result of the illegal war of aggression against Iraq. Ireland helped George W Bush in that illegal war by allowing US military planes to re-fuel at Shannon airport and later by allowing known US torture planes to land at the same airport without inspection. The present FF/PD Government is therefore complicit in what passes for "justice" in the special court set up illegally to try Saddam Hussein and also must bear some responsibility for the continuing violence in Iraq

When I reject utterly the atrocities carried out by this man in his lifetime, the fact remains that he has been sentenced to hang by an illegal court. Those who have been directly responsible for other atrocities such as the the deaths of 150,000 Iraqis, notably George W Bush and Anthony Blair, have not stood trial for crimes against humanity. Nor have the leaders of the Coalition of the Willing. Nor have the leaders of countries such as Ireland who have given full support to Mr Bush and Mr Blair in their bloody, reckless, cowardly adventure.

Related Link: http://www.justiceonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=IST
author by redjadepublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 04:40Report this post to the editors

Wikipedia: Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam on 19 December - 20 December 1983. Rumsfeld visited again on 24 March 1984; the same day the UN released a report that Iraq had used mustard gas and tabun nerve agent against Iranian troops. The NY Times reported from Baghdad on 29 March 1984, that "American diplomats pronounce themselves satisfied with Iraq and the U.S., and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been established in all but name."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War#The_Tanker_War_and_U.S._entanglement

A previous Mission Accomplished
A previous Mission Accomplished

author by redjadepublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 05:29Report this post to the editors

Baghdad Burning Blog:
Iraqi Blogger Writes before the execution...

This is because now, Saddam no longer represents himself or his regime. Through the constant insistence of American war propaganda, Saddam is now representative of all Sunni Arabs (never mind most of his government were Shia). The Americans, through their speeches and news articles and Iraqi Puppets, have made it very clear that they consider him to personify Sunni Arab resistance to the occupation. Basically, with this execution, what the Americans are saying is "Look- Sunni Arabs- this is your man, we all know this. We're hanging him- he symbolizes you." And make no mistake about it, this trial and verdict and execution are 100% American. Some of the actors were Iraqi enough, but the production, direction and montage was pure Hollywood (though low-budget, if you ask me).

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_riverbendblog_archive.html#116738820591750213

author by Magspublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 08:17Report this post to the editors

Is this Justice?

It doesn't matter to which belief we belong to no-one should be punished for having a different outlook on the world.

Saddam is dead, because JWB wanted it. ( and he say's himself that he is a christian?)


Early this morning as we all slept in our beds, one of the darkest era's of the last century came to an end.
In many eyes yes it is. However for millions of people who thoroughly understand the meaning of the phase an eye for an eye is this action a breachment of rules set down for mankind.
No -one has the right to kill an other human being. THis is what all of our Gods have thaught us.
Maybe it is time to sit back an think of what we have done wrong in our own lives before we decide to judge other peoples mistakes.

author by Peter Kpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:31Report this post to the editors


From this mornings Irish Times:

"Saddam will be executed today, says judge

An Iraqi judge appointed to attend the hanging of ousted president Saddam Hussein said yesterday he would be executed today, giving rise to consternation and disbelief among Arabs and Muslims, writes Michael Jansen.

Iraqi government spokesmen have denied the judge's statement, but it was confirmed in a fax message to a news agency by the US State Department."

Seems the US is pushing for is Show piece execution.
Reports from Baghdad say he is already dead.

This is the ultimate in Hypocrisy, Hussein may have been a monster, but he was a monster on a leash which was firmly gripped from Washington.
It was only when Hussein bit the hand that fed him that the US started vilifying him as a tyrant.

author by Hamletpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:09Report this post to the editors

"It's only when the law suits them that they want to use it."

Related Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1089158,00.html
author by Honest Johnpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:21Report this post to the editors

He got what he deserved.
He can rot in hell.

author by avi15publication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:44Report this post to the editors

No.
He had it coming. He can f******* well rot in hell.

author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:45Report this post to the editors

"Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o' the time:
We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted on a pole, and underwrit,
'Here may you see the tyrant.'

Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 8

author by Yusufpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:52Report this post to the editors

What about Bush and Blair? What about the Spanish, Italian and Australian Prime Ministers, also responsible for mass murder in Iraq? The same clique of murderers who encouraged Saddam to carry out the killings of the Kurds, the Iranians and Kuwaitis.

Despite his murder by the puppet government of the Americans and British, Saddam is still the President of Iraq. The Crusaders know little of the mindset in the Middle East if they think Saddam is gone. They have immortalised him as the man who stood up to them. Indeed they have given him, one of their former henchmen, a status of which he is hardly worthy.

To execute Saddam on the eve of Eid al-Adha, the holiest Muslim Feast Day, was another great blunder that will help make him a martyr. This feast, on which forgiveness is given to all who have sinned, has been forever tainted in Iraq by those foolish enough to murder Saddam, an old-age pensioner, on a day that marks how God stayed the hand of Abraham from sacraficing his eldest son Ismael.

Americas failure in Iraq is crowned by this murder, on this day. Mission Accomplished! Their enemies from the "Axis of Evil" in Iran are now running Iraq. America have lost the war, the invasion has cost them billions of dollars and thousands of American lives. They live today in fear as do they cronies in Europe, that now it will be their turn for justice.

Osama bin Laden will be delighted. He has long wished for the Baathists to be exterminated from Iraq so his groups can work freely.

When subway stations in the US and Europe rock with explosives and their great buildings and achievements come tumbling down, they can remember how they saved the world and spread democracy by hanging a soldier who once served them, like a dog. Such is the reward from America and Britain to those who serve them. Whether a great dictator like Saddam or a lowly informer and spy like Donaldson or Scappaticci, the pay-off is always the same.

Remember this if ever you are asked to "help out". They will use you and betray you like Saddam. The road may be long but a noose or a bullet waits at the end of the road.

Victory to Iraqi Resistance!

author by Peter Kpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 12:58Report this post to the editors

"What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so."

--From Hamlet (II, ii, 115-117)

author by .publication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 15:12Report this post to the editors

Death to Sadam.

Sadam was a threat to the west with his weapons of mass destruction!

He helped al-quaeda. He was a terrorist!

Now he has paid the price for his crimes.

RIP Sadam.

author by DMpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 15:33Report this post to the editors

I'm not much of a supporter of capital punishment but I think this needed to be done to bring saddam's era and what he did to a end, same with hanging the Nazi leaders

author by DMpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 15:37Report this post to the editors

Those alegations were just shit the Americans made up to invade Iraq, it's known quite certainly and publically that they hated each other, Saddam ran a very secular murderous dictatorship,
My opinion on the hanging itself remains as above

author by redjadepublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 16:34Report this post to the editors

Saddam Hussein executed in Baghdad
Associated Press

U.S. troops cheered as news of Saddam's execution appeared on television at the mess hall at Forward Operating Base Loyalty in eastern Baghdad. But some soldiers expressed doubt that Saddam's death would be a significant turning point for Iraq.

"First it was weapons of mass destruction. Then when there were none, it was that we had to find Saddam. We did that, but then it was that we had to put him on trial," said Spc. Thomas Sheck, 25, who is on his second tour in Iraq. "So now, what will be the next story they tell us to keep us over here?"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061230/ap_on_re_mi_ea/saddam

author by Rezza AL Haffapublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 17:20Report this post to the editors

Perhaps you would care to point out to the famalies of the people he murdered and the victims of him who are still alive why this was wrong. It is easy to criticise when you are living in a nice safe country and it makes your ego feel good to defend him. Where were you when he was committing murder on his own people because you did not seem to care then.

author by Dunlo T - Anti-War Irelandpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 17:30Report this post to the editors

Najeeb Al-Nuaimi, one of Saddam's defence lawyers, told Al Jazeera: "There was bias, the prosecution sided with their politicians, it was an ethnically established court with three Shia and one Sunni."

The kangaroo court over and the deed done: "We heard his neck snap," (Sami al-Askari, political ally of al-Maliki), its time for justice to snap at the neck of Saddams fellow war criminals in the near future, in a New Statesman article (9 Nov 2006), John Pilger identified some of the culprits and laid it on the line : "In 1992, a congressional inquiry found that Bush (Snr) as president had ordered a cover-up to conceal his secret support for Saddam and the illegal arms shipments being sent to Iraq via third countries. Missile technology was shipped to South Africa and Chile, then “on sold” to Iraq, while US Commerce Department records were falsified. Congressman Henry Gonzalez, chairman of the House of Representatives Banking Committee, said: “[We found that] Bush and his advisers financed, equipped and succoured the monster ... as Thatcher’s trade secretary, (Tony)Newton, within a month of Saddam gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja (news of which the Foreign Office tried to suppress), offered the mass murderer Ł340m in export credits".

"Why isn’t Donald Rumsfeld being charged? In December 1983, Rumsfeld was in Baghdad to signal America’s approval of Iraq’s aggression against Iran. Rumsfeld was back in Baghdad on 24 March 1984, the day that the United Nations reported that Iraq had used mustard gas laced with a nerve agent against Iranian soldiers. Rumsfeld said nothing. A subsequent Senate report documented the transfer of the ingredients of biological weapons from a company in Maryland, licensed by the Commerce Department and approved by the State Department".

"Why isn’t Madeleine Albright being charged? As President Clinton’s secretary of state, Albright enforced an unrelenting embargo on Iraq which caused half a million “excess deaths” of children under the age of five. When asked on television if the children’s deaths were a price worth paying, she replied: “We think the price is worth it.”"

"Why isn’t Peter Hain being charged? In 2001, as Foreign Office minister, Hain described as “gratuitous” the suggestion that he, along with other British politicians outspoken in their support of the deadly siege of Iraq, might find themselves summoned before the International Criminal Court. A report for the UN secretary general by a world authority on international law describes the embargo on Iraq in the 1990s as “unequivocally illegal under existing human rights law”, a crime that “could raise questions under the Genocide Convention”. (full article on link)

“[We found that] Bush and his advisers financed, equipped and succoured the monster...” (Congressman Henry Gonzalez, chairman of the House of Representatives Banking Committee)
“[We found that] Bush and his advisers financed, equipped and succoured the monster...” (Congressman Henry Gonzalez, chairman of the House of Representatives Banking Committee)

Shias in Sadr celebrating the hanging
Shias in Sadr celebrating the hanging

Related Link: http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=417
author by GHpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 17:45Report this post to the editors

Saddam, Hitler, Bush, Thatcher, the evil tyrants and murderers and the respectable tyrants and murderers.

What's the difference?

author by inevitablepublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 18:27Report this post to the editors

Saddam had nothing to do with Al-Qaeda, they absolutely hated each other. The Americans tried to connect the 2 because Zarqawi was in northern Iraq at the time of the invasion. It is absolute crap to suggest that Saddam was assisting Al-Qaeda.

author by Kevin Doylepublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 18:37Report this post to the editors

Ultimately Saddam was a scapegoat. A propgaganda coup for Bush Co.

Who do you think put Saddam in power, funded him, encouraged the suppression of islam within his borders (brutally it might be added) pressed for him to attack Iran that triggered the massacre of millions. Armed him and used him as a pawn in the global game of one upmanship with the USSR.

This is all conveniently ignored.

Saddam then became a threat to the Israelis and got a bit too big for his boots as far as Washington was concerned when he foolishly invaded Kuwait, sending alarm bells ringing across corporate America and thus sealed his doom.
The vilification of him by the MSM in the west then became inevitable.

Saddam was a monster they scream.
Indeed but a monster created by Uncle Sam.

author by Brenda Molloypublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 22:05Report this post to the editors

A few excerpts from Tariq Ali's powerful Counterpunch article : "After a trial so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch---the largest single unit of the US Human Rights industry--- had to condemn it as a total travesty. Judges were changed on Washington's orders; defense lawyers were killed and the whole procedure resembled a well-orchestrated lynch mob. Where Nuremberg was a more dignified application of victor's justice, Saddam's trial has, till now, been the crudest and most grotesque. The Great Thinker President's reference to it 'as a milestone on the road to Iraqi democracy' as clear an indication as any that Washington pressed the trigger".

"That Saddam was a tyrant is beyond dispute, but what is conveniently forgotten is that most of his crimes were committed when he was a staunch ally of those who now occupy the country. It was, as he admitted in one of his trial outbursts, the approval of Washington (and the poison gas supplied by West Germany) that gave him the confidence to douse Halabja with chemicals in the midst of the Iran-Iraq war. He deserved a proper trial and punishment in an independent Iraq. Not this. The double standards applied by the West never cease to astonish. Indonesia's Suharto who presided over a mountain of corpses (At least a million to accept the lowest figure) was protected by Washington. He never annoyed them as much as Saddam".

"And what of those who have created the mess in Iraq today? The torturers of Abu Ghraib; the pitiless butchers of Fallujah; the ethnic cleansers of Baghdad, the Kurdish prison boss who boasts that his model is Guantanamo. Will Bush and Blair ever be tried for war crimes? Doubtful".

Related Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/tariq12302006.html
author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 23:28Report this post to the editors

I had absolutely no reaction to the news of Saddam Hussein's death, I'm not worried how he died, I don't care, because I just don't admire tyrants. I could never have respect for a vainglorious tyrant (cad é an scéal with all with all the statues and pictures of himself and all those bricks in his palace which each had his name carved on them - 'tis cringeworthy and so embarassing!).

I don't believe he will be missed on the world stage either and I don't believe there are many in the world who will be shedding bucket loads of tears for him. To me he was of the same mold as Margaret Thatcher another tyrant and like all their kind he thought he was invincible and that his reign would never end.

It is the end of an era for the Iraqi people and although I never agreed with the US/British invasion of their country, I hope those that have replaced the Saddam Hussein regime and are ruling Iraq today are an improvement on those they have sent to the gallows, I have my doubts, but I hope I'm wrong.

I believe Saddam Hussein's last words were reported as follows:

"God is great. The true Iraqi nation will be victorious and Palestine is Arab".

If I did not admire Saddam Hussein as a leader, and I certainly saw little to admire in him, the least I can say is that, I agree with those last words.

author by Thankfulpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 23:44Report this post to the editors

He was a threat to America and to the free world, thats why they invaded in order to free Iraq from a brutal dictator.

There is no sorrow following his just execution, is there?

Therefore, the Iraqi's are greatful to be free of a dictator thanks to the allied forces.

Job well done!

author by redjadepublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 01:32Report this post to the editors

Juan Cole writes.... 'In his farewell address, however, Saddam could not help departing from his national-unity script to take a few last shots at his ethnic rivals. Despite some smarmy language urging Iraqis not to hate the Americans, Saddam denounced the "invaders" and "Persians" who had come into Iraq. The invaders are the American army, and the Persians are code not just for Iranian agents but for Iraqi Shiites, whom many Sunni Arabs view as having Iranian antecedents and as not really Iraqi or Arab. It was such attitudes that led to slaughters like that at Dujail.

In his death, as in his life, Saddam Hussein is managing to divide Iraqis and condemn them to further violence and brutality. But the Americans and the Shiite- and Kurd-dominated government bear some blame for the way they botched his trial and gave him this last opportunity to play the spoiler.
'

source (pay for): http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/12/30/saddam/index_np.html

free for all (and archived at): http://groups.google.com/group/miscrandometc/browse_thread/thread/b7826f97fd52dc7b (read it here)

author by Terrypublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 03:46Report this post to the editors

The notion that Saddam Hussein was a creature of, or creation of, the United States is a falsification of history, and is emblematic of an incredibly shallow ‘analysis’ that sees most of the world as a blank canvass upon which a few, or perhaps one, “imperialist powers” can paint away to their hearts content. A complete denial of agency to states in the global South.
On two occasions there was a co-incidence of interests between the U.S. and a Ba’ath party regime in Iraq.
Once, in the 1960s, concerning the repression of the Stalinist Iraqi Communist Party, there had been a revolution in Iraq in 1958, and secondly during the Iran-Iraq war.
For most of the 70s Iraq was closer aligned with the USSR and France, the U.S. had broken off diplomatic relations with Baghdad following oil nationalisation in 1972, and supported the Shah of Iran, and Kurdish nationalists, against the Iraqi regime then.
The Rumsfeld visit, well after the start of the Iran-Iraq was around the time of the resumption of relations, the rise of the Islamist regime in Iran being pivotal to this change in policy.
By ‘87 or ‘88 the U.S. had practically entered the war on the Iraqi side, but in regard to imported arms use during the war (there was also Iraqi industrialisation in this period) was mostly from French or Soviet sources.
The Ba’ath party itself was part of a wave of nationalism across the Middle East in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, which, partially, the United States intervened against.
A slightly more complicated picture than ‘Hussein was a US puppet’, given the difficulties they are having in getting their way now despite a full scale military occupation, it is hardly surprising that an independent Iraqi state was something other than an empty vessel into which they could pour whatever they choose.
The relationship between the Iraqi regime and the United States in the 1980s was simple: the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

author by righteous pragmatistpublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:25Report this post to the editors

If the US had heeded those who were opposed to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, for example the 100,000 who marched through the streets of Dublin, Saddam would not have swung on the end of a noose yesterday. He would still be in power, with his sons waiting in the wings and the Islamic fundementalist terrorists would committing their atrocities on the streets of European cities and launching insurgencies throughout the entire Middle East.

author by John Eilepublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:41Report this post to the editors

Why don’t you just come right out and say it.

All Hail Bush!

You are seriously deluded if you think that Saddam 'swinging on the end of a rope' will make the slightest bit of difference to global terrorism other than accelerate it.

Terry blames the French and the Russians for arming Saddam.
The French were appropriated by the US. Rumsfeld brokered a lot of other deals for munitions, light and heavy armament, chemical weapons, helicopters the list goes on and on.

Saddam WAS a puppet for the US. Your pathetic assertions otherwise are quite laughable and normally wouldn't merit response but what the hell, once can do no harm.
You are obviously a marginalised fool.

Must be lonely on Planet Bush/Blair

author by nanopublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:49Report this post to the editors

The execution of the murderer, Saddam Hussein, by American organised criminals, via their proxies in Iraq, highlights the fact that criminals vying for power determine the course of the world. The coalition of Bush, Blair and Howard is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians yet these leaders commit their crimes with impunity. The defining principle is not law (as is claimed) it is brute force! Economic and military power determines who is a ‘criminal’ and who is a ‘saviour’, regardless of the similarity of the acts committed.
Full story:
http://cleaves.zapto.org/clv/newswire.php?story_id=372

Related Link: http://cleaves.zapto.org/
author by Joepublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 13:23Report this post to the editors

If the war hadn't happened 3,000 plus US citizens, over 100 Brits and 650,000 Iraqis would still be alive. Al Quaeda would not have got the finest recruitment issue and training grounds that it could have wished for. The London bombings would almost certainly not have happened.

The Iraqi people would have dealt with Sadddam in 1991 if the insurrection had not been put down with the ok of the US government.

The final point is that through this hurried execution Bush has silenced a voice that might have provided a lot more details on just who supplied the equipment to Iraq to manufacture chemical weapons and what their motivations were in doing so. The disadvantage that is has turned Saddam into yet another 'martyr', yet another 'strong leader' betrayed by those weaker them him will not bite Bush in the ass. It will create a myth that will continue to poison politics in the region though as the cycle of the 'strong leader' continues to be seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

author by wcpublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 15:48Report this post to the editors

Righteous Pragmatist, has started going down the "what if" road and is very certain about where it would have led. Such certainty about the destinations of paths not taken is most impressive. Will he please identify himself so we can make him world leader for 2007.

Righteous Pragmatist, for no compelling reason, wants to play the "what if" game from March 2003 but the old "what if" game can be started at any point. I am sorely tempted to start it back when Saddam became leader of Iraq with the full support of the countries who pulled the rope to hang him, but that would take too long.

I would however like to play the "what if" game from the more recent date of Saddam's capture. "What If " the Bushblairs had chosen to build their own self vaunted concepts of Decency, Democracy and International justice by turning him over to the Court of International Justice in the Hague. I suggest that the profoundly incendiary, martyrdom image. would not have been as powerful as it now will be. What Che Gavara has been to Latin American liberation movements, Saddam is now for Sunni moslem's, anti US and and anti death penalty movements World Wide.

However, Bushblair knew well that if Saddam was dealt with under International justice Law in the Hague, they themselves could be prosecuted under the same Laws for similar crimes of their own and might just have ended up in a neighbouring cell. I feel that the images of these three Amigo's getting old and decrepid in a Hague jail would have made the world a better and a safer place.

author by 1971publication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 18:06Report this post to the editors

the war was unjust. It should never have happened.

Saddam was a dictator. A very sick man,who thankfully- no longer plays a part in our world. The invasion of Iraq is also criminal, and Bush and Blair have a lot to answer for.

..but,should we really debate how fair the trial of Saddam Hussein was? Would any court find such a mass-murdering terrorist innocent? Bush, Saddam, Blair, Osama Bin Laden, John Howard, Al Queda, spot the good guy? There's none to spot. It's a horrible war, in which the public are caught in the middle of crossfire, personally- I'm glad to see the end of Saddam

So long.

author by blaisepublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 18:31Report this post to the editors

Why not hang Bush and Blair while they are at it. They are everybit as evil as this man, and they are not men, really. Could either one of them handled their death by hanging in such a strong and defiant manner? I doubt it. Could either one of them ruled Iraq for 23 years, successfully I might add, building roads and curtailing violence? I doubt it. They don't understand this part of the world. It has to be run with an iron fist, and Sadamn ran it that way, a secular society, I might add. Weren't they in bed with him during the Kurdish slaughter? Of course, they were. He was hanged for killing 145 Kurds - which was overseen and condoned by the Americans and the British and the French, too. All complicit, I would say. Is it right to defame, denegrade and humiliate a head of state in such a manner? If so, I say hang em all, for they are just as bad if not worse.

Basically this is a revenge hanging by Shias bent on having it their own way and they have shown themselves to be utterly useless at organizing and running a country, as have the Americans and the British. The final judge on the Sadamn trial said he should be hung before listening to the evidence. Some fair trial, a travestry, really.

author by Righteous Pragmatistpublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 18:51Report this post to the editors

"the war was unjust. It should never have happened.

Saddam was a dictator. A very sick man,who thankfully- no longer plays a part in our world."

If the war had never happened Saddam Hussein would still be President of Iraq.
You would have nothing to be thankful for only for the invasion of 2003.
Saddam Hussein would still be playing a part in the world if he was still leader of Iraq.
The Islamic fundementalists would not be fighting desperately against US soldiers in Baghdad where thousands of them have died in suicide attacks or Fallujah and Najaf and elsewhere.
Rather they would be available to create mayhem throughout the Middle East and the entire world.

It would have been wonderful if Iraq had become a peaceful country but sadly as we know that is not possible as long as jihadists come to Iraq from througout the Middle East and Iraqis Sunni and Shia fundementalists fight each other for power.

But while US troops remain in Iraq Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups and governments such as Syria and Iran will be preoccupied with infidels in their own backyard.

For this reason and the Patriot Act which gave the necessary powers to law enforcement to smash terrorists cells the US has been free of terrorist attacks for more than 5 years.

It is a tragedy that US troops are dying in Iraq far from home but the alternatives are US civilians dying on American soil.

US soldiers are laying down their lives so that Americans at home will be safe.

author by redjadepublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 19:13Report this post to the editors

RP

scroll back up - look at the photo of Rumsfeld and Saddam, look at that grin on Rummy's face.

Now, ask yourself that same question.... 'You don't see the contradiction do you?'

Those of us who have always stood for human rights have stood against Saddam - your friends however...

author by blaisepublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 23:41Report this post to the editors

history will record this execution as a complete travesty and the enemies of of Sadamn will be pilloried for their reckless abadonement of the judicial system. Sadamn, as brutal as he was, will be seen as a martyr and the best and most useful dictator of Iraq. The country never looked so good with him in power and never so bad with him out of it. Everything the Americans touch turns to muck and civil war, not to mention civil disorder. Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine (they are there by virtue of their funding of the Israeli war machine) and Lebannon - all chaotic and messed up. Pragmatist, you need a new name, for your name has no relevance to your hairbrain ideas which miss reality by a longshot. Wake up, pudding head, and smell the berries.

author by New Year Manpublication date Sun Dec 31, 2006 23:56Report this post to the editors

Continue ye'r lovely arguement about Sadam. I'll be seeing ye anyway- next year.

Bye now.

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 00:51Report this post to the editors

Josh Marshall explains it best....
'If you watch the video of the moments leading up to Saddam Hussein's execution, am I wrong that it bears a certain resemblance to the terrorist snuff films we've watched out of Iraq over the last three years? A dark, dank room. The executioners wear not uniforms of any sort, either civilian or military, but street clothes and ski masks. We now learn that the executioners were apparently taken from the population of southern Iraq, the country's Shi'a heartland, where Saddam's repression was most severe. And in an apt symbolic statement on what the Iraq War is about, two of the executioners who saw Saddam off started hailing Moktada al Sadr in Saddam's face as they prepared to hang him. Remember, al Sadr's Mahdi Army is the force the 'surge' of new US troops is meant to crush next year. That's where we are.'

- Josh Marshall
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/011745.php

His people are elected, his people executed Saddam for Bush, he's America's latest enemy to 'Surge' at
His people are elected, his people executed Saddam for Bush, he's America's latest enemy to 'Surge' at

author by Mary Kellypublication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 02:32Report this post to the editors


a backward plunge into barbarity, with the plundering of International Law by those who conducted this farce trial and execution.
And well said Justin, the Irish Government have played a significant part.

In an article by Ramsey Clark., Why I'm Willing to Defend Hussein,
he sums up very well the idea of equal justice under the law/the way it should have happened.

"... any court that considers criminal charges against Saddam Hussein must have the power and the mandate to consider charges against leaders and military personnel of the U.S., Britain and the other nations that participated in the aggression against Iraq, if equal justice under law is to have meaning.

No power, or person, can be above the law. For there to be peace, the days of victor's justice must end.
The defense of such a case is a challenge of great importance to truth, the rule of law and peace."

Ramsey Clark was attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson.
http://www.iacenter.org/Iraq/rc_whydefend-sh012405.htm

author by Dave Walkerpublication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 15:00Report this post to the editors

Agree with you about the barbarity of Sadaam's execution. But quoting Ramsay Clark in support of your cause is not a good idea. The guy supports every tyrant. He even did a eulogy at Milosevic's funeral.

"History will prove Milosevic was right" Ramsay Clark.

author by A10publication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 15:13Report this post to the editors

right,what Ramsey Clarke said.Ever heard one word of thanks from the Muslim world that the West stopped a fellow Westerner from slaughterning millions of Muslims in Yougoslavia?? Nope,we support the Kosovo Liberation Army,a financed and trained jiahidist army allied to Bin Ladin,to go and comit mas genocide on Western Christans,all we get out of it is 9/11.
No wonder Milosovic was laughing at us in that charade of a court the Hauge.
And no wonder the Serbs are chuckling at our blunders anfd fukups with dealing with the Muslim terror threat.
Come back Slobbo, all is forgiven.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 15:47author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieReport this post to the editors

Saddam's trial was a travesty and described as such by Clarke and Human Rights organisations; remember that Saddam could not call defence testimony. So once again the US shows that it can be as barbarous as those to whom it intends to bring 'democracy'. The exceution, stupidly, was timed to coincide with a major Muslim festival, thus causing anger yet again in the Muslim world. It was rushed, clearly at the pushing of the US, who feared that international objection was growing. Meanwhile, 'democracy' US-style continues unabated: the US have admitted publicly that they are chanelling funds and arms through Egypt to the Fatah organisation in Palestine to foment the downfall of the democratically-elected government there led by Hamas. What a truly odious administration: but no, let's not just blame Bush. There's something in the political psyche over there - Truman dropping his bombs on Japan, Roosevelt supporting the notorious 'Statut des Juifs' laws of Vichy France, which ensured the deportation of French Jews to the gas chambers . . . . . Only decent US citizens can change this - historically the US political system thrives on the blood of others and the notion that all other nations are inferior. Including us, make no mistake.

author by redjadepublication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 19:28Report this post to the editors

Matthew Yglesias writes.... 'Fair enough, but compare this to, say, Fallujah. Thirteen civilians were killed when American soldiers opened fire on protesters. This led, in turn, to the murder and mutilation of four contractors employed by the US military. This led to a retaliatory military strike on the town by US and Iraqi government forces that local doctors claimed killed over 600 people. The Iraqi health ministry disputes that, arguing that "only" 271 civilians died in the attack, during which "more than half" of the city's homes were destroyed.

The exact same as what happened at Dujail? No. A completely different sort of thing? Also no. But if Dujail is worth a death sentence, then what's Fallujah worth? Five years? Ten? I don't really know. How about the people tortured to death after the Bush administration's decision to ignore international and domestic law regarding detentions and interrogations?
'

more at:
http://www.matthewyglesias.com/archives/2006/11/dont_look_too_hard_at_the_gand/

also see the famous Rumsfeld/Saddam Love Meet:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=WJUmhtmKttM

- - - - - - -

3000 American war dead, later....
Some Iraq War Stats:

U.S. deaths since Bush said "Bring them on": 2,793
Coalition deaths since first January 2005 Iraqi election: 1,653

Days since invasion: 1,382
Average U.S. deaths per day: 2.36
Average last three months: 3.24

Death by IED attack: 1086 36%

U.K. deaths: 127
From other countries: 123

Total wounded: over 22,000
Wounded 2006: over 5,600

Estimate of Iraqi deaths since killing of Zarqawi in June 2006: 13,588

Total Iraqi deaths since invasion: 100,000 to 600,000.

more at: http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003526261

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Mon Jan 01, 2007 20:33Report this post to the editors

Another fine article Justin.

Couple of points to add into the lively debate.

Iraq was one of the countries that offered the US intelligence, that could and should have prevented the 911 travesty - if it had been acted on. Of course we now know that the 'authorities' needed 911 and that it would not have afforded them the opportunity for their much needed 'Global War' on 'Terror,.' if it had been prevented.

This so called 'War on terror,' is nothing more than a simple plot to control global resources. It is made all the more overt and simplistic by the fact that both the UK and the US have squandered and depleted most of their own natural resources.

We have ignoramuses (ignorami?) like the pope, presently calling for peace in places like the Middle East, saying that dialogue could and should be an alternative. The Pope and other spin merchants like him conveniently forget that fact, that prior to invasion and subjugation, Iraq and Afghanistan, begged the US and their alies (us included) for a peaceful settlement. One should also remember here that international law requires that a militaristic response must be a proportionate response to the 'attack' that requires and ultimately calls for a response. It would also be helpful at this point to rememeber that neither Iraq nor Afghanistan participated in the 911 attack, not to mention that the US's response could not even remotely be considered proportional.

Another point I'd like to focus on is this: Nobody doubts or even bothers to argue that the US is and was behind this farcical trial and execution. However, nobody has bothered to point out (i'm specifically referring to the MSM here) that the war in Iraq is still ongoing. Therefore the US has just had a prisoner of war (who gave himself up) executed. This in itself is an act that flagrantly urinates on international law and the Geneva Conventions, both in spirit and in black and white.

And still the hyenas circle and laugh, whilst the vultures wait to pick from the rotting bodies.

Bush, Blair, Howard, Bertie, Cowen, McDowell and a plethora of others - your day in the Hague draws nearer, with each and every crime against humanity.

author by Dave Walkerpublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 00:38Report this post to the editors

What a comment it is on the intellectual bankruptcy of much of the 'left' that the likes of Mary Kelly and Fred Johnson quote Ramsay Clark as if he was some sort of sage. This man was an apologist for Milocevic, and is a dupe of the nutty stalinist group the Workers World Party, who think that North Korea is a socialist paradise. Don't take my word for it; check around on the net and you'll find all you need to know. I oppose the war and the execution of Sadaam Hussein, despite rather than because Ramsay Clark happens to hold the same views. Although it isn't really the same view at all: I oppose war and imperialism; Ramsay Clark supports dictators. There is even a suggestion that he might be a CIA agent employed by them to discredit the anti-war side. (See the link below). Stranger things have happened.

Saddam should have been released onto the streets of Basra. There the ordinary Shia Iraqis could have dealt with him.

Related Link: http://shadow.autono.net/sin001/clark.htm
author by Terrypublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 01:43Report this post to the editors

Just in response to John Eile’s post, which goes like this…

“Terry blames the French and the Russians for arming Saddam.
The French were appropriated by the US. Rumsfeld brokered a lot of other deals for munitions, light and heavy armament, chemical weapons, helicopters the list goes on and on.

Saddam WAS a puppet for the US. Your pathetic assertions otherwise are quite laughable and normally wouldn't merit response but what the hell, once can do no harm.
You are obviously a marginalised fool.

Must be lonely on Planet Bush/Blair”

Normally I don’t bother to respond to abusive posts but this illustrates perfectly what I was talking about in my first post. This wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_sales_to_Iraq_1973-1990 has a diagram from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute which shows that almost 70% of arms transfers to Iraq between 1973 and 1990 were from the USSR and Warsaw Pact.
Iran, ironically enough, mostly had American armaments during the Iran-Iraq war, due to the relationship between the US and the Shah regime.
Even if Ba’ath party regime in Iraq was totally armed by the United States, that still wouldn’t make it a puppet regime. (not that arms is the kernel of it all, you would still have to account for the hostility between Iraq and the US in the 70s)
Example Egypt in the Yom Kippur war in 1973 was armed by the Soviet Union, nonetheless just before it Egypt began to break away from the USSR bloc, expelling 20,000 Russian advisors, because Moscow, being interested in détente, was insufficiently supporting the preparation of Egypt’s war against Israel.
This suggests to me a relationship a little more complex than puppetry.

I think a lot of anti-war arguments fall down because they derive their analysis from the Fisk-Pilger-Chomsky axis, which is ignoring the fact those authors are engaged in a polemic undermining the pretexts the United States puts forward for its interventions. That is a different thing from analysing what is going on. In such a polemic you are naturally gonna focus on things like US support for Iraq in the 80s, because it illustrates the hypocrisy of Washington’s pretexts.
However if you just leave it at that and these sorts of polemics are the sole source of information, that feeds into a situation where you have two mirror images, one that sees Washington as the bright shining light on the hill that will land in among the benighted savages of some far away hell-hole and produce democracy and trickle down free markets, or Washington font of all evil in the world. Note the rest of the world is simply a blank canvass.
This leads on to two things, firstly a weak or one sided analysis of what is going on, because the rest of the world isn’t a blank canvass, secondly it feeds in to today’s version of “Third Worldism”.
What I mean by that is ‘declarations of support’ for this or that party that happens to be at war with, or hostile to some degree to, the US or an ally of the US.
Now Trotskyism has its own reasons for this, but the third worldist phenomenon goes further than just Trotskyists.
What this means is ‘supporting’ the Baghdad regime in the 1970s (conflict with Iran and Israel), ’supporting’ Iran in the 1980s (the Iranian regime now being anti-American), and ’supporting’ Iraq again from 1990 onwards.
Which is all grand as America is the font of all evil in the world.
Trotskyism, the legacy of Stalinism, and, in this country, nationalism, feeds into this as well (though to be fair at least the left nationalists of Fortwrite are quite unenamoured of Islamism, much better than the SWP on that score).
Now obviously this ’support’ has no practical import on the situation in the countries where the war or hostilities are taking place. I would argue it does have a practical import in the West. The constituency of the anti-war movement was people who simply had moral objections to killing people in a war with no grounds to justify it.
Part of the loosing of that constituency was the fact that a significant element of the activist core of the movement supported, and supports, a war effort. That of the other side.
(note that most of the atrocities today in Iraq are being made by indigenous forces, ones either at war with, or hostile to, the United States).

Quick response to what Sean Ryan was saying here: “This so called 'War on terror,' is nothing more than a simple plot to control global resources. It is made all the more overt and simplistic by the fact that both the UK and the US have squandered and depleted most of their own natural resources.”

Most oil consumed in the U.S. is from indigenous sources, and most imported oil consumed there is from Nigeria or Venezuela. The importance of oil to the global economy, and in particular its importance in supporting the dollar is or more importance.
The states where a lot of Middle Eastern oil is consumed are actually the ones less given to supporting or participating in military adventures in the region (particularly the ones in continental Europe).

On the main issue, the execution of Hussein, the fallacy of ‘international law’ arguments is simply demonstrated, what if any such a war or action is lawful, do you then support it?
I remember the cry of at least one section of the anti-war movement at the time of the Gulf War of 1990 or 91, ’let sanctions work’ (being as they were legal and enacted by the UN and all). (and indeed the exclusive focus on the United States in the above posts kinda dove tails with my argument, how about this - the execution is to curry favour with Iraqis?)

Generally I find the concern with the execution of Hussein to be a bit curious (I’m inclined to think of Saint Just on the debate around Louis the Last - ’he is guilty of being a king’) I suppose it makes sense if you believe in the ’rule of law’ and ’international law’ and all that.
I don’t see it as an issue worth highlighting, I mean forgive me for being a bit blasé but is the end of a rope not the best place for him?

author by blaisepublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 05:53Report this post to the editors

Aside from the unseemly nature of this ludicrous trial of a deposed head of state, there is the odious, lustful comfort the media has for displaying images of a muslim being executed, basically a snuff film. Please. It's unimaginable for this to happen to a Bush or a Gerald Ford or the like. The image of the execution, with avenging Shias chanting and dancing around the body is sickening and presented by the likes of CNN in a purely racist manner. Everything the Americans touch turns to muck. They controlled this trial from start to end. They were finished with the puppet dictator. He got too big for his britches. They have an inherent distaste for the old world, worlds they know nothing about. These frontiersmen (americans) are highly jealous of the old world and ridicule it and crush it when they feel like it, never enhancing it or venerating it. Crush and destroy. These are the operatives from which they spring.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 14:24Report this post to the editors

Allowing for the combined military might of the United States and the United Kingdom, compared to Iraq, should President Bush and Prime Minister Blair not also be charged with crimes relating to unprovoked attacks on defenceless states?

Further information relating to such extremely serious crime can be found at:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=Iraq%2C+unprovoked+attack+on+defenceless+country&btnG=Search

Even more worrying, why was President Bush and Prime Minister Blair not tried for such crimes BEFORE Saddam Hussein was executed?

It looks as though the whole world is completely powerless to stop this pair of outrageous bullies, even though laws for such purposes have existed for decades as far as I know - since the Nuremberg Trials at least (1945 to 1949) ? (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Trials )

It is as if there is an unwritten (and completely unlawful) "law" somewhere, which is very foolishly being taken far too seriously by most influential people, and which states that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, and their main supporters around the world, are all ENTIRELY above the law, and consequently completely immune from prosecution before the courts of law.

Is it not time now for all decent people with influence (everywhere) to come out of the hypnotic spell, or whatever it is, which is effectively enabling President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to carry on breaking international law with impunity, like a pair of tyrants?

The situation might not be so bad were it not for the fact that both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair seem to keep on dishing out a non-stop barrage of fraudulent and hypocritical talk via the media about the "democracy", and the "rule of law" principles, they are promoting and installing in Iraq - and with more of the same to follow elsewhere of course. Even worse, is the fact that so many voters appear to be swallowing their lies: hook, line, and sinker.

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/
author by R. Isiblepublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 16:47Report this post to the editors

snip evidence that Iraq received arms from USSR prior to US support in 80's and onwards]

Even if Ba’ath party regime in Iraq was totally armed by the United States, that still wouldn’t make it a puppet regime.

OK, I'll bite. What's a puppet regime then? I'd argue that even if it's only a temporary and shifting relationship then it's one that takes actions which benefit the puppet-master and not the long-term strategic interests of the citizens of the nation that is being manipulated. Your argument seems to be that because Iraq has changed puppet-masters it therefore can't be a puppet regime?

[snip Egypt example]

This suggests to me a relationship a little more complex than puppetry.
Maybe puppetry is more complex than you believed? To me it suggests a puppet with a desire to get an imperialists hand and arm out of it. The elites of puppet regimes accept the puppet relationship for as long as their goals are aligned with their masters. Just because they can be demonstrated to have diverging interests on occasion from their puppet masters doesn't imply that this means that they are not acting as puppet regimes.

I think a lot of anti-war arguments fall down because they derive their analysis from the Fisk-Pilger-Chomsky axis, which is ignoring the fact those authors are engaged in a polemic undermining the pretexts the United States puts forward for its interventions. That is a different thing from analysing what is going on.

Whether it's a client-state, puppet-state or satellite-state, if you ignore the fact that both the USSR and the USA have provided military support for regimes/elites/minorities within "the third world" and thus distorted and prevented the natural development of democracy then it's going to be a hard to explain why the Kurds weren't able to free themselves earlier, why the former Yugoslavia held together so long etc.

This leads on to two things, firstly a weak or one sided analysis of what is going on, because the rest of the world isn’t a blank canvass, secondly it feeds in to today’s version of “Third Worldism”.
What I mean by that is ‘declarations of support’ for this or that party that happens to be at war with, or hostile to some degree to, the US or an ally of the US.


That's fine, but the actual actors within the rich tapestry of the "other worlds" are not able to ignore the reality that they are at best used as pawns in the USA's attempt to control the world. Of course we shouldn't give uncritical, kneejerk support (enemy of my enemy style) to e.g. conservative ultra-Islamic forces or Maoists, but trying to pretend that the elephant of US intervention is not in the room can't produce any sort of useful analysis (where by useful I mean has an effect in promoting self-organisation and democracy).

Now obviously this ’support’ has no practical import on the situation in the countries where the war or hostilities are taking place. I would argue it does have a practical import in the West. The constituency of the anti-war movement was people who simply had moral objections to killing people in a war with no grounds to justify it. Part of the loosing of that constituency was the fact that a significant element of the activist core of the movement supported, and supports, a war effort. That of the other side.

Interesting. But why do you frame it as a "constituency" that is "lost"? If that section of people that voice objection to the war is really a passive, non-self-organising mass then it doesn't seem to be very much use. It's just part of a public relations battle passively waiting to be convinced of one or more narratives. It takes no agency and directs nothing. If that's so then the whole game is lost already.

(note that most of the atrocities today in Iraq are being made by indigenous forces, ones either at war with, or hostile to, the United States).

Is that really true? And doesn't it lead to a question of what the prime, underlying cause is for their existence? And why draw an arbitary point of "today" instead of considering the whole intervention back to 1991 and the hundreds of thousands of people killed by sanctions that very few people protested except extreme-leftists?

Most oil consumed in the U.S. is from indigenous sources, and most imported oil consumed there is from Nigeria or Venezuela. The importance of oil to the global economy, and in particular its importance in supporting the dollar is or more importance.

I don't know whether you'd disagree with this or not from the above quote, but consumption and control are not the same thing. Just because the US draws domestically on a particular oil supply doesn't mean that: 1) the price of e.g. Venezuelan oil is not affected by the control of middle-eastern oil; 2) the inputs to the US economy in Western Europe are not important; 3) future access to oil is not important.

On the main issue, the execution of Hussein, the fallacy of ‘international law’ arguments is simply demonstrated, what if any such a war or action is lawful, do you then support it?

Just because international law is non-enforced, (actually non-enforceable at the moment) doesn't mean that it (as a body of fairly sane aspirations as to how competing entities can and should resolve conflict) should be forgotten. The UN obviously needs reform (removal of the Security Council vetoes being one obvious one) and your point about the sanctions is one that I completely agree with, but I can't move from that to completely rejecting many of the principles of international law. They would, if enforceable create a more stable world.

Generally I find the concern with the execution of Hussein to be a bit curious
Cold blooded murder painted up as morality disturbs some of us. I can see killing people in extermis in order to defend myself or others, but I find the killing of Hussein repugnant in the way the Alan Berg execution was. I find it a bit disturbing that you're not disturbed by it. Aside from that the point made by someone above was that the quick snuffing of Hussein (like Milosevic's accidental death) removes the ability of the rest of us to get further details about the "special relationship" between the USA and its client states.

author by Seamuseenpublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 20:19Report this post to the editors

Why, as R. Isable above appears to believe, is international law relating to war crimes non-enforceable at the present time?

Is it not for the the same basic set of reasons as with ALL laws? - which is that certain elitist cliques of corrupt Julius Caesar type bullies like Bush and Blair can at present put themselves above the law and others beneath it, as and when they please, while millions of over-compliant "hurlers on the ditch" treat the whole spectacle as a spectator sport of some kind which they are afraid to say or do anything of significance about?

Is it not time now, at the start of the third millennium AD, for Julius Caesar type politicians to be voted out of office, and kept out of office, for rest of human history?

Have we not all had enough of all their corruption, lying, bullying, plundering, killing and so on?

author by Socialist Youth - Limerick SY & SPpublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 20:29author email info at socialistparty dot netauthor phone 086-8064801Report this post to the editors

Dr. Frankenstein Kills His Monsterous Creation
- The trial was neither fair nor complete
- The trial and execution were orchastrated by the US
- There should have been a trial of Saddam and his accomplices in the US government, organised by the Iraqi working class
- No to US puppet government or Islamic Reactionary reigime - for a Socialist Iraq
Saddam Hussein’s execution last week has received very mixed responses from different sections of society. The US and UK governments, breathed asigh of relief as Saddam took with him the secrets of their support for him during the 80’s when millions died due to this despot.

Anti-war groups have claimed that the trial and execution were orchestrated by Washington. Cian Prendiville, a spokesperson for Socialist Youth in Limerick said “The American and British elites ensured that Saddam wasn’t tried for the atrocities of the Iran-Iraq war, as that war was fought with weapons of mass destruction supplied by the US, UK, France and others”.

Many have argued that the Saddam's trial was not fair or complete. They point to the fact that the verdict for the first trial was revealed just days before the US mid-term elections. Also, Mr. Prendiville claimed that the execution was “an attempt by Bush to get some ‘good news’ from Iraq as he plans on beefing up troop numbers, a move which will be opposed by most Americans”.

At the same time President Bush said the execution was “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”. Yet it does not seem that this execution will in any way reduce the strength of the Iraqi resistance, and it in fact highlights the lack of any independent democracy in Iraq.

Bush has attempted to paint all opposition to the execution and the invasion as being pro-Saddam, yet Mr. Prendiville concluded by saying: “It is the US ruling class who have supported dictator after dictator, so long as they do what they say. Socialist Youth opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, but we stated that the Iraqi people themselves needed to establish a democratic Iraq where the oil wealth etc. was controlled by the Iraqi workers and poor. That is still the only way out today.”
---------

The full execution can be seen on YouTUBE where you can see how rushed and undignified the execution was. Note that he was killed on a Sunni Holy day.

Saddam's Killed Without Facing Trial For Iran-Iraq War
Saddam's Killed Without Facing Trial For Iran-Iraq War

During the Iran-Iraq War the US Gave Saddam WMD
During the Iran-Iraq War the US Gave Saddam WMD

Related Link: http://www.SocialistWorld.net/eng/2006/12/31iraq.html
author by Justin Morahan - Peace People (individual)publication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 22:12Report this post to the editors

To Dave Walker

Ramsey Clark and Curtis Doebbler were the authors of the report on which I based the above article.. Both are honourable people in my opinion and both have worked hard in the area of human rights.

To launch an attack on Ramsey Clark because he is not perfect is unreasonable. Which of us is perfect?

Ramsey Clark was a co-author of the original report. It is not wise to imagine that the report is unsafe because you can allege weaknesses in his judgement of people. No-one said or implied that he was a sage. He was one of the witnesses to the events he wrote about.

A lawyer's job is to not to judge but to defend a client, any of his or her clients, and to try to ensure that the client gets a fair trial. Even if the client is notorious. Ramsey Clark in particular has taken on unpopular causes where the result seemed to be a foregone conclusion against the defendant. It takes courage to do that. It took a particular strength of character to do it in Iraq when the lever on the scales of justice was skewed by the powerful USA

Ramsey Clark defended Saddam Hussein and he defended Philip Berrigan - two very different people in two different countries. The courts in both cases were USA-dominated and in both cases justice was denied.

The pretence of justice is an ugly thing - you may not like the pretence to be unmasked. Don't hang the messenger, though. If you do, it will probably hide even more rottenness than was hidden by the rushed verdict and ugly hanging of Saddam Hussein

author by MichaelY - iawm - per cappublication date Tue Jan 02, 2007 23:29Report this post to the editors

Waited for this debate to mature before engaging - well done Justin for initiating the argument.

One thing is obvious – all anti-war activists, pacifists and not, direct actionists and mass mobilisationists, socialists or not, anarchists and not…most rational people in Ireland, and the US, as much as in the UK, Italy, France and Germany….and in the entire Arab world saw this execution as an act of unparalleled barbarism and political folly. An act of vendetta…that started with Bush’s 2003 statements in the BBC a little after Saddam’s capture – he said then “the ultimate price, and I mean death, would be the right price for this disgusting tyrant to pay”. And through and after the ‘trial’, that has been well qualified in the messages above, that charade that made the Nuremberg trials look decent…the puppet Iraqi cabal co-signed the death penalty and they’re now reported to be looking for the ‘witness’ who videoed the whole disgusting performance on his mobile phone and sold it to the CNNs of this world for a few pieces of gold!
Call it a pantomime, call it an institutional vendetta of Bush Jr against “the man who tried to kill me daddy”, [the Texan clan have now got their ‘man’], call it an act of Christian catharsis for a man personified by American evangelicals as “the anti-Christ”, the tyrant with the WMDs….call it what you like…and I am quoting here from a number of statements.
I call it the continuation of the Empire’s policy of destabilisation of the region….intensifying the pressures amongst those who desire a bloodier civil war in Iraq and in Palestine.
They made a martyr of a tyrant…a dictator against many of us demonstrated when Rumsfeld and the French Giscard were selling him arms, and when the Fianna Fail cabal and their cronies, were selling him meat to feed his armies that were trying to invade Iran. Not to forget members of the British Labour Party who were qualifying him as "intelligent, patient and courageous".
The Empire got their man….on the first day of the Sunni holiday.....the price so far from its side is over 3,000 dead, 42,000 wounded and more than $600 billion costs to the US taxpayer. For the Iraqis the figure is 600,000 plus dead….a devastated country, a divided people and an intensifying prospect of internecine war.

Justice and democracy indeed ! With so much symbolism.

author by Terrypublication date Wed Jan 03, 2007 07:57Report this post to the editors



“What's a puppet regime then? I'd argue that even if it's only a temporary and shifting relationship then it's one that takes actions which benefit the puppet-master and not the long-term strategic interests of the citizens of the nation that is being manipulated.”

No state governs in the interests of the majority of its population. We will take the example of the U.S..
In what sense does the lack of a public health care system coincide with the interests of the majority of the people in the U.S., or the handling of the New Orleans fiasco, or NAFTA’s facilitation of the movement of major industries to the south.
Moreover the ability of the state to take the ’long term’ view is limited, and in that sense we might say that the state governs ultimately in the interests of none of its’ population.
Take for example Britain. Clearly from the Stern report we can see that the British state is aware of global warming and aware of what that will mean, in this it will probably fluctuate between continuing on the path to climate chaos, or massively expanding the nuclear industry, already there is murmurings from the CBI about how too much attention on global warming will affect Britain’s competitiveness, as such it will govern in the long term interests of nobody.
Some would say that the state has ’relative autonomy’ whereby its governance is a negotiated hegemony encompassing beyond the immediate short term interests of all factions of the capitalist class and in such a fashion that the rest of population are not simply disregarded. Some would say the state is more narrowly instrumental than that and there are clear co-relations between the immediate interests of this or that corporation and the actions of the state. Some would say that this is the personalisation of social forces which tends to a sort of conspiratorial world view, and that the state is just as dependant on the ‘circulation of capital’ (profit making in simple terms) as an individual company and that is what lies behind its actions.
Because the ‘grow or die’ nature of capitalism is inherently environmentally destructive no state can govern in the long term interests of humanity, in terms of short terms interests state governance is in the interests of the capitalist class, or of a particular faction of it.

Because of the underdeveloped nature of ’Third World’ economies ’capital accumulation’ (profit making) is more centred on the state than in the North.

Because of the ’grow or die’ competitive nature of capital inherently there is expansion, and so capitalism expanded to take in the whole world in the C19th and then the same competition lead to conflicts with particular sections of the capitalist class organised around individual nation states violently re-dividing the cake up among themselves aka imperialism.

Imperialism is general. While on a global scale it is only accurate to describe states in the North as imperialist, on a regional level states in the South are also.

Hence the Iraqi state sought territorial expansion into economically significant parts of Iran and Kuwait.
In the first case rather than being a puppet of the US in its conflict with Iran, it was involved in the same conflict in the 70s when the US was supporting Iran. In the 80s the Iraqi state took advantage of the fact that the US, and almost all the Arab states were hostile to the new government in Iran and went to war with it.
That is, the Iraqi state had its own interests in the conflict which coincided with the interests of the US, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states.
Thus it wasn’t puppeted into such a war. Indeed it is pretty shallow to think it was when:
(1) It was part of the 60s and 70s nationalist wave in the Middle east.
(2) Had no diplomatic relations with the US and had gone to war with Israel on two occasions (and I think also briefly on the generally pro-Western Jordan)
(3) Made great efforts to build up its own industrial base.
(4) Didn’t need the hand of the U.S. to make threatening noises towards Iran in the 70s and to support anti-regime elements in Iran in the 70s.
(5) supported the ‘rejectionist’ Palestinian factions, that is the ones that didn’t support a two state solution and attempts to start a ’peace process’.

Obviously any state like Iraq is going to be relatively constrained in what in can and can’t do with the overall ’balance of power’ so greatly favouring states in the north, but nonetheless it has its own interests.
In the 60s and 70s, (less so in the 80s, and certainly less in the 90s) states like Iraq were particularly able to carve out a good degree of independence and regional domination, due to the Cold War and the rise in the price of oil.

There is a theory which maintains that U.S. intervention into Iraq was actually aimed at Saudi Arabia.
(just as there is a theory which reckons that sanctions were aimed at supporting Saudi Arabia).

I question this. I’m pointing this out cause it leads to a wider question. In what sense can we still talk in terms of the nation-state and imperialism in a far more globalised world economy than previously.
There is considerable Saudi investment in the West, and considerable Western investment in Saudi Arabia, how then does the American state intervene against Saudi Arabia when they are seemingly so intertwined.
Perhaps it might be best relatable to internal conflicts within Saudi Arabia.

On pawns and client states and puppets in general;
Clearly during the Cold War period some states are best understood in these terms.
For instance in some Eastern European states the Minister of Defence was a Russian General, in Central America the most important office the U.S. Embassy.
But making this universal, especially in terms like ’pawns’ denies any agency to states, ruling classes, or factions of the ruling class in the South. Take for example the military coup and subsequent repression in Indonesia in 1966 or 67 I think it was. Was the hand of the U.S. necessary for elites in Indonesia to get it into their heads to crush the workers and peasants movement there? Why were previous American covert actions aimed at the same result so cack handed (in 1958)?
The interests of the parts of the elite in Indonesia and those of the U.S. coincided, while the relative power of the second party, the U.S., is on a global scale so much greater than that of those parts of the Indonesian ruling class, that does not alter the fact that they have their own interests and agency, and in fact within Indonesia itself would have more power than the U.S.
Likewise these ‘pawns’ often carried out actions contrary to the American interest, for instance various states sitting on sources of primary commodities or raw materials nationalising them or re-negotiating the terms for the materials exploitation in favour of the state (note the terms for oil and gas exploitation are by far the most neo-liberal in Ireland and Britain).

Post World War 2, when the U.S., and to a much lesser extent the U.S.S.R., expanded their influence into the ’vacuum’ left by the collapse of the European and Japanese empires, they were not just expanding into a vacuum, indigenous powers had developed also, the power of the U.S. towards these was less than the power of the metropolis over the old empires, the debt crisis and then the fall of the Soviet Union changed this, but then again the more globalised nature of the world economy and the relative decline of American economic power by comparison with the EU and Japan, has I think changed this yet again.
American military power is severely restrained. Note they have gone to war twice this decade, but only in situations where there opponents have been massively weakened by decades of war and sanctions.
It is mostly constrained by public opinion back home, the so-called Vietnam syndrome.
There are governments in power now in Latin America which would not have been there 20 or 30 years ago.
Why is this? I’m not sure. Is the greater Japanese and EU influence in the region a factor?
Does the absence of guerrillas and the Soviet Union mean there is less of an impetus for internal opposition to those governments?
Whatever the case maybe it is not just in the power of the U.S. to automatically get rid of them.

The anti-war movement in Ireland and other parts of the West.
I frame it as a constituency that has been lost basically because it wasn’t self-organising.
Self-organisation doesn’t just float down from the heavens it is something which has to be built.
That building operates under many constraints, some structural, some, I would argue flowing from the nature of the anti-war movement, for instance the rejection of a participatory model on the part of much of its organising cadre would mitigate against self organisation, in this case the fact that parts of the ’anti-war’ movement actually has great sympathies towards the war effort of whomsoever might be against the U.S. at this moment in time is I would argue a turn off for people who are anti-war.
Social movements develop out of pre-existing networks far more than out of a mass of individuals.
Confidence, experience and resources are important. There wasn’t much of a ‘self-organising’ anti-war movement. There was an influx of people into an anti-war movement organised by the far-left (either parties or individuals or groups).
This I’m calling a ’constituency’ had there been a more participatory approach from the main body of the anti-war movement it could have become self-organising (structural reasons mitigate against this also).
It is gone. You cannot any longer get big numbers out to anti-war events. There are a host of reasons for this. One is ’support the Iraqi resistance’ is not ’stop the war’. There is probably more anti-war feeling among the general public now than there was in 2003.

International Law will have to wait for another day!

author by Dermotpublication date Wed Jan 03, 2007 08:11Report this post to the editors

"To execute Saddam on the eve of Eid al-Adha, the holiest Muslim Feast Day, was another great blunder that will help make him a martyr."

No, chosing the eve of such a holy Muslim Feast day was another deliberate US of A act to inflame the wrath of Saddam's people.....They stage manage everything in this theatre of war........Bush ain't as stupid as he's told to look by the string pullers

author by RichardFogarty86publication date Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:25Report this post to the editors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-QsZ8bqYlc

The following shows Saddam as his executioners put the noose over his neck.
A number of the spectators shout insults from below the platform.
The trapdoor opens and Saddam drops out of sight followed by cheers.
A close up shows Saddam;s lifeless eyes staring vacanty into space.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Jan 03, 2007 18:54Report this post to the editors

I see that Terry and R.Isible are peeling the onion. Tis true that the onion has many layers, the problem with this particular specimen is that it's not clear what you end up with when you finish peeling. Puppet States - who is the eventual puppet and who is the eventual puppet-master - when you finish peeling? Not an easy question to answer, regardless as to whether one takes a philosophical pathway or a practical one. I find it easier to look at the results of a problem, than to look at the problem itself. I note that when I look at the result, that many possible scenarios exist that lead to this result, one of which incorporates the present 'onion' one.

The result of the problems that exist today can be summed up (in my opinion), by saying that mankind has mostly turned to apathy (I don't know that it wasn't always this way), and its more dominant elements have turned to parasitic and self-serving manipulation. I'm reminded of Nietzche's 'slave and master' description of mankind. However, I don't think Nietzche quite cuts it. I think the parasitic element of mankind actively manufactures apathy, not necessarily from a need to control perspective, but as fallout from their overall parasitic activities, what employer asks for apathetic workers afterall. I think this might be explained simply by suggesting that man singular does not evolve (if he ever did), but mankind itself is the creature that evolves and as time goes on the 'hive mentality' becomes more apparant.

We can talk of capitalism, trotskyism, communism or whatever 'ism' one wishes - it's all irrelevant - it's all about resources, consuming them and laziness. Evolution is all about laziness in my opinion, man evolves to become a creature of leisure - the more dominant of us - being miles ahead in this particular race.

How does all this tie in with the Middle East and the Execution of Saddam?

It puts a stop for the need to label individuals as the bad guy and it puts the emphasis on the individual himself or herself to evolve and fight their own corner. Prove my theory wrong. The individual must evolve and speak and act on their own behalf, otherwise we remain a herd, regardless as to politics and 'isms.'

Don't get me wrong here, I want to see justice done, especially for all the recent wars perpetrated by the US and its allies, and I want to see individuals punished, however, I want to see the whole problem looked at and dealt with too.

Presently, one person is as powerful as any large sized group. The Left in general have forgotten this - and its a pity - because the Left originally figured it out. Disagree with me? Look at Bush and Blair etc. Presently a single word from any of these demi-gods is more powerful than the combined voice of the rest of the world - this is becase we presently will it and we allow it.

The same can be said about the ultimate responsibility for the current disgraceful state of things in the Middle East and elsewhere. We may have said 'no!!'

It's obvious that we neither said it loud enough nor that we meant it.

author by Malachipublication date Thu Jan 04, 2007 00:41Report this post to the editors

feather !

cheney.jpg

Cheney
Cheney

author by Ahmedpublication date Thu Jan 04, 2007 09:49Report this post to the editors

What good for goose good for gander - isn't it?

Cancel this years G8 in Heiligendamm and have more trials in Nuremberg instead.

That way more democracy and less corruption?

God is great! Allah be praised!!

Related Link: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=G8%2C+2007%2C+Heiligendamm%2C+Democracy%2C+Corruption&btnG=
Number of comments per page
  
 
© 2001-2007 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy