Monday, 6 November 2006

“Love Live Iraq! Long Live the Iraqi People! Down with the Traitors!”

Those were Saddam Hussein’s words as he heard that he had been sentenced to death by hanging and thus enabling Bush to strut around Republican heartlands, trying to shore up votes with the murder of the President of Iraq; parading his scalp like some backward Emperor and amazingly managing the impossible: generating sympathy for the Iraqi dictator.

I’m afraid you’ll never be able to convince me of the worth of the death penalty, I think that state-sponsored murder is abhorrent and sinks us to the level of pigs; vengeful violence has no place in a decent society and Iraq already has massive problems with government death squads administering off hand executions.

I also think that the trial of Saddam was the very worst kind of kangaroo court and it would have been more fitting to see Judge Judy sat omnipotent at its head for all the credence it has. Every major international body has made it clear that this prosecution of Saddam Hussein does not stand up to internationally accepted measures of what makes a fair trial. Indeed, as they worked their way through three judges, endlessly murdered defence lawyers and heavy handed interference from the American sponsors of this most despicable performance piece, the Bush regime must have been challenging the very precept that Saddam should have been brought in alive in the first place.

Max Hastings, in his column for The Guardian newspaper, makes a wonderful point:

“The biggest American mistake was to capture Saddam in the first place. In the House of Commons in 1944, the foreign secretary was asked what instructions had been given to British troops on what to do if they encountered Hitler. Amid laughter, Anthony Eden said: 'I am quite satisfied to leave the decision to the British soldier concerned.'

Among the allied leaders, only Stalin wanted Hitler alive, for the pleasure of hanging him. Everybody else was appalled by the prospective perils and complexities of trying and executing a head of state in partnership with the Russians. Hitler's suicide came as a relief.”

Victor’s justice is always an uncomfortable thing to implement, if you have any shred of human decency that is but at least the Allied forces had some kind of moral superiority over Nazi Germany (even with Stalin on board), unlike the botched and clumsy alliance of Britain and America, who themselves lurch from one crisis to the next.


  1. Forgotten amid the frothing idiocy of an "in perpetua tabula rasa" American public, is the basic principle upon which Justice is established.

    Justice is not the punishment of the bad guy. It is the evaluation of injustice, a contextual interpretation of injustice arising from said evaluation, and the establishment and execution of methods by which the original injustice can be corrected and, if possible, prevented from reoccurring.

    When I teach my first year law students this principle, they mostly stare at the wall, drooling stupidly, because they are American. The very simple, key concept of Justice might as well be as complicated as tying their own shoes, which they cannot do because they are stupid.

    The context of Saddam's crimes are prima fascie. Killing is wrong, unless one is preventing their own death in a clear-and-present situation which cannot be avoided by flight.

    Thus, Saddam's killing of everyone he was convicted of killing was unjust, and is part of understanding the context within which the injustice which was a primary characteristic of his terrifying reign.

    However, as with any criminal investigation, Saddam's ability to carry out the killings he was convicted of is also part of the context of the injustice which must be understood, in order to apply Justice to the situation.

    It would be insane under any circumstances, to try and convict anyone of murder--and condemn them to death--without also trying, convicting, and executing those who supplied the means and weapons used, were fully complicit in foreknowledge of intended victims, and continued to provide material aid to any defendant after the unjust killings occurred.

    It is also imperative to establish intent, and in the case of accomplices to establish deliberate complicity.

    The killing of Shiite Muslims in 1982, which has been revised to characterise a reprisal murder a'la Nazi intimidation techniques was actually instigated by the US State Department, intended to flare continuing hatred between Iran and Iraq when it appeared the two nations would declare a ceasefire long before Reagan had a chance to betray the United States of America by selling weapons to Iran.

    The gassing of the Kurds was also done with the prescience of the United States government. When told what Saddam was planning, Ronald Reagan laughed, turned to Alexander Haig and said, "Boys will be boys."

    Reagan had used the same expression often, when allies committed atrocities. Ironically, he had used it when the criminal enterprise known as Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor, killing several French workers.

    Reagan's explanation about why Saddam had NOT committed a war crime (chemical warfare having been outlawed in the 1920s), was that the "displaced" Kurds were performing military raids which required the use of WMD--supplied by his administration through Donald Rumsfeld--to suppress.

    Having had an Iraqi court decide that Reagan's explanation is not valid, it is therefore true that Donald Rumsfeld, and any other person involved in supplying Iraq with chemical weapons, is an accomplice, and therefore as guilty, as Saddam in the gassing of the Kurds.

    In order to dispel American liability, the US must order its puppet government in Iraq to strike down the court's decision. Doing this will automatically overturn Saddam's conviction, and either start the entire process over again or force Iraq's government to do what they have sentenced Saddam to death for.

    In short, America royally fucked up, and should never have forced its nominally Iraqi, puppet government to prosecute Saddam. They should instead have exiled Saddam to any one of the many countries which offered him exile-asylum, as has been the historical pattern for the simple reason now facing those who are being ordered to kill Saddam.

    If they are truly intent on punishing Saddam, it cannot be even remotely considered Just unless George Herbert Walker Bush, former American ambassador April Glaspie, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Ronald Reagan's decomposing corpse are meted exactly the same retribution.

    Saddam was the product of American imperialism. His peril is theirs.

    Of course, executing Saddam will keep the region in violent conflict for at least thirty years, giving America all kinds of reasons to stay there. Coincidence? I thinka not.

    Let us thank the gods that Reagan ultimately failed, celebrate Ortega's triumph, hope for a return to sanity in government, and everybody poop on a star spangled banner.

    New Victory. Together.

  2. Saddam is my favourite card in the "Top Trumps: World Dictators" series and I like the way he wears his beret cocked cheerily to the left as his sons feed his enemies into the woodchipper feet first - however, I think his Top Trump value might diminish once he's dancing on the end of the rope. Whaddya think?

  3. You have some excellent points. Despite what I wrote in my blog (and I am sticking to it), the death penalty gives me the shakes at times, too. On the other hand, whether or not he had what we consider to be a fair trial, we all know (and please don't deny it) that he murdered many.

    IMHO, when you do that sort of thing, it's a no-no. And it's a bigger no-no than, say, shoplifting, cheating on taxes, or even smoking crack. When it's that kind of crime, I believe that it is fitting that a murderer pay for it with his life.

    However, I cannot recall when we ever saw a major world leader put to death. It's just considered bad form. Pol Pot, Idi Amin... dictators who were as murderous and thuggish as Hussein, but allowed to live out their lives. Perhaps that wasn't just, but my point is that Hussein is the first since... (the French Revolution?)

  4. You forgot Nicolae Ceauşescu. There's some great before and after footage of that old bastard and his thuggish wife being dispatched. Mussolini got it too. Here's the pix:

    The problem with you middle class wankers is that you just don't have any blood lust.

  5. I agree with you Dan. I hate the death penalty and as Martin Luther King states 'violence doesn't solve violence but just causes more hate'.
    It all just doesn't feel right, deep in my heart.

  6. Ceausescu was also betrayed by Pacepa which was what forced him to build the personality cult and put family members in positions of power, since AmeriKa used the traitor to infiltrate Rumanian intelligence.

    These fabricated allegiances made his death necessary, to prevent the natural rehabilitation of his prestige after the counter-Revolutionary mania which toppled the glorious rule of the People throughout Europe came to an end.

    Which it has. And we're going to win again.

    Mussolini needed to die. He was too close to Churchill to live.

    Lesson: Do not make friends with fiends.


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