*The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was to disarm the country of weapons of
mass destruction. Until today no such weapons have been found.


Saddam Hussein committed most of his crimes when he was an ally of those who now occupy his country. By Tariq Ali. See below for a commentary by former Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

 

It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging - most of it shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It has been that sort of year in the Arab world. The trial was so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch had to condemn it as a travesty. Judges were changed on Washington's orders, defence lawyers were killed and the whole procedure resembled a well orchestrated lynch mob. Where Nuremberg was a relatively dignified application of victor's justice, Saddam Hussein's trial was the crudest and most grotesque to date.

The great thinker-president's reference to it "as a milestone on the road to Iraqi democracy" is as clear an indication as any that Washington pressed the trigger. The leaders of the European Union, supposedly hostile to capital punishment, were passive, as usual.

Although some Shia factions celebrated in Baghdad, the figures published by a fairly independent establishment outfit, the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies, reveal that more than 80 per cent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before it was occupied. (The ICRSS research is based on detailed house-to-house interviewing carried out during the third week of November.) Only 5 per cent of those questioned said Iraq is better today than in 2003; 12 per cent felt things had improved and 9 per cent said there was no change. Unsurprisingly, 95 per cent felt the security situation was worse than before.

Add to this the figures supplied by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees: 1.6 million Iraqis (7 per cent of the population) have fled the country since March 2003, and 100,000 leave every month - Christians, doctors, engineers, women. There are 1 million Iraqis in Syria, 750,000 in Jordan, 150,000 in Cairo.

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 are now occupying
the country. It was, as he admitted
in one of his trial outbursts,
the approval of Washington and the
poison gas supplied by what was
then West Germany that gave him
the confidence to douse Halabja
with chemicals in the middle
of the Iran-Iraq war.

These are refugees who do not excite the sympathy of western public opinion, since the US-EU-backed-occupation is the cause. Perhaps it was these statistics, and estimates of a million Iraqi dead, that necessitated the execution of Saddam.

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 are now occupying the country. It was, as he admitted in one of his trial outbursts, the approval of Washington and the poison gas supplied by what was then West Germany that gave him the confidence to douse Halabja with chemicals in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam 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, 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 Falluja; the ethnic cleansers of Baghdad; the Kurdish prison boss who boasts that his model is Guantánamo. Will Bush and Blair ever be tried for war crimes? Doubtful. And former Spanish prime minister José María Aznar? He is currently employed as a lecturer at Georgetown University, in Washington, where the language of instruction is, of course, English - of which he hardly speaks a word.

Saddam's lynching might send a shiver down the spines of the Arab ruling elites. If Saddam can be hanged, so can the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, the Hashemite joker in Amman and the Saudi royals - as long as those who topple them are happy to play ball with the United States.

Note: Tariq Ali's new book, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis Of Hope, is published by Verso. He also wrote Rough Music: Blair, Bombs, Baghdad, Terror, London (Verso); Street Fighting Years (new edition) and, with David Barsamian,Speaking of Empires & Resistance. He can be reached at tariq.ali3@btinternet.com

 

The Barbaric Lynching of President Saddam Hussein

Press statement by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

On the Holy day of Eid, the world watched in horror at the barbaric lynching of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, allegedly for crimes against humanity. This public murder was sanctioned by the War Criminals, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.

This sadistic act broadcast to the whole world is a travesty of justice, and was meant to demonstrate the imperial power of the United States and serves as a warning to peace loving peoples that we must either bow to the dictates of the Bush regime or face the consequences of a public lynching.

The lynching was also an insult to all Muslims, as it occurred on the Holy Day of Eid, whereby Muslims devote themselves to prayer and forgiveness. It is all too clear that the war criminal Bush has no sensitivities whatsoever for Muslims on their pilgrimage to Mecca. This barbaric act is a sacrilege!

The entire trial process was a mockery of justice, no less a Kangaroo Court. Defence counsels were brutally murdered, witnesses threatened and judges removed for being impartial and replaced by puppet judges. Yet, we are told that Iraq was invaded to promote democracy, freedom and justice.

The lynching was also an insult
to all Muslims, as it occurred on the
Holy Day of Eid, whereby Muslims
devote themselves to prayer and
forgiveness. It is all too clear
that the war criminal Bush has no
sensitivities whatsoever for Muslims
on their pilgrimage to Mecca.

A peaceful country has now been turned into a war zone. Over 500,000 children died as a result of the criminal economic sanctions, and the latest findings by the medical journal, Lancet, reveals that over 650,000 Iraqis have died since the illegal invasion of 2003.

The War Criminal Bush has killed more Iraqis than President Saddam ever did, if in fact he was guilty of any crime. If President Saddam Hussein is guilty of war crimes, then the world must find Bush, Blair and Howard equally guilty and the International Criminal Court cannot but prosecute these war criminals. The inaction thus far by the International Criminal Court against Bush, Blair and Howard exposes the double standard of the said Court, when it does not hesitate to prosecute war crimes committed in Dalfur, Rwanda and Kosovo.

If we support human rights and justice, we must condemn this barbaric lynching of President Saddam Hussein. There can be no excuse whatsoever for this injustice under any circumstances. War Criminal Bush and the puppet regime in Iraq have made a mockery of the Rule of Law.

30th December 2006

Note: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is a member of the International Committee, For the Defence of President Saddam Hussein.

 



Click here to order Tariq Ali books.

Other articles by Tariq Ali:
The War Is Already Lost
Venezuela And The Bolivarian Dream
A Bavarian Provocation
A Protracted Colonial War
On The Death Of Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Iraq's Destiny Still Rests Between God, Blood And Oil
A Despised Leader Suffers His First Loss
Pakistan Will Never Forget This Horror
The Logic Of Colonial Rule
A Viler Barbarism
The Price Of Occupation
The New Ultra-Imperialism Of The World
"They Think God Runs The IMF"
Imperial Delusions: "Domocracy Promotion" And Resistance
The New Model Of Imperialism: Saddam On Parade
The Importance Of Hugo Chavez: Why He Crushed The Oligarchs
Getting Away With Murder
The War Is Not Going Well For Bush






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January 2, 2007