Monday, November 06, 2006

Rambling thoughts on a momentous day..

So the verdict is out!.. Saddam is guilty of 'Crimes Against Humanity'.. and as a punishment, he is sentenced to death by hanging..
There is no doubt in my mind that this ruthless butcher thoroughly deserves the death sentence (although, in principle, I do not support the death penalty, I am willing to make an exception in this case!..). Nevertheless, I was really troubled by a number of things relating to this..
Why on a Sunday, when that particular Court never convened on a Sunday throughout its 1-year's duration??.. Is it becuase Monday is the last day of campaigning for the Mid-Term elections??.. Am I being too cynical when I link the timing of this sentence to the Republicans' electoral troubles?.. I know I am not the only one!..
Despite my views that the sentence was the correct one, I cannot help but note that the trial was a circus!.. only it was the dancing bear who was calling the tunes, and not the ringmaster!.. To my simple mind, the fact that the trial was so farcical has made the outcome so much less significant.. Saddam's supporters can, justifiably, scream 'Foul'.. All the political meddling, and all the flagrant bias demonstrated by the Court and the trial judges take away from the phenomenal significance of this monumental event.. This is, after all, the first time a former Arab ruler gets to be tried in his own Country, albeit with the Country under occupation...
But what troubles me most is the way the Western media has reported this event.. Even the more 'high-browed' organizations , like the BBC, have shown unbelievable levels of ignorance, when they report on how the Shias are celebrating, while the Sunnis are protesting!.. As if Saddam did not kill, torture and oppress as many Sunnis as he did Shias.. As if his inner circles of cronies and co-opressors did not contain Shias, as well as Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.. Any 'observer' worth his/her salt would tell you that the curse of Saddam, and the excesses of his henchmen, have reached every corner of the Iraqi society..
At this moment in time, certain questions immediately spring to mind.. like 'who's next?..' , or 'when will other people be held responsible for their Crimes Against Humanity?.. People like Bush, Blair, and Olmert, amongst others?'..


Rime said...

You and I don't even need to digress these days SB, we totally agree indeed! It seems our minds were crossing yesterday thinking about what you rightly termed a circus.

Like you, I am against the death penalty but I can think of several exceptions ... just don't get me in trouble by asking which ones! :)

Jedi Warrior said...

The one who got away:

November 7, 2006
Saddam's Unindicted Co-Conspirator

by Norman Solomon
Saddam Hussein has received a death sentence for crimes he committed more than a year before Donald Rumsfeld shook his hand in Baghdad. Let's reach back into history and extract these facts:

On Dec. 20, 1983, the Washington Post reported that Rumsfeld "visited Iraq in what U.S. officials said was an attempt to bolster the already improving U.S. relations with that country."
Two days later, the New York Times cited a "senior American official" who "said that the United States remained ready to establish full diplomatic relations with Iraq and that it was up to the Iraqis."
On March 29, 1984, the Times reported: "American diplomats pronounce themselves satisfied with relations between Iraq and the United States and suggest that normal diplomatic ties have been restored in all but name." Washington had some goodies for Saddam's regime, the Times account noted, including "agricultural-commodity credits totaling $840 million." And while "no results of the talks have been announced" after the Rumsfeld visit to Baghdad three months earlier, "Western European diplomats assume that the United States now exchanges some intelligence on Iran with Iraq."
A few months later, on July 17, 1984, a New York Times article with a Baghdad dateline sketchily filled in a bit more information, saying that the U.S. government "granted Iraq about $2 billion in commodity credits to buy food over the last two years." The story recalled that "Donald Rumsfeld, the former Middle East special envoy, held two private meetings with the Iraqi president here," and the dispatch mentioned in passing that "State Department human rights reports have been uniformly critical of the Iraqi president, contending that he ran a police state."
Full diplomatic relations between Washington and Baghdad were restored 11 months after Rumsfeld's December 1983 visit with Saddam – who went on to use poison gas later in the decade, actions which scarcely harmed relations with the Reagan administration.
As the most senior U.S. official to visit Iraq in six years, Rumsfeld had served as Reagan's point man for warming relations with Saddam. In 1984, the administration engineered the sale to Baghdad of 45 ostensibly civilian-use Bell 214ST helicopters. Saddam's military found them quite useful for attacking Kurdish civilians with poison gas in 1988, according to U.S. intelligence sources. "In response to the gassing," journalist Jeremy Scahill has pointed out, "sweeping sanctions were unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate that would have denied Iraq access to most U.S. technology. The measure was killed by the White House."
These are facts that the public should know about the current defense secretary of the United States.