Monday, 8 January 2007

Saddam Hussein - a bit late....

I was going to post this with a bit more thought and consideration. My LiveJournal friends saw my first instant, and rather unplanned, reaction to his murder. As requested by others here is the original post written on Saturday 30th December 2006 in all it's pissed off glory:

After going to bed last night with confusion over the actual date of his death, I awoke this morning to the news he had been executed. I wasn't going to journal about this after I had thought about it but a post on a friend's LJ (along the lines of "Rot in hell, Saddam" - you know who you are) I felt I had to comment.

Saddam's death is going to achieve nothing positive in Iraq. The country is in enough of a state without one group creating a martyr. I love the hypocritical stance Margaret Beckett took which I saw quoted on BBC News 24. While she applauded Saddam being brought 'to account for his crimes' in the same statement she said the British government didn't support the use of the death penalty in Iraq or elsewhere. *headdesk*

I suspect Saddam was tried and sentenced under Iraqi law or some form of 'neutral' international law. That is something I need to do more reading on. Another reason why I wanted to delay making a post about this. Yes, he committed terrible crimes against humanity. But what about America who bombed civilians in the first Gulf War? What about the killing happening in Iraq, committed by both armed 'peace keeping forces' and Iraqis themselves? What about the crimes committed by ordinary soldiers in Vietnam, Germany, China?

It is the victors who write the history of the war illegal occupation. The New Year will see blood spilled in Iraq as it has done for the past three years. All because the Americans needed a scapegoat for 9/11.

Please note, I am not against Americans altogether. It is the American administration and our British government that are encouraging this idea of realist international politics. I seem to have missed the announcement the United States of America was the peace keeping force of the world. Silly me, I thought it was still NATO and the UN. I guess I was wrong.


Chuffy said...

I'm glad you posted this. I was very interested to know what you thought about the whole thing and I think this is a good blog piece. I agree with you on some points, not on all of them though.

I fully agree that Saddam's death does nothing. It's not a "milestone" or a "new chapter" as a lot of British and American diplomats and politicians have called it. It's just more death, which seems to be never ending in Iraq. It also, I agree, makes him into a bit of a Sunni martyr and the scenes of Shia's celebrating just antagonise everything.

Tommy and I were talking about this, his main objection to the whole thing seemed to be the nature of the death penalty. Personally, I really don't care about the idea of capital punishment, I care about the justice of it. Capital punishment is a bit of a "different strokes for different folks-different hates for different states" kinda thing, it really does depend on the circumstances and I don't think I can really comment on its legitamacy.

What really gets my goat up, that you hit upon, was the legallity of it all. Saddam appeared to be being tried under Iraqi law in an effectively American appointed court with international formalities while being held on American soil in Iraq. How can you prosecute someone on foreign soil under your law unless it's in their abscence? Is this not a bit of a sticky point?

The appeal problem doesn't really exist-Saddam killed rather a lot of people, it's well documented, he was guilty. However, what he was eventually hung for was the assasination of "enemies of the state"-people who had attempted to take his life and destabilize Iraq. argue about the ethics of this if you want, but if I tried to assassinate Blair, I would fully expect MI5 to roll up to my door and top me off. And I'm not even a weapons expert in a wood wink wink.

Why was Saddam not tried for the murder of an estimated 6,000 Kurds? I have real objection to the fact that the "justice" of this was done in the name of a few millitants rather than innocent men, women and children that were gassed in their own homes.

And at the end of it all, why was he killed? To hide a deep receipt pile. Saddam was put in power by the CIA, who then sold him weapons. When his government collapsed, they got him back in. They helped him kill his rivals. They sold him more weapons. They told him to go to war with Iran, even though it would bankrupt Iraq, kill a million people and he did go to war, purely to protect America from "millitant Islam". He was a CIA agent. And they do tend to bump their own folk off.

You are spot on by saying it's the winners who write it all, not people who write blogs sadly. Then at least things would be more factual if you wrote it, don't you think?

The thing I have to disagree with you is that, yes, there are some terrible atrocities carried out worldwide by ordinary soldiers. Yes, the peace keeping forces have wronged many people. But they are the ones that have to put up with it all. It's about bringing to brunt those who order such artocities, those who hold the real responsibility.

I am glad there was justice against Saddam. But there is not real justice, just a bitter taste. And the bad guys get away again. Oh well.

Overall, really good blog.

tommy_blue_eyes said...

The entire "super CIA Saddam" incident is utterly baffaling. This trial under "Iraqi" law isn't very Iraqi considering the constution was written mainly by the US, the judiciary officals choosen by the US, and those who sat on the jury taken from a list limited by the US. I kinda hoped that the concept of waltzing into someone elses country stealing its natural resources and executing the head of state (regardless of who they are and how the got there) would not be one that was deemded exceptable in a modern context,and its nice to see the international community is so ready to prevent it. :p

The idea of capital punishment is proposterous and tribal at best , chuffy clearly documented the relationship between Saddam and the US which im sure we are all aware of: these facts make this incident even more deplorable.

Saddam is not the only leader who commited genocide, however most of the other fellows don't have plenty of lovely oil to steal, yes saddam was a bad bastard but there are plenty of bad bastards, and running about executing people isn't going to solve anything, anyone who believes the execution of saddam was a good thing (these people do exist buy the way!), on any level, is a fucking moron.

A Woman with an Opinion said...

To reply to Chuffy:

He was a CIA agent.

Surprisingly enough I just finished reading Canal Dreams by Iain Banks which takes place during the invasion of Panama by the CIA. I only made the connection between the book and the actual event after watching Bowling for Columbine the same evening.

In regards to my view on soldiers I shall elaborate a little more. My opinion is somewhat influenced by the Mothership who spent some time working indirectly for the Britsh Army. This was in the 1970s and Northern Ireland was regarded as the hot spot for tours. Most of the soldiers she knew couldn't wait to get over there and almost jumped for joy if they got assigned to Northern Ireland. It's my opinion the same type of guys still exist in the armed forces today. You don't join the army to sit around and drink beer a la Vietnam. That's why I'm slightly sceptical of sympathies extended towards them.

But I completely agree they're just those in the firing line (pardon the bad pun). It's the people in power that should be held accountable for these actions.

And thanks for the comments about my blog. Flattery is always appreciated :-)

A Woman with an Opinion said...

To Tommy:

Thanks for some more information regarding the technical aspects of Saddam's trial. It's rather interesting that the media has chosen to keep a lot of the logistics of the trail and execution quite. At least in the pieces of media I've looked at.

I am completely against the death penalty in any circumstances. To me, it's state authorised murder. It also breeds some hypocricy. This man with a silly wig on says it's OK to murder this man in return for killing another human being. It lowers oneself to revenge from the Bible which, as we both know, can be quoted frequently out of context.