Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam will swing

An Iraqi court sentenced Saddam Hussein and a couple of his henchmen to hang for war crimes committed during his regime.

He certainly deserve to die for the sort of atrocities that were routine during his reign.

However, there is one thing about this that bothers me and that no one else seems to have mentioned: the fact that he was never forcefully and fully interrogated by the US, especially on the subject of what happened to Iraq's chemical weapons and WMD's , which, thanks to the New York Times we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was actively involved in producing.

Instead he was turned over to the Iraqis for a travesty of a trial and will take his secrets to the grave, while becoming a martyr to his followers.

Saddam Hussein's death sentence for crimes against humanity stems from the killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite Muslims 24 years ago in the village of Dujail during the Iraq/Iran War, after an assasination attempt. Interestingly enough, the present Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki's Dawa party claimed responsibility for that 1982 attempt at removing Saddam Hussein from the scene.

Judge Rauf Abdel Rahman ordered Saddam to stand as he read out the verdict. When he refused to do so,the bailiffs moved him from his seat. As the judge began reading the sentence, Mr. Hussein shouted: "Allahu Akbar" and "Long live Iraq! Long live the Iraqi people! Down with the traitors!"

He then denounced the court and the American occupation of Iraq.

Needless to say, Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority was..not pleased.

Immediately after the sentence, violence broke out in Baghdad's Sunni Azamiya district. Defying curfew, thousands of Saddam's supporters took to the streets in his hometown of Tikrit, in the Triangle.

The Islamic Party, Iraq's biggest Sunni Arab party, said that the government should have stopped the sectarian violence in the country before sentencing Saddam.

"The government should have put food on the table of the starving people, stopped all criminal acts, death squads and sped up the national reconciliation before it puts all criminals before and after the fall of (Saddam's) regime on trial."

A senior Sunni Arab memeber of Iraq's parliament who asked not be named for fear of sectarian reprisals was quoted by al-Reuters as saying "This is a political verdict from a political court."

The judge also sentenced to death Barzan Al Tikriti, Mr. Hussein's military intelligence chief, and Awad Hamad Al Bandar, a former chief judge. Taha Yassin Ramadan, vice-president in the deposed government, was awarded life imprisonment.

Three former Baath party officials were sentenced to 15 years, while one of the co-accused was acquitted.

A nine-member appeals panel now automatically reviews the death sentences and the other verdicts.

I'm pretty sure that this verdict is the beginning of the US redeployment in Iraq, outside of the cities, allowing the splintering of the country into its natural divisions.

Hopefully, the US will take advantage of this to ally itself with an independent Kurdistan..something we should have done a long time ago.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's just say I'm not going to shed any tears over this. Such a vile little man.