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Death sentence for President Saddam Hussein

Gilles Munier


October 26, 2006


The verdict  of President Saddam Hussein’s first trial and that of seven former Iraqi leaders- the Al Dujail case- due on October 16th  has been postponed till November 5 in order "to complete verifications". Actually the postponement has been required by Bush’s public relations consultants in the hope that the announcement of  the capital sentence on the Iraqi President, his half-brother, Barzan Al-Tikriti, former head of the secret services before 1984 and the Vice-President, Taha Yassin Ramadan,  will help the Republicans secure more votes in the coming half-term elections to be held …two days later. Unless an unforeseen event, the sentences will be enforced within 30 days. By hanging.


On October 3rd, at Managua, Donald Rumsfeld expressed his opposition to lengthy legal proceedings against Saddam Hussein. He wanted them to be swift. The other charges – the Anfal trial- brought against Saddam Hussein will be tried and capital sentences passed on …..posthumously. This method would, in the eyes of the Americans, blur the responsibility of the Western leaders, especially the huge responsibility of Rumsfeld himself, in the deliveries of arms to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. The origin of the combat gas used by both belligerents at Halabja will not be discussed nor the amount of kickbacks paid to political parties in France, the States and elsewhere…


The Court as a battlefield

Whatever our views on President Saddam Hussein, it is a fact that the war of aggression on Iraq is regarded as illegal and the arrest of its leaders, an illegal act. The verdict that will be passed on November 5 by "the Green Zone Magistrates" will have no legal standing.


At the outset, the Dujail case was to set an example, open to the public and aired in full. It has never been fair, transparent or impartial. And yet all had been rehearsed beforehand in detail with fake court sessions. The magistrates selected by Salem Chalabi, business lawyer and Ahmed Chalabi’s nephew, leader of the Iraqi National Council (1) had been trained in Great Britain. However, outside pressures, the expanding chaos in Iraq and the pugnacity of the Iraqi President and Barzan al Takriti turned the court into a battlefield.


The well-groomed performance, staged by a communication firm linked to the Pentagon, evolved into to a mockery of justice. To begin with, Salem Chalabi was accused of the murder of the General Director of the Iraqi Ministry of Finances. He is on the run. The magistrates showed outright bias and the defence counsels had never advance access to all detail of the prosecution’s case – 36 tons of accusing evidences collected by FBI agents without any …..knowledge of Arabic- and  were never in a position to check whether the documents they received were genuine.


Khalil al Douleimi’s house, Saddam Hussein’s lead lawyer, was searched by US Special Forces and his files were confiscated. The defence lawyers were threatened to "be cut up into pieces" by "justice" minister Malek Dohane al-Hassan. Several were assassinated. At court sessions, anonymous witnesses were concealed behind curtains. Magistrates resigned or were dismissed and replaced off-hand. The selection of journalists allowed to report on  the trial was one-sided. Last, the declarations of the accused, in particular of Saddam Hussein, have been truncated before being dispatched. Amnesty International which cannot be suspected of sympathies for the former Iraqi President says: "The Dujail trial …has been sullied by serious breaches which question the capacity of the Court, as it stands, to administer justice in an equitable manner, under the general human law and standards of international due process" (2). Could it be otherwise? The failed attempt on the life of Saddam Hussein, in Dujail in 1982, was masterminded in Iran by the al-Dawa party which today is at the helm. For its chiefs who have little concern for Western law the trial is just there to avenge its dead and to mobilize its militants.


Rivers of blood

On March 14, 2006, President Saddam Hussein called on all Iraqis to "support the resistance instead of slaughtering each and every one".  If civil war befalls Iraq, he insists, they would live "under darkness and in rivers of blood". Judge Raouf Abdel Rahman; a hardliner, expelled the public from the court and warned him not to talk "politics" then he adjourned the trial.


Though there are similarities, a civil war is not yet occurring in Iraq. A war of liberation and a religious or ethnic strife are taking place. The Resistance hits the occupations forces and its collaborators while the US army shoots blindly. The pro-independence Kurds grab as much territory as they can from the Arabs and the Turcoman. The pro-Iran death squads carry out religious cleansing. Al Qaida kills Shias. The US secret services and Ahmed Chalabi pour oil over the fire through atrocious attacks and provocations such as the destruction of the Samara shrine. Moqtada Sadr’s  Medhi Army tries to compete with the Iran-oriented Badr Group. Families from one side take revenge on the opposite side and vice versa. Blackmails, killings by the thousand, rapes, robberies, kidnappings, vendetta, tortures of all sorts, expulsions are what the Iraqis have to live with every day. The number of violent deaths since the invasion is much higher that what the Baathists were accused of by theirs detractors. And unfortunately, it is not over….


Many Iraqis lament at the loss of the security they enjoyed under Saddam Hussein. The dreadful time of embargo seems peaceful compared to what they endure today. That in Tikrit, 3000 persons demonstrated to claim the release of their President is understandable: it is his home town. (3). But more than 300 tribal leaders among them Sheikh Turki Hajim al-Ubaydi of the Al Ubayd (1,5 million members) demand his comeback to power (4) and some others, in the province of Kirkuk, declare that it is only then that Iraqis would reconcile (5). This should not be taken lightly.


If, as expected, the death sentence is reached on Nov; 5, 2006, nothing will tie the hand of the executioner. Saddam Hussein is under no illusion as to his fate. He said that he wishes to die by a bullet as befits a Commander in Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces rather than by hanging as 57% of Americans wanted in March last (6). For many Iraqis, the death under these circumstances of a man who is a legitimate symbol of their Nation would open wide the doors of Hell. Civil war in Iraq would then be the bloodiest of all times.



(translation from French – AFI-Flash n°65)



Notes :

(1) International swindler wanted by Interpol for the criminal bankruptcy of a Jordanian bank.

(2) http://www.amnesty.fr/index.php/amnesty/s_informer/communiqu
es_de_presse/irak_les_irregularites_du_premier_proces_devant ...

(3) Sunni mosques attacked in Baghdad


(4) Washington Post -3/9/06

(5) Al Hayat – 18/9/06

-20060917-bd61464d-c0a8-10ed-01b6-e3381df75dc5/story.html ...

(6) Les Américains souhaitent l'exécution de Saddam, mais pas leurs alliés, selon un sondage


:: Article nr. 27777 sent on 27-oct-2006 12:29 ECT


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