"It's as if they had taken Adolf Hitler alive in 1945, but ignored his responsibility for starting the Second World War and his murder of six million Jews and just put him on trial for executing people suspected of involvement in the July 1944 bomb plot. With all of Saddam's other crimes to choose from, why on earth would you hang him for executing the people suspected of involvement in the Dujail plot?
Because the United States was not involved in that one. It was involved in the massacre of the Iraqi Communists (the US Central Intelligence Agency gave Saddam their membership lists). It was implicated up to its ears in Saddam's war against Iran -- to the point of arranging for Iraq to be supplied with the chemicals to make poison gas, providing Baghdad with satellite and AWACS intelligence data on Iranian targets, and seconding US Air Force photo interpreters to Baghdad to draw Saddam the
detailed maps of Iranian trenches that let him drench them in poison gas.
The Reagan administration stopped Congress from condemning Saddam's use of poison gas, and the US State Department tried to protect Saddam when he gassed his own Kurdish citizens in Halabja in 1988, spreading stories (which it knew to be false) that Iranian planes had dropped the gas. It was the US that finally saved Saddam's regime by providing naval escorts for tankers carrying oil from Arab Gulf states while Iraqi planes were left free to attack tankers coming from Iranian ports. Even when one of Saddam's planes mistakenly attacked an American destroyer in 1987, killing 37 crew-members, Washington forgave him.
And it was George W. Bush's father who urged Iraq's Shias and Kurds to rebel after Saddam was driven out of Kuwait in 1991, and then failed to use US air power to protect the Shias from massacre when they answered his call. The US was deeply involved in all of Saddam's major crimes, one way or another, so no trial that delved into the details of those crimes could be allowed.
Instead, the spin-doctors in the current Bush administration put the Dujail trial first and scheduled the trials for Saddam's bigger crimes for later, knowing that they would all be cancelled once the death penalty for the Dujail incident was confirmed. The dirty laundry will never have to be displayed in public. But it does mean that the man who was hanged last Saturday morning not only had a farce of a trial before a kangaroo court; he was executed for the wrong crime."
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Rush to Execution
While the US is busy denying it, Gwynne Dyer thinks that the US wanted Saddam executed ASAP.