Saturday, December 30, 2006

saddam and the death penalty

As you know, I'm staunchly against the death penalty.

But saddam was a bad man - and that really complicates things.

So I'm torn.


oldschool said...

goddamm Blogger - and I had such a fine rant going there, before it was evidently eaten.

So I'm torn.

I'm not.

The exporting of the American Way of Life (Official Reason #27) includes the idea tha those at whom you're pissed should be, with no real thought, hanged? Lovely.

They're gonna hang Saddam this weekend (during the Islamic holy days) so that it'll hopefully slip under some holiday (U.S.) news-dump.

Not that any Iraqi Sunni's will notice, or anything.

The U.S. is one of the most barbaric countries in the world, and we're gonna, by god, prove it by hanging this motherfucker, and there isn't a goddamm thing anybody can do about it. 'Cause, this has nothing to do with Iraqi justice - this is the U.S. baby, in all of our glory.

Total moral, and diplomatic, failure. What else is new?

I'm so sick of us, I could puke.

LeeB said...


Simon said...

But saddam was a bad man -

He gave the children of his nation healthcare and education. He binned the (human) animals. The US gave them sanctions (no medicine) and DU and let the animals thrive. Why so bad?

Mizgîn said...

Yeah, the educational system was great. Some friends of mine in Dihok were treated to a short field trip one time, courtesy of the Ba'athi government. Ba'athi soldiers herded them out of the classroom and on to the playground. Then they herded the teachers of my friends on to the playground. The Ba'athi forced my friends to watch as they executed their teachers one by one. End of field trip. Ice cream anyone?

Of course, Turkey does shit like this all the time and the Americans don't say anything about it either. I guess that's because the Americans helped train the Turks to do it. It's called "psyops."

What is more interesting about the sudden rush to execute is the fact that the Anfal trial is not finished. But what are 182,000 dead Kurds anyway?

Last week, the trial was stopped, all microphones turned off, and there was a quiet discussion during the Anfal trial. Apparently, the secrecy was necessary to protect Iraqi-Turkish relations. Looks like Turkey was involved in Anfal. No big surprise, but obviously, the rush to get rid of Saddam will effectively end the Anfal trial, and any messy evidence that would implicate Turkey in yet more genocide. There's probably evidence to implicate the US in the same genocide. Remember that photo of Rumsfeld and Saddam?

By getting rid of Saddam now, the Americans can continue with their lie that Iran did Anfal, without the bother of all those pesky eyewitness survivors of the campaign presenting their testimony officially.

lukery said...

i trust it was obvious that my post was tongue in cheek. of course i'm not really torn.

btw - was it bremmer who abolished the death penalty in iraq? that was one of the weirder moments of this whole debacle.

here's a quick thought experiment for youse all. As we heard repeatedly this week, Ford pardoned Nixon so that the country could 'move on.'

Saddam was executed so that the country could 'move on.'

give me 3 reasons why the situations were analogous. and three reasons why they are diametrically opposed.

LeeB said...

Thanks, Mizgin. Earlier this evening I almost posted a similar comment about Saddam but while I see I remembered the essence of the Anfal case, you have a sharper focus on it.

And this? "By getting rid of Saddam now, the Americans can continue with their lie that Iran did Anfal, without the bother of all those pesky eyewitness survivors of the campaign presenting their testimony officially." Exactly! I wonder though, since it is not exactly a very well-kept secret, if the entire sordid tale will come out officially in some other way, and sooner rather than later. I hope it does, and while bu$h 41 is still alive, if nobody minds.

The 'field trip' experience of your friends is horrific and defies any meaningful comment. :-(

Luke, your 'thought experiment' sums up the hypocrisy of these BFEE bastards in the U.S. government. I wonder, now that the 2008 presidential campaign is beginning to gear up, if any of the candidates will consider that the job of restoring the U.S. standing in the world depends on considerably more than just dusting off dandruff and running a comb through Lady Liberty's hair.

Mizgîn said...

LeeB, the lie about Iran that I refer to is the one propagated by Stephen Pelletiere and the Army War College. They did not bother with questioning survivor witnesses in preparing their report and this report is widely used throughout the Arab world to "prove" that Arabs did do Anfal. I feel that the report was an effort to whitewash the Saddam regime (supported by US) and to blacken the Teheran regime (US arch-enemy #1) but, practically speaking, the effect of the report on the Kurdish people was that of denial of serious crimes against us.

Now with Saddam out of the way, there is no more Anfal trial and all those who were complicit with the campaign are off the hook, particularly Turkey. Perhaps it also clears the way to use the Pelletiere report against Iran in order to help justify whatever it is that will happen as regards Iran. Make no mistake: I have absolutely no love of the evil mullahs or of Teheran. They are keen Kurd-killers as well as is the Baghdad and Ankara regimes, but I am also extremely wary of the reasons why the US wants to overthrow the mullahs and how it thinks it will do this. Given the fact that people like Michael Ledeen are leading the marketing charge for Iranian regime change, well, as far as I'm concerned, that's problematic on a number of levels.

Naturally I fully support, without question, PKK/PJAK actions against the Teheran regime and want to see it driven out of Iranian-occupied Kurdistan.

I emailed a few friends very quickly yesterday in the afternoon, expressing my concerns about the pending execution and my suspicions about the rush. It looks like everyone is in agreement, including one friend from Helebçe. is carrying a lot of current reaction, all in the same vein.

The question of whether to execute or imprison for life is one that has been discussed in Kurdish circles since Saddam's capture. There are those who feel that life imprisonment would be a more fitting punishment. However I do not recall any discussion becoming heated over the question of execution. The discussions have instead focused on which is the best way to make Saddam suffer more.

I also think the rush to execute on the eve of the Feast of Sacrifice (Kurban Bayrami/Eid al-Adha) was a very stupid thing to do, because it indicates once again that the US has absolutely no clue as to the culture it has involved itself with. The imagery associated with this bayram has to do with Abraham's sacrifice of his son (Ishmael in Islamic tradition; Isaac in Jewish/Christian tradition) on Mount Moriah. As a sign that the son was spared by Allah, an animal was sacrificed instead, and this act is repeated in the holiday now, with animals being sacrificed throughout the region.

With that in mind, what kind of imagery is spread regarding Saddam's execution? And that is on top of the whole question of why the execution was rushed in the first place.

In watching the news channels last night, I found it ironic that the airhead presenter on CNN tripped over his words several times in explaining that there the execution was videotaped and that TOP EXECUTIVES would minutely examine the tape to ensure the appropriateness of airing it. I think the US and the West should be exposed to a helluva lot more that is "inappropriate" . . . just like Kurds in Dihok, Amed, ?îrnex, Helebçe, etc. It gives you a very different perspective.

LeeB said...

Thanks, Mizgin. You provide a lot to chew on, and so far, it dovetails nicely with the sketchy facts - more like impressions - I've picked up here and there over the years, including the photo of Rummy shaking Saddam's hand.

I don't have a citation to go with it, but if memory serves, the reference to executives examining the video tape to "ensure the appropriateness of airing it" was probably a rather muddy reference to regulations in the U.S. that prohibit broadcasting footage of any person at the moment of death. No doubt, any meeting with 'top executives' would also include the network's legal advisors.

I mention this not in defense of the policy but just to note that none of the networks will be very much interested in putting their broadcast licenses on the line. That said, I agree with your point that "the US and the West should be exposed to a helluva lot more that is 'inappropriate' . . ."