THE [LIVING] MARTYR
By Malcom Lagauche
Thursday/Friday, December 28-29, 2006
The decision to uphold the death sentence of Saddam Hussein by the sham Iraqi appeals court has gained worldwide condemnation, except for the U.S., of course. The court took two days to read 1,500 pages of documents presented by the defense. No court in the world can decipher this number of pages in such a short time, not even a legitimate court.
No one was surprised by the verdict against Saddam ! because of the knowledge this was a foregone conclusion. However, the court outdid itself by ruling on the Iraqi vice president, Ramadan. He was sentenced to life in prison, but the appeals court took it upon itself to change the sentence to death, even though his case was not on the docket.
From the time Saddam first set foot in court until today, the entire system was stacked against him and conducted so many breaches of the law that it would take an expert mathematician to give us a tally.
Dr. Curtis Doebbler, a noted international human rights attorney, was on Saddam’s legal team from the start. I spoke to him today to get his opinion on the appeals court decision. He stated:
"We’re trying to point out that [when] an execution takes place, it will be an ex-judicial, arbitrary. Execution takes place, it will be an ex-judicial, arbitrary execution outside the law in violation of the law. It’s somewhat ironic that this individual who will be executed has proven to have much more integrity than the individuals who are executing him, including the U.S. president who exhibits more evidence that he has committed crimes against the Iraqi people than there was against the president of Iraq in the first trial in which he was brought before the U.S.-created court and there has still has been no investigation of the U.S. president.
As you’ve seen the Iraqi president has maintained his dignity and also maintained his peace of mind in belief that he personifies the will of the Iraq people to continue to fight against this occupation, which they believe, and the majority of the international community believes, is illegal and the consequence of the illegal invasion of Iraq.
It’s quite a sad day, I think, for international justice and, unfortunately, an another example of how the United States is unwilling to conform with international law; to show respect for international law. What hurts me most, as an American, is that we’re the ones who benefit the most from respecting that law. When we set this example, we essentially tell people that the law cannot be used to try to get the United States to respect their rights. They have to use other means. That’s what got us into many of the problems that we’re in today."
Almost everybody in the U.S. is in the lynching mood. Pundits are frothing at the mouth while they discuss the upcoming execution. There is a collective air of insanity today in the U.S. Even former anti-war proponents are cheering on the future execution. Many Democratic politicians have said they were happy about the decision and that Saddam "deserves" it. Not one, however, has discussed the legality or the fairness of his trial.
Leftist journalists are trying to outdo each other in demeaning Saddam. Not only are they talking about his "brutal dictatorship," they are m! aking up even new fables of atrocities committed under his regime.
I challenge all journalists who advocate the hanging of Saddam Hussein to take a few hours and research reality.
- The standard figure of deaths attributed to the Ba’ath regime during the Anfal campaign is 182,000. Why have there not been any bodies found? If 182,000 people were killed, there must be piles and piles of bodies, yet none has appeared.
- If 148 people were sentenced to death in 1982 for attempting to assassinate the president of Iraq, why are at least 24 still alive? And, those who were executed received a lengthy and fair trial that lasted about three years. They were fighting on the side of Iran while Iraq was engaged in a war with its eastern neighbor. In the U.S., this would be considered high treason. With Saddam Hussein, it was called mass murder. George Bush himself signed off more execution orders w! hile the governor of Texas than did Saddam in the Dujail case.
- If Iraqi military personnel gassed and killed 5,000 Kurds in Halabjah, why were only 300 bodies found? And, why was the gas used to kill the citizens cyanogen, a gas that Iraq did not possess but Iran did? Why have the CIA, the U.S. Army War College, Greenpeace, the main CIA analyst in 1988 (Stephen Pellitiere), the late Jude Waniski, the U.S Marine Corps Historical Report, and various other individuals and organizations blamed Iran for the gassing of the Kurds?
- Why has not one Iraqi come forward and stated he was part of the gassing campaign? Today, with the Ba’athists out of power, one cannot use the excuse that no one would step forward because of threats of death from the Ba’ath administration. Huge sums of money have been offered for someone to state that he knew about or was part of the gassing: a pilot, or a supply specialist, or an observer, anyone. Not ! one person has emerged to claim the bounty.
- In November 2003, the U.S. stated that 400,000 bodies were found in mass graves in the south of Iraq. The following June, Tony Blair admitted to the press that only 5,000 bodies were found. He "mis-spoke" when he used the original figure of 400,000. Subsequent investigations showed that many of the 5,000 were killed by U.S. bombs in Desert Storm. Why has no one taken the ball and run with this story?
[The author has] reported extensively on the above anomalies. Unfortunately, few others have. To me, investigating and disproving accepted myths are the marks of an astute journalists.
No, today we still hear all the beastly acts attributed to Saddam Hussein from the mouths of people who should know better. Many people have stated that George Bush has lied about everything to do with Iraq: weapons of mass destruction; the Bin-Laden/Saddam link; the I! raqi involvement with 9-11; the fictitious biological weapons trailers; the imprisonment of an American POW since 1991; etc. Yet, the same people broadcast the myths about Saddam Hussein’s barbaric actions. I again issue a challenge to the leftist press: Please explain if Bush has lied about everything, why is he telling the truth about Saddam’s brutality? That’s a hard one for the pundits to answer. For someone with any amount of intelligence and logic, it is easy: Bush lied about Saddam as well.
Here are a few questions that are not heard today, but should be crucial in discussing Iraq:
- Why don’t we hear about Iraq being designated "free of illiteracy" by the U.N. in 1982, when in 1973 the country’s literacy rate was below 40%?
- Why don’t we hear about the proclamation of the U.N. in 1984 that Iraq’s education system was the finest the world had ever seen from a developing country?
- Why don’t we hear about the New York Times calling Iraq the "Paris of the Middle East" in 1987?
- Why don’t we hear about Saddam Hussein visiting houses in the south of Iraq in the 1970s just to make sure each one had a refrigerator and electricity?
- Why don’t we hear about the several million foreign Arabs who went to Iraq to take advantage of the land program the Ba’athists instituted in which the person would be given land to create crops?
- Why don’t we hear about the Iraqi educators and doctors who were sent to Arab countries to assist them in developing their own programs?
- Why don’t we hear praise from Arab countries for Iraq having lost so many soldiers in the Iran-Iraq War, all for the defense of these countries who were scared about Iran exporting its religious fundamentalism to their shores?
- Why don’t we hear about the several approaches made to Saddam in the 1990s by U.S. sources to recognize Israel and allow U.S. military bases in Iraq in trade for lifting the embargo?
- Why don’t we hear that every U.S. person on the U.N. inspection team from 1991 to 1998 was a spy, not an inspector.
... The current scenario just does not make sense. The people who lied through their teeth (Bush, Cheney, Rice, Bremer, Powell, Rumsfeld, et al) and stole tens of billions of dollars that belonged to the country of Iraq, are proudly speaking of creating a new Middle East or conducting booksigning tours for their memoirs. The results of their lies led to the killing of hund! reds of thousands of Iraqis; a cost of about a trillion dollars so far to the U.S. public; and the destruction of a country’s culture and infrastructure. Even the history of Iraq has been re-written by people in Washington D.C.
On the other hand, the guy with the moustache who told the truth about all the lies and adhered to the U.N. request for inspections, as well as supplied a 12,000-page report that documented in detail every aspect of Iraq’s former WMD programs, sits in a jail cell awaiting execution. Something is fundamentally wrong when things can get so far out of hand.
[Yesterday], Saddam Hussein is the freest man in Iraq, although he [was] behind bars. His mind is clear and his integrity is nothing short of incredible. He [went to] death with dignity. Not once has he cracked under torture or pressure. Even when offered a "get out of jail free" card by the U.S. if he stopped the resistance, Saddam refused to capitulate.
Other leaders, such as Ghadaffi and Noriega did succumb to U.S. pressure. Ghadaffi, once a revolutionary, today is nothing more than the head inspector of the transfer of his country’s oil to the capitalist giants. He no longer has a grand view of society. He may not be in jail, but he is a slave.
Noriega quickly began singing when the U.S. put on the pressure. He admitted to trafficking in drugs, despite the U.S. being his partner. And, he made a big deal of stating that he had found Jesus after he was incarcerated. He is a slave behind bars.
Saddam Hussein [was] not a slave, although his incarceration [kept] him imprisoned. He [was] not allowed to see his family, unless, like his sons and grandson, they are shot to death with hundreds of bullets. The U.S. prides itself on "family values," but not for foreign individuals. A U.S. family is sacred, but an Iraqi family! is merely cannon fodder.
On January 17, 1991, Saddam Hussein proclaimed to the world, "The mother of all battles has just begun." Despite two U.S. presidents declaring victory over Iraq with a New York parade and a U.S. aircraft carrier celebration, the mother of all battles now roars more fiercely than ever.
In about three weeks, it will be the 16th anniversary of the beginning of the bombing of Iraq. Despite U.S. denials and proclamations, the battle still rages. The bombing did not stop with the signing of a cease-fire agreement on March 2, 1991. It continued until March 2003 from the illegal "no-fly" zones the U.S. created.
... Saddam Hussein [has been] hanged. He [is] dead, but his legacy will not only survive him, it will be enhanced. The mother of all battles is a long way from being terminated.
Malcom Lagauche is the author of "The Mother of All Battles." To be released spring 2007