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 Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam Execution: What Others Say


    Dec. 30 - Iraqi state television and Al Arabiya television have shown footage of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein being led to the gallows and a noose being placed around his neck.



    Dec. 30 - Biladi, a Shi'ite-run channel in Iraq has showed Saddam Hussein's body lying with his neck twisted and with what appeared to be blood or a bruise on his left cheek.


  3. Carnage has gripped Iraq after Saddam Hussein has been executed when 77 people died in bomb attacks and December became the deadliest month for American forces in more than two years. In the hours after Saddam swung from the scaffold in the capital, a car bomb exploded in a fish market in the town of Kufa, a triple bombing ripped through a Baghdad neighbourhood and another blew up outside a children's hospital Saturday. Read here for more

  4. Saddam: The questions that will live on

    So why did George Bush decide to invade Iraq? Nearly four years and hundreds of thousands of casualties later, the reasons appear both as obvious and as elusive as they were in the spring of 2003.

    But if the alleged threat of WMD was based on manipulated intelligence, what else motivated the US? Many remain convinced the overwhelming factor was a desire to control Iraq's oil supplies, the second largest proven reserves in the world. Such a view has been reinforced by recent recommendations of Iraq Study Group which said: " The United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganise the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise, in order to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability."

    Did other factors influence Mr Bush? Was he seeking revenge against "the guy who tried to kill my dad" – a reference to an alleged plot to kill the president's father during a visit to Kuwait in 1993.

    Or was there even a broader strategic rationale, one that would benefit Israel – something claimed by peace activist Cindy Sheehan.Read here for more

  5. Arab pilgrims in Mecca expressed outrage on Saturday that Iraqi authorities had chosen to execute former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on a major religious holiday, saying it was an insult to Muslims.Sunni Arabs at the haj were shocked at Saddam's hanging which followed his conviction for crimes against humanity against Iraqi Shi'ites.

    The death could harden hatred for Shi'ite Muslims in Saudi Arabia, a bastion of Sunni Islam whose Islamic orthodoxy -- known as Wahhabism -- regards Shi'ites as virtual heretics. Read here for more

  6. Hanging former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was 'barbaric' and may turn him into a martyr, the European Union's aid and development Commissioner said. 'You don't fight barbarism with acts that I deem as barbaric. The death penalty is not compatible with democracy,' Louis Michel said.'Unfortunately Saddam Hussein risks to appear as a martyr, and he does not deserve that. He is not a martyr, he committed the worse things,' Michel said in a phone interview.Read here for more

  7. LIBYA declared three days of national mourning today after the execution of Iraqi ex-president Saddam Hussein who had been a "prisoner of war," official media said. Read here for more

  8. One thing is certain: The trial and execution of Saddam were about revenge, not justice.

  9. Instead of promoting national reconciliation, this act of revenge helped Saddam portray himself one last time as a symbol of Sunni Arab resistance, and became one more incitement to sectarian warfare.

    Saddam Hussein was tried under the shadow of a foreign military occupation, by a government full of his personal enemies. The first judge, an ethnic Kurd, resigned because of government interference in the trial; the judge who took his place was also Kurdish and had grievances against the accused.

    Three of Saddam's defense lawyers were shot down in cold blood. The surviving members of his defense team went on strike to protest the lack of protection afforded them. The court then appointed new lawyers who had no expertise in international law. Most of the witnesses against Saddam gave hearsay evidence.

    The trial ground slowly but certainly toward the inevitable death verdict.

    Iraq is on high alert, in expectation of protests and guerrilla reprisals. Leaves have been canceled for Iraqi soldiers, though in the past they have seldom paid much attention to such orders.

    But perhaps the death of Saddam, who once haunted the nightmares of a nation, will soon come to seem insignificant.

    In Iraq, guerrilla and criminal violence executes as many as 500 persons a day. Saddam's hanging is just one more occasion for a blood feud in a country that now has thousands of them. Read here for more

  10. VIDEO: Ramsey Clark reacts to the execution of Saddam Hussein.

    ""A tragic assault on truth and justice""

    CLICK here to view Video


    Human Rights Watch said yesterday: " The Iraqi government should not implement the death sentence against Saddam Hussein, which was imposed after a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity."

    Are we now going to compound our illegal preemptive attack and occupation of Iraq, where we set up and implemented a U.S. controlled coalition government, where we stage managed a flawed election and judicial system and where we now have condoned the hanging of this sovereign country's leader after a mock U.S. managed monkey trial ?

    All of this so that George W Bush, in an act of institutionalized revenge, can claim a pyrrhic victory while Baghdad roils in a brutal civil war ~ which he instigated.

    Have we gone mad ?

    Have we, as a nation, completely lost our moral bearings ? Read here for more

  12. The execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein serves not justice, but the political purposes of the Bush administration and its Iraqi stooges.

    The manner in which the execution was carried out—hurriedly, secretively, in the dark of night, in a mockery of any semblance of legal process—only underscores the lawless and reactionary character of the entire American enterprise in Iraq.

    The decision to send Hussein to the gallows was not a judicial but a political one. It was signaled by al-Maliki himself after the death sentence was pronounced by a special tribunal on November 5, when the Iraqi prime minister declared that Hussein would be executed before the New Year. In the rush to impose the penalty on that timeline, Iraqi officials ignored both elementary principles of judicial fairness and even their own constitution, which requires confirmation of a death sentence by the current Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani.

    As Richard Dicker, international justice director of Human Rights Watch, explained in a column Friday in the Guardian, the legal procedure was a travesty.

    “The trial judgment,” he wrote, “was not finished when the verdict and sentence were announced on November 5. The record only became available to defense lawyers on November 22.

    According to the tribunal’s statute, the defense attorneys had to file their appeals on December 5, which gave them less than two weeks to respond to the 300-page trial decision.

    The appeals chamber never held a hearing to consider the legal arguments presented as allowed by Iraqi law. It defies belief that the appeals chamber could fairly review a 300-page decision together with written submissions by the defense and consider all the relevant issues in less than three weeks.”

    Rather than a tribunal modeled on Nuremberg, where the surviving Nazi leaders received far more extensive due process rights than were accorded Hussein, the proceedings in Baghdad resembled a Stalinist or Nazi show trial, with a puppet judge, a predetermined verdict and a sentence carried out in the dead of night.

    Read here for more

  13. The execution of Saddam Hussein is another grim chapter in the catalogue of war crimes perpetrated against the Iraqi people. It is a gratuitous act of barbarism devoid of justice.

    What right does Bush have to kill Saddam? What right does the author of Abu Ghraib, Falluja, Haditha and countless other atrocities have to pass judgment on the former leader of a nation which posed no threat to the United States?

    Let’s be clear, the lowliest, most ruthless Iraqi has more right to rule Iraq than the most upright American. That’s what’s meant by “self determination”. When we honor “self rule” we avoid bloody interventions like the invasion of Iraq.

    Bush believes that killing Saddam will achieve the “closure” which has eluded him through 4 years of occupation. But he is mistaken. Saddam’s death will only eliminate any opportunity for a political solution. Reconciliation will be impossible and Saddam will die as a hero.

    Is that what Bush wants?

    Or does Bush really know what he wants? Perhaps, he is just a war-mongering psychopath completely disconnected from reality.

    Capital punishment is a moral evil. The state never has the right to kill its own people regardless of their crimes; Saddam is no exception. Read here for more

  14. It should have been a historic opportunity. For the first time since the end of the Second World War, a tyrant and his henchmen were being put on trial for crimes against humanity by a special domestic court.

    Yet the first trial against Saddam Hussein, in which he was charged with human rights violations dating back to 1982, was so rife with defects that the guilty verdict was unsound, according to Human Rights Watch.

    In a 97-page report on a trial which centred on the execution of almost 150 Shia Muslims and the arrest of 1,500 in Dujail, Human Rights Watch identified the flaws. Read here for more

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