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 Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam's Execution: A Dictator Created Then Destroyed by America


Robert Fisk
(Described by the New York Times as "probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain",[3] he has over thirty years of experience in international reporting, dating from 1970s Belfast and Portugal's 1974 Carnation Revolution, the 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War, and encompassing the 1979 Iranian revolution, the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, 1991 Persian Gulf War, and 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He is the world's most-decorated foreign correspondent,[4] having received numerous awards including the British Press Awards' International Journalist of the Year award seven times. Fisk speaks good vernacular Arabic, and is one of the few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden (three times between 1994 and 1997).[5] In the British journalistic tradition of the foreign correspondent, Fisk has developed a personal analysis of the foreign affairs that he covers and presents them in that light, often with trenchant criticism of the British government and its allies. His admirers take this as a sign of his depth of knowledge; his critics take it as confirmation of his incorrigible bias. Fisk is a consistent critic of what he perceives as hypocrisy in British government foreign policy.)

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Who could be more deserving of that last walk to the scaffold - that crack of the neck at the end of a rope - than the Beast of Baghdad, the Hitler of the Tigris, the man who murdered untold hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis while spraying chemical weapons over his enemies?

But history will record that the Arabs and other Muslims and, indeed, many millions in the West, will ask another question this weekend, a question that will NOT be posed in other Western newspapers because it is not the narrative laid down for us by our presidents and prime ministers -

What about the OTHER guilty men?

No, Tony Blair is not Saddam. We don't gas our enemies.

George W Bush is not Saddam. He didn't invade Iran or Kuwait. He only invaded Iraq.

But hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead - and thousands of Western troops are dead - because Messrs Bush and Blair and the Spanish Prime Minister and the Italian Prime Minister and the Australian Prime Minister went to war in 2003 on a potage of lies and mendacity and, given the weapons we used, with great brutality.

In the aftermath of the international crimes against humanity of 2001 we have tortured, we have murdered, we have brutalised and killed the innocent - we have even added our shame at Abu Ghraib to Saddam's shame at Abu Ghraib .

And yet we are supposed to forget these terrible crimes as we applaud the swinging corpse of the dictator we created.

  • Who encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed for it led to the deaths of a million and a half souls?

  • And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? We did.
No wonder the Americans, who controlled Saddam's weird trial, forbade any mention of this, his most obscene atrocity, in the charges against him.

Could he not have been handed over to the Iranians for sentencing for this massive war crime? Of course not. Because that would also expose OUR culpability.

And the mass killings WE perpetrated in 2003 with our depleted uranium shells and our "bunker buster" bombs and our phosphorous, the murderous post-invasion sieges of Fallujah and Najaf, the hell-disaster of anarchy WE unleashed on the Iraqi population in the aftermath of OUR "victory" - our "mission accomplished". Who will be found guilty of this?
Hours before Saddam's death sentence, his family - his first wife, Sajida, and Saddam's daughter and their other relatives - had given up hope.

His execution will go down as an American affair and time will add its false but lasting gloss to all this - that the West destroyed an Arab leader who no longer obeyed his orders from Washington, that, for all his wrongdoing (and this will be the terrible get-out for Arab historians, this shaving away of his crimes) Saddam died a "martyr" to the will of the new "Crusaders".

When he was captured in November of 2003, the insurgency against American troops increased in ferocity.

After his death, it will redouble in intensity again.

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