Sunday, December 31, 2006

A dictator created then destroyed by America

Robert Fisk
London Independent
December 30, 2006

Saddam to the gallows. It was an easy equation. 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?

Our masters will tell us in a few hours that it is a "great day" for Iraqis and will hope that the Muslim world will forget that his death sentence was signed - by the Iraqi "government", but on behalf of the Americans - on the very eve of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the moment of greatest forgiveness in the Arab world.

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, forbad 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? Such expiation as we might expect will come, no doubt, in the self-serving memoirs of Blair and Bush, written in comfortable and wealthy retirement.

Hours before Saddam's death sentence, his family - his first wife, Sajida, and Saddam's daughter and their other relatives - had given up hope.

"Whatever could be done has been done - we can only wait for time to take its course," one of them said last night. But Saddam knew, and had already announced his own "martyrdom": he was still the president of Iraq and he would die for Iraq. All condemned men face a decision: to die with a last, grovelling plea for mercy or to die with whatever dignity they can wrap around themselves in their last hours on earth. His last trial appearance - that wan smile that spread over the mass-murderer's face - showed us which path Saddam intended to walk to the noose.

I have catalogued his monstrous crimes over the years. I have talked to the Kurdish survivors of Halabja and the Shia who rose up against the dictator at our request in 1991 and who were betrayed by us - and whose comrades, in their tens of thousands, along with their wives, were hanged like thrushes by Saddam's executioners.

I have walked round the execution chamber of Abu Ghraib - only months, it later transpired, after we had been using the same prison for a few tortures and killings of our own - and I have watched Iraqis pull thousands of their dead relatives from the mass graves of Hilla. One of them has a newly-inserted artificial hip and a medical identification number on his arm. He had been taken directly from hospital to his place of execution. Like Donald Rumsfeld, I have even shaken the dictator's soft, damp hand. Yet the old war criminal finished his days in power writing romantic novels.

It was my colleague, Tom Friedman - now a messianic columnist for The New York Times - who perfectly caught Saddam's character just before the 2003 invasion: Saddam was, he wrote, "part Don Corleone, part Donald Duck". And, in this unique definition, Friedman caught the horror of all dictators; their sadistic attraction and the grotesque, unbelievable nature of their barbarity.

But that is not how the Arab world will see him. At first, those who suffered from Saddam's cruelty will welcome his execution. Hundreds wanted to pull the hangman's lever. So will many other Kurds and Shia outside Iraq welcome his end.

But they - and millions of other Muslims - will remember how he was informed of his death sentence at the dawn of the Eid al-Adha feast, which recalls the would-be sacrifice by Abraham, of his son, a commemoration which even the ghastly Saddam cynically used to celebrate by releasing prisoners from his jails. "Handed over to the Iraqi authorities," he may have been before his death. But his execution will go down - correctly - 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 December of 2003, the insurgency against American troops increased in ferocity. After his death, it will redouble in intensity again. Freed from the remotest possibility of Saddam's return by his execution, the West's enemies in Iraq have no reason to fear the return of his Baathist regime. Osama bin Laden will certainly rejoice, along with Bush and Blair.

And there's a thought. So many crimes avenged.

But we will have got away with it.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Saddam Hussein: Just Another Innocent Iraqi Murdered by Bush

History will remember him as a brutal dictator and a mass murderer responsible for countless crimes against humanity. Yet he spent last night kicking back on his Crawford ranch while an innocent man was led to the gallows.

Don’t get me wrong, Saddam was a bad guy, but* his gassing of an entire Kurdish village was no different than U.S. troops killing innocent cilivians on the field of battle. Saddam’s inhuman practice of torturing his own people isn’t any worse than Lyndie England making pig piles out of naked Iraqis on Bush’s orders. According to the sacred laws of Moral Equivilency written in cuniform by ancient Druidic Sissies and passed down through the generations to modern day progressives, Saddam and Bush are exactly the same right down to the identical skid marks on their underoos.

No one can argue that Saddam deserved to be punished for giving Bush an excuse to expand U.S. hegemony. But just as Rev. Merle Haggard’s gay sex romps cleansed all homosexuals of their sins, Bush’s hypocrisy has exonerated Hussein of any guilt for the crimes he committed. By all rights, Saddam should have been freed the moment they pulled him out of that spider hole. Instead, he was forced through a long circus trial and then executed in the dead of night before any Hollywood celebrities could appeal for his release.

So the flags will fly at half-mast Tuesday not for the passing of an American president, but for the death of justice and the tragic loss of a potential University of Colorado professor.


*The phrase “Saddam was a bad guy, but” is a registered trademark of the Democratic National Committee. All Rights Reserved.

Real Truth Online said...

i dont understand this post, was it meant to be sarcastic? It looks like someone's article you just copied and pasted. Saddam was not innocent, but he was a monster we created. Who is the author of this?

Anonymous said...

Written by a lib named Larry - it sure sounds like you

Real Truth Online said...

sorry to hurt your feelings, but myself or the likes of me HAS never or WILL ever say Saddam was NOT a bad guy-----it's just that we created that bad guy and supported and financed him for so long----now we have killed him. So if you are the one that really feels bad that he's dead, that's fine---this is America, you are entitled to sob for Saddam, but dont turn it around and say WE are sad. You can not point to ONE instance where I've said that, can you????????

Anonymous said...

The liberal media - like most libs - are in mourning. Look at their "reporting"

The NY Times op-ed "Rush to Hang Saddam"

Liberal twit Chris Matthews wonders if the trial was fair?

Tom Brokow saying this is a public relations nightmare

The blame America first crowd (of which you are a charter member) will find someway to link the US and find somway to slime the US, no matyer what the facts are

The outrage over Saddam being insulted by the hangmen.

Yes, libs are sad over his hanging. Any good news from Iraq goes against their predetermined style of reporting - everything in Iraq is a mess

Real Truth Online said...

Why cant you worthless mother fuckers see the crimes of George W. Bush? Does this son of a bitch ALWAYS DO RIGHT with you bastards? WHEN will you admit that this war is a quagmire--and all for a LIE? Do you WANT more Americans to die?Obviously YOU dont have a kid over there! You un-American piece of garbage! I notice how you left NO comment under my latest post in the Mike Gallagher thread----why, because what i said was GREAT?

Anonymous said...

And you say you are not angry?

You say you want to debate the issues?

Another temper tantrum from little Larry

Hold your teddy bear close and go pount in the corner

I post examples of the liberal media crying over the hanging of Saddam, and I am the bad guy

Only in the liberal "mind" does this occur

Real Truth Online said...

YOURE the one that doesnt deabte ANYTHING! How many times have i mentioned Northwoods? Id say roughly 20-30 times?? How many times have you dodged, deflected or ignored Northwoods? 20-30 times, id say? Saying Im a "kook" in response to me asking about Northwoods is NOT debating----its AVOIDING the debate! Just shows youre SCARED to talk about it, because its a REAL DOCUMENT!! Dont bother replying to this----I'll cover youre reply------>>> "More kook shit from an angry liberal"-------is that about the gist of how youd address Northwoods? Yeah, I thought so. LOSER!

Anonymous said...

We are talking about the liberal media crying over Saddm and you fall back to your crackpot conspiracy theories.
To bad you cannot defend the liberal media once again siding with America's enemies, blaming America for something it had nothing to with, and showing how they will say anything to slime Pres Bush

Here is another example........

Mainstream Media Having Fits Over Execution of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein was tried for genocide and crimes against humanity in events that happened over 2 decades ago. His guilt in that one trial spoke to a single chapter whose murderous mark personifies a sliver of the total crimes that Hussein committed in over a quarter century of terror. Yet the mainstream media is beside themselves in trying to recreate the image of Saddam Hussein the killer into Saddam Hussein the victim.

Perhaps topping this list of mainstream media revisionists is the New York Times who tell the latest chapter in Saddam’s life as if the United States is the party responsible for creating the negative image of the “Butcher of Baghdad”.

Like the helicopter trip, just about everything in the 24 hours that began with Mr. Hussein’s being taken to his execution from his cell in an American military detention center in the postmidnight chill of Saturday had a surreal and even cinematic quality.

Part of it was that the Americans, who turned him into a pariah and drove him from power, proved to be his unlikely benefactors in the face of Iraq’s new Shiite rulers who seemed bent on turning the execution and its aftermath into a new nightmare for the Sunni minority privileged under Mr. Hussein. - Ny Times, U.S. Questioned Iraq on the Rush to Hang Hussein [all emphasis mine]

Surreal and cinematic are terms that best personify this type of reporting. Devices such as spectacular headlines, time compressed chronologies and emotionally driven innuendo are commonly employed in cinematic productions - just as they are in the journalistic ones. The journalistic editor even uses some of the the same tools as the screenwriter, the most powerful one being the editor’s pen. A skilled journalist, such as those honed for the New York Times, will use the editor’s pen to carefully shave out contextual filler, rendering it limply to the cutting room floor along with the rest of the scrap deemed unsuitable to fit the carefully crafted storyline. The end result is an Oliver Stone like dramatization that sells well in crowds that are easily swayed by emotion but gets little traction in the real world where people live and die by the facts of life.

Luckily a new trend has emerged and we have the opportunity to resurrect these deleted scenes with a new clarity thanks to alternative media. The New York Times dramatization of Saddam Hussein’s hastily rushed demise is one where the United States turned him into a pariah. The deleted scenes however tell a much different story where Saddam Hussein's shadow of maiming, rape, murder and torture affected millions of people - a pariah of his own creation.

Likewise, the New York Times paints an image of the U.S. as the "unlikely benefactor" in their version of events. Perhaps they are waiting for the sequel to consider the fact that Iraqi’s have a chance to benefit most now that the stabilizing force of an oppressive murderous dictator has been eliminated for good. If only the media would try and help as opposed to their current efforts that seem bent on stirring unrest and eliminating hope.

Am I oblivious to the obvious carnage and precariously teetering instability that remains in the wake of Saddam’s vacuum? No, not in the least. But my alternative version tells one of hope where once there was none. After all, we are talking about a man who had a pattern of committing crimes against humanity. He was tried by his own people and even had an appeal; something not afforded the victims of Saddam Hussein who now line mass graves with telltale holes in their blindfolded skulls. Men, women and children whose own version of justice is a bit different than the perverted version being told by the mainstream media.

The mainstream media has deteriorated at the hands of activists that have become experts at twisting the facts to stitch together a story that couldn’t otherwise stand on its own under the scrutiny of contextual accuracy. This is exactly the sort of context, or lack thereof, that exposes the dinosaur media as the worst sort of information collective - one that is devoid of the context and accuracy required to be considered as a credible sources of news.

Where’s the justice in that?

Real Truth Online said...

No, you DICKHEAD---I was responding to the line "Dont want to debate the issues?" Because I AM debating them, YOU AVOID THEM! Once again, you IGNORE Northwoods (just as I KNEW you would) by saying that I am off topic. Funny how you spin your OWN comments. I mention Northwoods and want you to comment on it, then you talk about Saddam and make comments like "you blame America for everything" then when I give you a SPECIFIC example of how America IS to blame (like Northwoods) you say "stick to the topic"!!! More deflect, dodge and ignore tactic, and it's not working....I'll call you on it EVERY SINGLE TIME. By the way, if you're going to post something----stop copying and pasting OTHER stories and pass them off as your OWN words. That whole tirade was someone ELSE'S story and I dont see their name by it. Who wrote it? I give the writer their credit on MY site-----who wrote YOUR post? Get an original thought, or shut your fucking piehole.

Anonymous said...

Still having a temper tantrum Larry? Libs like you cannot stand when people call you on your kook rants.

Rush and Sean rip you to pieces. O'Reilly sticks it to you each night. Meanwhile you rant and rave and wonder why nobody takes you seriously

Real Truth Online said...

And yet, STILL ignoring Operation Northwoods, and you claim you BEAT me in debating when you CONSTANTLY ignore the debate?

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it, O'Reilly had a brillant Talking Points, where he pointed out more examples of liberal bias over Saddam's hanging

Blaming America for Saddam's Execution

As soon as I heard Saddam Hussein was going to be executed, I knew the Bush haters would swing into action. And as usual, they did not let me down.

NBC News led the way. Elements over there calling the execution a PR disaster for the USA. Did you think Saddam's hanging was a PR disaster? I didn't. The mass murderer got what he deserved.

We also heard an NBC commentator say President Bush is allowing Americans to be killed in Iraq for money and other insane stuff. Unbelievable.

The Bush-hating Baltimore Sun says more Iraqis are dying now than under Saddam and it's America's fault. By my count, Saddam was responsible for about 750,000 deaths during his reign of terror. So The Baltimore Sun is nuts.

And our pal, far-left columnist Robert Scheer, consistently anti- American voice, writes in The San Francisco Chronicle, "The frantic killing of Hussein abetted by the United States was the third act in a morality play of misplaced vengeance for the September 11th terrorist attacks — where the first act was the invasion of Iraq, based upon trumped up lies linking it to Al Qaeda, and the second was the killing of the tyrant's sons, whose bloody corpses were hypocritically displayed to the world like war scalps."

So in Scheer's world, the USA lied to start a war, exploited the deaths of mass murderers Uday and Qusay Hussein and was wrong to allow the Iraqis to execute Saddam. That is Robert Scheer's world. Welcome to it.

The truth is the Bush administration didn't want the Iraqis to kill Saddam so quickly, but allowed the government to make its own decision based upon its own legal system. The truth is the world is a better place now Saddam is gone. The truth is America tried to do a noble thing in removing Saddam and giving the Iraqis a chance at freedom.

But it is also true that the strategy in Iraq was flawed and the war has not gone well. So you can argue competence all day long, but that is valid. But ascribing evil motives to the president is irresponsible and no legitimate news organization should be party to it, NBC News included.

It is long past time to drop the Bush hating and work to secure the best results in Iraq for America and the world.

The New York Sun reporting today there is now rock solid proof that Iran is behind much of the violence in Iraq. Looking forward to seeing Robert Scheer, The Baltimore Sun and NBC take on Iran.

As for Saddam, anyone who puts his well being ahead of America's is misguided and a fool. No doubt.

Real Truth Online said...

more copy and paste and not listing the source----I will delete further copy and pastes unless you state the source and give the writer the credit. What's wrong with hating a President that hates America? He hates our Constitution, thats why he thinks he's a ruler. Now the mother fucker wants to read our mail. Nazi Germany is approaching us, and you're too blind to see it.

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it, O'Reilly had a brillant Talking Points, where he pointed out more examples of liberal bias over Saddam's hanging


Do you have a hard time reading, or should I use smaller words?

Anonymous said...

In case you missed it, O'Reilly had a brillant Talking Points, where he pointed out more examples of liberal bias over Saddam's hanging


DO YOU HAVE A HARD TIME READING, OR SHOULD I USE SMALLER WORDS?

Real Truth Online said...

but you never said that the below story WAS the talking points------the below part could have easily been seperate from your opening sentence----------idiot-----and just so you know--that line about "an NBC commentator said Bush is allowing troops to die in Iraq for money"----he was referring to Keith Olbermann----who DIDNT SAY THAT----he said they are dying to put money in the pockets of the WAR PROFITEERS! DO YOU HAVE A FUCKING BRAIN???? THIS IS YET ANOTHER LIE FROM O'LIAR!

Anonymous said...

My you are a touchy lib this morning. I clearly stated where this came from, but the facts Biull put forth had you blind by hate you could not comprehend what you were reading

No lies Larry - just truth. Something you cannot stand when it goes against your warped view of the world

Real Truth Online said...

Keith was talking about WAR PROFITEERING----------he NEVER said "Bush is allowing Americans to die for money"----he was talking about WAR PROFITEERING! O'Liar made VERY sure he didnt say those EXACT WORDS, because those EXACT words makes the whole message different! O'LIEly just wanted to SPIN!

Anonymous said...

and Larry is still whining and trying to defend his fellow America hating buddy. Spit on any troops today Larry

Real Truth Online said...

why wont you comment on Connally's testimony? Did he hate America too? Waiting for an answer. Your silence gives credence to it.

Anonymous said...

Larry the parrot is on a rampage

Larry want a cracker?

Real Truth Online said...

Yep, I keep asking it because you keep IGNORING IT----if my views are bullshit----tell me why you would keep ignoring it? Wouldnt "bullshit" be EASY to refute? What about Connally's testimony? More DDI?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Real Truth Online said...

WHERE? Give TIME and DATE of the post. ITS NOT THERE. All you do is talk about the Warren Commission, that is NOT addressing Connally's testimony. Since Connally's testimony and the Warren Commission contradict each other-------you mentioning the Warren Comm. wouldnt make sense now would it?