Friday, January 05, 2007

More on the Mother of All Ironies

More than 16 years after Saddam made his infamous "Mother of All Battles" exhortation, his own death has resulted in the Mother of All Ironies. As I wrote in my last post, instead of representing long over due justice, the way he was executed has turned Saddam Hussein into a martyr. The ugly taunting by his Shia executioners on the first day of the Sunni Eid El-Adha has done more to fan the flames of sectarian strife than any insurgent or terrorist action.

Perhaps most shocking is the fact that the US released Saddam to the Iraqis that morning knowing full well what the outcome would be. Attempts to distance the US from the events of that morning ring hollow especially when coupled with claims that the US had "urged" the Iraqi government not to execute Saddam that day. If that is how the US Administration felt, then why did it release him? Either the US is an occupational force with power or it is a patsy to the new Iraqi government after it paved the way for the Shia to seize power. If the latter, then why are US soldiers dying in a "battlefield" over which the US has no power???? The US can't have it both ways. Either the US is in control or it is not, and, if it is not, then it should either regain control or it should get out!

Nuri Al-Maliki's claim that his government was driven by the desire to execute Saddam in 2006 and thus had no choice but to execute him on Dec. 30 rather than Dec. 31st because that was the first day of the Eid El-Adha for Shias is an excuse more offensive than the original offense. In other words, so as to avoid the Shia holy day, the Sunni holy day was chosen. And, what was wrong with Dec. 29 or Jan. 1, for that matter? For a government claiming to be concerned with national reconciliation and quelling sectarian strife, the bigotry is disgusting. Even more disgusting is that the only aspect of the circus around the execution that the Nuri Al Maliki government is upset about is that clandestine cell phone videos were made to document the spectacle!

Now, other leaders in the Middle East agree. BBC is quoting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as saying: "No-one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed - they turned him into a martyr, and the problems in Iraq remained."

Main caption - "Hanging of Saddam the morning of Eid El-Adha"
Comment on garb: "To all Arab and Moslem leaders"
Note: The hand gesture is a Middle East version of "giving the finger"

(Apologies for the crudeness... I found this cartoon (on Palestinian Pundit) to be quite representative of the general sentiment in the Middle East after the execution.)

BBC also offers excerpts from media coverage of the execution indicative of the general dismay and disgust with the way in which the execution was handled.
Press condemns Saddam footage
As the Iraqi government launches an inquiry into the mobile phone footage showing Saddam Hussein's hanging, the regional press sees the video as proof that sectarian motives, rather than the rule of law were behind the execution.

One commentator complains of a violation of rights, while others maintain that the hanging was based on sectarian "vendetta".

Others criticise the timing of the hanging, which coincided with the start of celebrations marking the Muslim festival of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, and warn of further violence.

Turgut Tarhanli in Turkey's Radikal
How can the recording of Saddam's execution minute by minute and exhibition of it to the whole world be compatible with the understanding that a person's moment of death is among his most private personal rights? Isn't the performance of this execution by the Shia militia equivalent to a crude crowning of a pre-modern understanding of vengeance rather than a principle of justice?

Yahya al-Amir in Saudi Arabia's Al-Riyad
This unofficial video tape explains the negative choice of the timing of the execution and the hasty 'sacrifice' of Saddam... This indicates that there are sectarian motives and vendetta that ran and carried out the execution.

Rifqi Fakhri in Egypt's Al-Akhbar
Saddam Hussein was murdered, not executed... Those who carried out the execution are the Shia, Saddam's archenemies... The end was an assassination operation, not the implementation of a fair verdict of execution. We have not reached the end of a page of acts of violence. Rather we are at the start of new pages.

Libya's Al-Jamahiriyah
Were the reasons for the hanging of Saddam Hussein in this way and at this timing US, Arab or Iraqi ones?... Did the execution in this way, which was leaked 'intentionally', aim to turn it from an occupier's mistake to a sect's sin, thus fomenting sectarian fighting?

Egypt's Al-Jumhuriyah
The US administration intentionally executed Saddam in this provocative humiliating way to give a warning to whomsoever it may concern that this administration is going ahead with the Greater Middle East project.

Usamah Sarayah in Egypt's Al-Ahram
The symbolism of this incident is represented in the failure to respect our sanctuaries and sanctities on the Eid al-Adha holiday.

Ali Ibrahim in pan-Arab Al-Sharq al-Awsat
The new year 2007 has just begun and the Arab region is witnessing sectarian splitting and conflict. This is a phenomenon which will spare no one and will leave people locked in a cycle of unprecedented violence and hatred.

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Blogger Renegade Eye said...

The fact that Saddam didn't face the Kurdish accusations, imply Shiite only justice.

The 30 day rule, was a Saddam hangover.


4:03 PM  
Blogger CB said...

Very good point ren.

11:04 PM  

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