Why Saddam Hussein was executed as "rush job"
Date: Thursday, January 04 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer - 3 Jan. '07
US-Ordered Rush Job
By Gwynne Dyer
The American government wanted Saddam Hussein executed for the Dujail killings to avoid revealing its complicity in his bigger crimes.
It was not the Iraqi government but its American masters who chose to execute Saddam Hussein in a great rush as soon as the first sentence was confirmed, thus canceling all of the other trials on far graver charges that awaited him. The current Iraqi government had nothing to hide if those trials went ahead; the United States government did.
Cast your mind back to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Washington's pretext for war then was Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, with barely a word about bringing democracy to the downtrodden Iraqi people. But to persuade us that Saddam's WMD were a threat to the whole world, we were told a lot about how wicked he was, how he had even "gassed his own people."
Well, there weren't any weapons of mass destruction, so now the script has been changed to say that the war was about bringing democracy to Iraq. But that still requires Saddam Hussein to be a monstrous villain (which he certainly was), and it needs some dramatic supporting stories about how he abused his own people, like his poison-gas attacks on rebel Kurds in 1988. So let's try him for the slaughter of the Kurds in 1988, and then we'll hang him.
Fair enough, and the trial for the gassing of the Kurds actually did get started a couple of months ago. Other trials, for his savage repression of the Kurdish revolt in 1988 and the Shia revolt in 1991, were scheduled for the new year. But none will come to pass. All other trials have been canceled - what they hanged Saddam for was the judicial murder of 148 villagers in the town of Dujail, villagers who were allegedly involved in a plot to kill him in 1982.
Dujail? Here is a man who began his career in power in the late 1960s by exterminating the entire (mostly Shia) leadership of the communist party in Iraq, went on to launch an invasion of Iran in 1980 that cost up to half a million lives, massacred his own Kurdish population in 1987 and 1988 when some of its leaders sided with the Iranians, invaded Kuwait in 1990, and massacred Iraqi Shias in 1991 when they rebelled against his rule at the end of that war.
And they hanged him for Dujail?
It's as if they had taken Adolf Hitler alive in 1945, but ignored his responsibility for starting the Second World War and his murder of six million Jews and just put him on trial for executing people suspected of involvement in the July 1944 bomb plot. With all of Saddam's other crimes to choose from, why on earth would you hang him for executing the people suspected of involvement in the Dujail plot?