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No Honor among Murderers
Saddam Hussein's execution on Dec. 30 not only prevents him from being put on trial for his most serious crimes – genocide against the Kurds and the use of poison gas in the Iran-Iraq war – but more importantly, silences him forever. His accomplices in crime can now breathe easy.On Saturday December 30th, at 6:05 Iraq time, in Abu Ghraib prison, Saddam Hussain was executed not for the mass killing of some 100,000 Kurds, but for killing 148 Iraqis in the small town of Dujail who were allegedly involved in a plot to kill him in 1982. His soul left behind his body dangling at the end of the hangman’s rope to join the restless souls of some of his victims still haunting the murky chambers of his infamous prison.
As many as 100,000 Kurds were killed in 1988. Why then was Saddam tried by a kangaroo court and executed for killing 148 men and boys in the Shiite town of Dujail in 1982? Why this sham trial was pursued with such fervor by the United States of America that the New York Times in its May 21st issue of this year had to observe that:
"The American influence has been undeniably pervasive, with about 90 percent of the $145 million in annual costs for the court and associated investigations paid for by the United States Justice Department, and lawyers sent by Washington acting as advisers."Between the two extremes--from America’s amorous embrace to the macabre dance at the gallows--Saddam traveled a fateful path. Why did the murderers kill one of their own...is then the question that needs answering. His rush to the scaffolds, therefore, is worth a study.
Here is why.
Saddam Hussein's execution on Dec. 30 not only prevents him from being put on trial for his most serious crimes — genocide against the Kurds and the use of poison gas in the Iran-Iraq war, but more importantly, silences him forever. His accomplices in crime can now breathe easy.
Had the trial been held under international auspices, the world would have known who supplied Saddam Hussein with materials of mass destruction; where from his military regime, notorious for atrocities against Iraqis, Iranians and Kurds, acquired weapons, germs and lethal chemicals.
The world would have known that on March 21st, 1986, when the UN wanted to show its concern of Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons with the words that the Council members were "profoundly concerned by the unanimous conclusion of the specialists that chemical weapons on many occasions have been used by Iraqi forces against Iranian troops...[and] the members of the Council strongly condemn this continued use of chemical weapons in clear violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 which prohibits the use in war of chemical weapons", the only country to vote AGAINST the issuance of this statement was the United States of America.
The world would have known that from arranging for Iraq to be supplied with the chemicals to make poison gas with which to kill his countrymen to providing Baghdad with satellite and AWACS intelligence data on Iranian targets and sending USAF photo interpreters to Baghdad to draw Saddam the maps of Iranian trenches that let him douse them in poison gas, America was implicated up to its gills in Saddam’s genocide of Kurds and its war against Iran.
The world would have known the long list of Western and U.S. companies that supplied Saddam with deadly and dual-use material. Union Carbide, Honeywell, Dupont, SpectraPhysics, Bechtel are just some of the ones mentioned on the list.
The world would have known that in total violation of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, that outlaws chemical warfare, the Reagan-Bush administration had sanctioned the sale of poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, from anthrax to bubonic plague, throughout the '80s. Not only that, in 1982, while Saddam Hussein built up his war machinery, Reagan and Bush removed Iraq from the State Department list of terrorist states.
The world would have known that Iraq was already using chemical weapons on an "almost daily basis" when Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam Hussein in 1983 signaling a bonding of the U.S.-Iraq military alliance and that consequent to that visit, the Pentagon supplied logistical and military support, U.S. banks provided billions of dollars in credits, and the C.I.A., using a Chilean conduit, increased Saddam's supply of cluster bombs.
The world would have known that only six months after the heinous massacre of the Kurds in March 1988, U.S. companies sent eleven strains of germs, four types of anthrax to Iraq, including a microbe strain, called 11966, developed for germ warfare at Fort Detrick in the '50s. Judith Miller provides a brief account of this disgusting traffic in U.S. chemicals and germs in her book, Germs: Biological Weapons And America’s Secret War.
The world would have known that as late as 1989 and 1990, according to a report from U.S. representative Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio), U.S. companies, under permits from the first Bush administration, sent mustard gas materials, live cultures for bacteriological research, to Iraq. U.S. companies not only helped Iraq build a chemical weapons factory, they also shipped Saddam a West Nile virus, hydrogen cyanide precursors and parts for a new nuclear plant.
The world would have known that Dow Chemical of the Vietnam War Napalm fame sold large amounts of pesticides and toxins that cause death by asphyxiation, that twenty-four U.S. firms exported arms and materials to Baghdad and that France also sent Saddam 200 AMX medium tanks, Mirage bombers, and Gazelle helicopter gunships.
The world would have known about the executives of the Maryland company that transported mustard gas precursors to Saddam; the Tennessee manufacturers that provided sarin-based chemicals; the heads of Dow chemical who sold toxins that cause death by asphyxiation; the heads of Bechtel that produced chemicals for Saddam in their Iraqi plant; the CIA agents that made covert arms deals and transported heinous cluster bombs to a proven tyrant. The world would have known the names of a whole lot of other international accessories of Saddam Hussein.
The world would have known that it is not just the buyers but the suppliers of death too who are answerable under the Nuremberg Conventions that says, "Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, is a crime under international law."
Above all, the world would have known that Saddam Hussein was blamed by his severest opponents of killing 300,000 Iraqis during his 35-year rule. In less than four years George W. Bush has more than doubled that, with the ‘surge’ yet to come.
President George W. Bush broke his silence on the unprovoked killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians by US Marines in the town of Haditha more than six months after the event, some two months after he was briefed on the atrocity by his national security adviser, and two months after a detailed account appeared in Time magazine, by muttering he was “troubled by the initial news stories.”
The murderer-in-chief, US President George Bush, promptly called Saddam's execution ''the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.''
How about calling out the hangman again for the justice denied to Haditha victims?
No honor among murderers...eh?
Same devilry, some hypocrisy, some sense of justice, some double bloody standards.
Copyright 2006 by Anwaar Hussain. The writer, a former officer of the Pakistan Air Force, is now based in the United Arab Emirates. This story is reproduced courtesy of Fountainhead, Mr. Hussain's blog. Mr. Hussain may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on January 8, 2007.