Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam's Execution: The Apologists Speak

The carefully crafted messages have been prepared and delivered by the major foreign apologists for the Iraq war who have stood by the boy king during his horrendous campaign of death and destruction in the Middle East.

Guided perhaps by at least a twinge of guilt (one would hope) for contributing to the nightmare by playing along as steadfast allies even in the face of the fact that every single one of them, pushed by the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/PNAC regime, were so utterly wrong when they assumed that Saddam Hussein was an immediate threat to the region and that he possessed WMD, they still continue to be but mere, transparent echoes of the man who is so blind to the meaning of justice - inserting their extremely minor objections in the form of the useless word 'but' which negates everything they supposedly stand for in the first place - that their still willful pandering is staggering.

Britain, a staunch U.S. ally in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, reiterated its opposition to the death penalty, but said the sentence rested on Iraqi shoulders.

"We oppose the death penalty in all cases, regardless of the individual or the crime," said Rob Tinline, spokesman for the British Foreign Office. "[But] it's an Iraqi trial, with Iraqi defendants, in an Iraqi court — it's a decision for the Iraqi authorities."
Thomas Steg, spokesman for the German government, said Germany rejects the death penalty, but understands it is allowed under Iraqi law.

"There is no indication that these court proceedings in Iraq, including the appeals process, were not conducted in accordance with the legal principles there," he said.

There is also no coincidence in the fact that all of these major allies are touting 'due process'. They are simply following the lead once again of the man who is so corrupted by his own power that he believes he has the absolute right to define and authorize torture, strip detainees and kidnap victims of their legal right to habeus corpus while shielding the perpetrators with immunity from prosecution, spy on American citizens without following proper legal channels, imprison immigrants in the case of an 'immigration emergency', and to refuse justice for people like Canada's Maher Arar whose appeal against the US government for his rendition to and torture in Syria was dismissed on the grounds of so-called 'national security' while still declaring him to be a threat to the United States with absolutely no evidence to back up such a claim. The concept of 'due process' in America is dead.

Yet, Bush had the audacity to issue this statement following the execution of Saddam Hussein:

Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.

Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.

And the fact that his ally puppets actually agree that so-called 'justice' has been done ought to be a clear signal to their citizens their rights are also in jeopardy.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said due process in accordance with Iraqi law was followed leading up to the execution.

"And I believe there's something quite heroic about a country that's going through the pain and suffering that Iraq is going through, it still extends due process to somebody who was a tyrant and a brutal suppressor and murderer of his people."

This whole affair was not about heroism. It was about political expediency and bowing to US pressure. Period.

There is no evidence that the Iraqi government has a free hand in any of its affairs except, perhaps, the right it has granted its judicial system to impose death. To hail what occured during Saddam's trial as anything resembling 'due process' or the 'rule of law' exposes a major deficit in the understanding of human, civil and legal rights. And if leaders of western democracies are unable and unwilling to honestly assess such a gross violation of justice for exactly what it is while pardoning the Iraq government for its use of the death penalty, which is the most egregious violation of all human rights, what hope is there for enlightenment and progress?

Related: You can read more reactions from other world leaders here. Our prime minister has yet to release a statement.

No comments:

Post a Comment