Thursday, January 04, 2007

In Love With Fiasco

At first I wanted to post this immediately after I heard of Saddam Hussein’s execution. Then I kind of went “ah shit, it’s almost New Year’s Eve, gimme a break”.

But then, the media kept talking about it, I kept hearing people rejoicing, and always, always answering “you have to know that this man was a bloody dictator, responsible for immense suffering and hundreds of thousands of deaths” to the question “what do you think of the manner in which Saddam Hussein was executed?”

So I got pissed, and as usual, I yielded on the impulse to post my opinion on this matter, helped in this by today’s editorial of the New York Times.

My opinion on this execution is much the same as Robert Badinter’s: a bad mistake, and one which will have consequences.

Beyond the question of being for or against the death penalty (I am firmly against if you want to know and never read any of the things I write, the more firmly against that I was for it until the age of 18), the fact is that a man was executed even though he hadn’t been judged thoroughly and correctly. Saddam Hussein was executed despite the fact that many things and many crimes that took place during his tyrannical reign were neither analysed, nor exposed to the public, nor investigated, nor proved. Many things will forever remain enshrouded in doubt and shadows, and likely some of those crimes contain elements and information that the powers-that-be, USA first of all, do not wish to be revealed to the public. I guess it would be bad to find out who sold the weapons used to decimate the Kurdish population and to kill so many people in the Iran/Irak war.

So, in my opinion, this whole thing was parody of justice, an illegal and amoral execution, thanks to which the US rushed to yield custody of this fallen dictator to the Iraki authorities, to have him executed just before dawn so that the Shia rites of the Sacrifice celebration would be respected--never mind that the Sunni rituals start before that time and thus that their celebration would be defiled by this execution, after all who cares but those who would prevent an all out civil war in Irak? Oh, the US wants to prevent that? Really? Wow, they sure don’t look the part !

Overall, the all execution process looked like "panic attack ! Let’s kill him! Quick!”

There was no serenity, no thorough analysis of the crimes. No real, correct trial (remind me again: how many defense attorneys were murdered during the trial?)

It doesn’t matter that the guilty verdict was certain. There had to be a true, equitable and impartial verdict, once all the crimes had been judged. This should have been done before the International Penal Tribunal of La Haye, since we were talking about crimes against humanity, among other niceties.

Georges W Bush rejoices at the news of what constitutes, in his eyes, an important step toward a free and democratic Irak, forgetting all the fallacious pretexts used by his administration to have brought a deadly, bloody war there, and forgetting the chaos that his insane crusade has brought to that country. What are this Assyrian Christians of Irak doing, except fleeing their country, inside of which they’ve become preys? What’s becoming of women’s rights, except for a quick unravelling?

W is happy at a step that is, for me, a sign of the fragility of the regime currently in power in Irak. This frantic rush to execute a man makes no sense, there was no need to play that kind of game, to put a definite stop to all possible trials and to forever prevent all the other victims to ever see justice done, and to see the truth revealed. The only feeling I get is that the Iraki authorities are completely drowned and out of their depths, that they cannot master the chaos and violence that fester in their country, and that they wanted to please some, while using the event to strike fear in the minds of others. But this grotesque tragedy, complete with its futile attempts at humiliating a man about to die, who instead appeared calm and dignified will not help. It’s been a long time since the rebellion and the terrorists in Irak have stopped needing a figure like Saddam Hussein. If anything, all this execution will do is bringing yet another pretext to have communities rise against each other, and thus fuel hatred and war even more.

Last but not least: calling « an important step toward democracy » the botched, rushed execution after the end of a trial that looked more like a theatrical farce than a true action of justice leaves me speechless. It gives the measure of the self-proclaimed “greatest democracy in the world”, aka the USA.

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