Nir Rosen on Saddam Hanging

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On December 31st, my colleague and friend Nir Rosen posted on Iraq Slogger what I think are the first English language translations of the banter around Saddam Hussein’s hanging.
The manner of Saddam’s death — the secret recording by cell phone, the sectarian insults, the struggles at the end, and Saddam’s own poise as a head-of-state thug with poise caught in and part of America’s missteps in the Middle East — will become the subject of many episodes of theatre, written and performed, in the future.
Although I know that this subject has already broken into the mainstream, I wanted to highlight Nir’s first account:

The Americans often equated Saddam with the Sunni resistance to the occupation. By killing Saddam they were killing what they believed was the symbol of the Sunni resistance, expecting them to realize their cause was hopeless. Sunnis could perceive the execution, and its timing, as a message to them: “We are killing you.” But Saddam’s death might now liberate the Sunni resistance from association with Saddam and the Baathists. They can now more plausibly claim that they are fighting for national liberation and not out of support for the former regime as their American and Iraqi government opponents have so often claimed. A lack of a hood (victims normally do not have a choice to wear a hood) a scarf to prevent rope burn for the soon to be distributed photo, a hallmark of US “We Got Him” psyops tactics. Even the US plane that flew him to his final resting spot seems to indicate US management.
The unofficial video of the execution, filmed on the mobile cell phone of one of the officials present is sure to further inflame sectarianism, because it is clearly a Shia execution. Men are heard talking, one of them is called Ali. As the executioners argue over how to best position the rope on his neck Saddam calls out to god, saying, “ya Allah.” Referring to Shias, one official says “those who pray for Muhamad and the family of Muhamad have won!” Others triumphantly respond in the Shia chant: “Our God prays for Muhamad and the family of Muhamad.” Others then add the part chanted by supporters of Muqtada al Sadr: “And speed his (the Mahdi’s) return! And damn his enemies! And make his son victorious! Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada!”
Saddam then smiles and says something mocking about Muqtada. “Muqtada! It is this…” but the rest is blocked by the voices of officials saying “ila jahanam,” or “go to Hell.” Saddam looks down and says “Is this your manhood…?” As the rope is put around Saddam’s neck somebody shouts “long live Muhamad Baqir al Sadr!” referring to an important Shia cleric who founded the Dawa Party and was also Muqtada’s relative. Baqir al Sadr was executed by Saddam in 1980. He is venerated by all three major Shia movements in Iraq, the Dawa, the Sadrists and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Others insult Saddam. One man asks them to stop: “I beg you, I beg you, the man is being executed!” Saddam then says the Shahada, or testimony, that there is no god but Allah and Muhamad is his prophet. When he tries to say it again the trap door opens and he falls through to be hung. One man then shouts that “the tyranny has ended!” and others call out triumphal Shia chants. Somebody wants to remove the rope from his neck but is told to wait eight minutes.
The Sunni Islamo-nationalist website Islam Memo claimed that the Safavids (Persians, meaning Shias) burned Saddam’s Quran after they killed him. They also said that Saddam exchanged insults with the witnesses to his execution and cursed one of them, saying “God damn you, Persian midget.” The same website also claimed that Ayatolla Ali Sistani blessed Saddam’s execution and that the Iraqi government refused to provide Saddam with a Sunni cleric to pray for him before the execution. Finally, they asserted that Saddam said “Palestine is Arab” and then recited the Muslim Shahada, testifying that there is no god but Allah and Muhamad is his prophet, and then he was executed. The website claimed that following his death Saddam’s body was abused.
Although the Shia dominated Iraqi media claimed Saddam was terrified prior to his execution and fought with his hangmen, Saddam’s on screen visage was one of aplomb, for he was conscious of the image he was displaying and wanted to go down as the grand historic leader he believed himself to be.

More soon.
— Steve Clemons
P.S. — I am at a rural retreat site in the Pacific — and my hard disk just crashed — yes, on my cherished Apple G4 Powerbook. I will be back as much as I can but essentially on the road through January 10th and computer-challenged until I get to see one of those Apple geniuses.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

31 comments on “Nir Rosen on Saddam Hanging

  1. Gray says:

    “my hard disk just crashed — yes, on my cherished Apple G4 Powerbook”
    Pls note, Apple doesn’t produce hard disks. The drives in those “cherished” Apple computers are very much the same as those in the ‘shitty’ Windows PCs. Don’t throw away the book because of a faulty page! 🙂
    All you need is an inexpensive new hard disk (it probably will be faster, with more memory space than the old one) and someone reinstalling the OS X and the rest of the software.

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  2. Den Valdron says:

    Robert Morrow, I think the problem with the Saddam execution, as just about everyone but you seems to realize, is how badly it was handled.
    A bunch of hooded thugs in street clothes milling around like a lynch mob, joking and taunting, shouting out political slogans. I’m sure that this may be typical where you come from, but it just looked bad. It looked disgraceful. It didn’t seem like a formal process of justice, but rather a lot more along the lines of some partisan gangster rub out.
    There are a few things that made it worse. One was Saddam’s comparative dignity and strength, the contempt he showed for his executioners, and the worst touch, that he went to his death as a devout Muslim reciting the testimony.
    There’s also the fact that he was killed on a Sunni holy day, a fact which seems calculated to antagonize Sunni and Shiite animosities.
    Then there’s the fact that his body was taken to a disclosed location for burial after all that… by Americans. Perfect set up for a Martyr’s tomb.
    The execution, every phase of it, was handled in the worst possible way. It will make things worse, not better.

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  3. ET says:

    Oh. I knew I liked him. He has elves. 😀

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  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Ah, a new batch of screen names for our troll. How nice.

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  5. Pissed Off American says:

    ET, I long ago figured out how to make fine furniture WITHOUT sanding it.
    It is the apprentices that work through the grits. Its all part of paying the dues.

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  6. Carroll says:

    And POA? Carroll? Might I suggest that you get your own blogs?
    Posted by ahem at January 4, 2007 02:52 PM
    >>>>>>>
    Actually No, you may not. But you might consider adding something of interest to threads or getting a job as a school crossing guard. Or if you have any money you could set up your own policy foundation, hire Steve and make the rules for his site…No?…not up for that?…well then.

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  7. oofda says:

    The characater in Little Abner with the dark rain cloub perpetually over his head is “JOE BTFSPLK.”
    Once he appears on the scene, bad luck invariably befalls anyone in the vicinity. His last name is apparently unpronouncable, but Al Capp, the creator of the strip, pronounced it with a “raspbarries” sound, like a Bronx cheer.

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  8. David in NY says:

    Yes, I’m with ahem. What’s up with the Negroponte business? Hurry back, Steve, ‘though we all envy you being at a “rural retreat site in the Pacific.”

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  9. Robert Morrow says:

    death of Saddam? Over-rated. Who cares. I’m glad he’s gone, but it won’t have much of an impact in any direction. What did the world expect, that Saddam would be a prison trustee charged with picking up litter along the side of the road?

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  10. Den Valdron says:

    And so it goes with history. First time tragedy, second time comedy. America has traded the three wise men for three stooges, you’ve elected Abbot and Costello, Fatty Arbuckle rules.

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  11. ahem says:

    When you get the chance, Steve, let us know the scuttlebutt on Negroponte’s move to State.
    And POA? Carroll? Might I suggest that you get your own blogs?

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  12. ET says:

    POA, It’s 2007.
    The time has come for you to tell ET the truth: would a person –with all the talent in the world — be able to make beautiful furniture if he skipped (I don’t know) the *trillionth* step of fine sanding?
    You are confusing the sound of the /ē/ phoneme, as in receive, achieve, and believe, with the sound of the /ā/ phoneme, as in eight, neighbor and feign.
    But, hey, look on the bright side. The only things that can ever stand between us are grammar, spelling and /ā/ mapquest. 😀

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  13. ET says:

    Morning Coffee:
    “Any political regeneration comes out of a better concern for the language. This is Orwell’s point in his essay ‘Politics and the English Language.’
    He says it is the foolish and awful and thoughtless use of language that allows us to not think. And unless we pay attention to the meaning of words, we are subject to dealers in quack religion and political chicane.”
    (with thanks to) Frank Lapham

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  14. pauline says:

    “What if Nixon had been Hanged?”
    Many people assume that President Ford pardoned Nixon only for Watergate. Instead, Ford pardoned Nixon for any and every crime Nixon committed from January 20, 1969 (the date he was sworn in) until the day he resigned in August 1974. Ford’s pardon effectively closed the book on holding Nixon culpable for his crimes against the Constitution, Americans, and millions of other people around the world.
    If Nixon had been publicly tried and a full accounting of his abuses made to the American public, it may have been far more difficult for subsequent presidents to cover up their crimes. If politicians had vivid memories of Nixon swinging on a rope, they might have been slower to lie the nation into unnecessary foreign wars. If Ford was hellbent on pardoning his friend, he should have had the decency to wait until the evidence was on the table.
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/01/02/what-if-nixon-had-been-hanged/

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  15. Carroll says:

    Continuing on with my NY’s resolution…Meet New Bosses, Same as Old Bosses
    While the Nation Mourned, Their Trip Continued
    By Elizabeth Williamson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, January 4, 2007; Page A15
    A day after the death of former president Gerald R. Ford, Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) embarked on what could be called his first official activity as the incoming Senate majority leader.
    But it had nothing to do with Ford’s funeral. Instead, Reid boarded a government plane bound for six days in South America, accompanied by wife Landra and five other Democratic and Republican senators and their spouses Dec. 27. Their mission: improved relations — and New Year’s in Machu Picchu.
    The “Machu Men,” as they were dubbed, included Reid and Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah).
    Highlighting their trip: three hours of presidential meetings and two days touring the Incan ruins in Peru.
    The senators did not change course after Ford’s death, figuring they would insult leaders in a region none too happy with the United States to begin with, according to a Reid aide.
    “This was a critical trip,” said Reid spokesman James Manley. The group was seeking “cooperation on several fronts, including trade,” as shown in official meetings — and shopping at handicrafts bazaars.
    They reported first to the U.S. embassy in Bolivia, for briefings — a crafts exhibit, lunch and bipartisan gift-giving. Reid received a replica of the hand-knit sweater President Evo Morales wore on the campaign trail. Bennett got a “multicolored, pretty silly-looking hat,” according to someone who saw it.
    At the presidential palace, the senators had a “long, intense conversation,” with Morales, Reid told reporters afterwards.
    Dec. 29, it was on to Ecuador, for nearly an hour with President-elect Rafael Correa, known for his colorful neckties and epithets. The senators agreed to support extended trade benefits for Ecuador, despite Correa’s vow to kill the lease on an air base used by the United States to hunt coke smugglers.
    “We respect the sovereignty of Ecuador,” Reid said, before the group left to see indigenous villages, their leaders and handicrafts.
    Next came New Year’s Eve, and two official holidays, meaning “not paid for with government money.” The group dined in Cuzco and left early on New Year’s Day for sightseeing in Machu Picchu.
    Tuesday, as official Washington mourned Ford, the group clocked an hour with Peruvian President Alan Garcia, then flew home. Reid and Durbin, seeking a last chance to express their grief, then scored a government jet to Michigan for Ford’s burial yesterday.
    The senators and their spouses, Manley pointed out, were “the most high-powered, largest delegation to visit this region in many years.”
    After their visit, however, Morales announced that from now on, American tourists will need visas.
    >>>>>
    So much for reform. Who paid for this trip for the politicans and their “spouses”? If you are on goverment business do you take your spouse with you to discuss hefty “trade’ assurances for trinkets from “Ecuador”? So while Nancy drinks champagne at the Italian embassy and Bush plots sending 50,000 more troops to Iraq..the politicans and their spouses are still doing globe trotting holidays on anyone’s dime but their own. Disgusting.

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  16. PUBLIUS says:

    The outcome of the trial of Saddam Hussein which took place on the scaffold does not trouble. Other outcomes may. The procedure weighing the merits of the charges, however, was a laughable spectacle for any seeking to enshrine the rule of law and respect for pluralism in Iraq. The execution of the former dictator will be viewed in history as the end result of a vendetta by a petulant commander-in-chief deciding bizarre priorities in the “war on terrah” from this side of the Atlantic. The hasty execution will also be viewed as an act of vengeance by the dominant faction in the Iraqi polity and yet another preliminary indication of the emerging transnational alliances of Shi’a Muslims in the region. (The unbottled hatreds of the Reign of Terror in post-revolutionary France are instructive here.) Let us not be surprised when the offended factions retaliate in the months ahead. It is interesting that there is scant evidence of any serious discussion of commuting the sentence of Saddam Hussein to permanent, maximum security imprisonment, a far more punishing fate than this “glorious” and defiant departure.
    It is also interesting how impoverished domestic debate has been with respect to the role the International Criminal Court could have played in rendering justice. (Philip Allott’s views on the matter would be enlightening.) This should come as no surprise in light of the Bush administration’s (and most in the Republican party) contempt for international law and the persisting incuriousity of many in the Establishment Media regarding important realities in the outside world.
    http://www.icc-cpi.int/about/ataglance/establishment.html
    “AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations.”
    “Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”
    by Publius in Federalist No. 10

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  17. Pissed Off American says:

    “Whether or not Saddam got justice as we understand the term was always less important than whether how he was dealt with affected the political situation in Iraq. By that standard the manner of his execution was merely unfortunate; the real mistake was setting such store on his trial. The procedure made us feel better, but wasn’t really necessary and indeed may have helped get a lot of Iraqis killed.”
    Posted by Zathras
    Made WHO feel better, Zathras? I hope you aren’t speaking for me, because I was disgusted with the whole damned thing. We armed Saddam. If he used gas, on his own people, or Iranians, it was OUR gas he used. Cheney and Rumsfeld should have been co-defendents. Apparently, those that really do “feel better” about the trial and the execution are the self-same people that are killing our soldiers, working towards Sharia law, and inviting Iran in with open arms.
    Other than Bush’s insanely perverted ego, and his frantic search for a way to salvage the “legacy” of his Presidency, I can percieve absolutely no coherant reasoning that leads to a “victory” in Iraq. We have lost already, and so goes the ideal of an Iraqi Democracy. Bush has effectively handed Iraq to the Iranians on a silver platter, unless, of course, we plan on staying and killing Iraqis indefinitely.
    I saw the idiocy of this endeavor perfectly, captioned yesterday on the headline of an NBC article. It said that the troops surge was to counter “sectarianism”. Tell me, Zathras, has “sectarianism” now become the “enemy” in Iraq? And, to effectively end “sectarianism”, who does this administration advocate erasing? The Sunnis? The Shiites? Because to eradicate sectarianism, surely we will need to kill off one side or the other, won’t we?
    This is a clusterfuck of historic proportions, and Bush is treading water furiously. And hundreds are dying daily because of his inability to admit failure or defeat.

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  18. Pissed Off American says:

    The day after the Saddam execution, I noticed a piece in the paper that stated one of our military objectives was to disband the Mahdi Army, Sadr’s militia. Interesting that the jeering and taunting celebrants at the execution were in fact Sadr’s followers. Meanwhile, the Sunnis too are presented to us as “insurgents”. Who’s left?
    Once again, it seems the question that goes unanswered is “WHO is our enemy in Iraq?”.And can it be that this lying scheming incompetent in Washington is going to commit yet more American lives to a conflict that is absent a clearly defined enemy or objective?
    And worse, will the incoming Congress continue to ignore the absolute neccesity of holding the Bush Administration to account for its crimes, so that such abuses of power, and waste of American lives and treasure, can never happen again?
    Impeachment is imperative. We simply cannot call this a Representative Government if our leaders are held above the law.

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  19. tucker's bow tie says:

    A call for everyone who is *not* enjoying the Pacific breeze just now 🙂
    → MoveOn is sponsoring a protest event at the official rollout of the ‘surge’/’sacrifice’/’burn-more-troops’ event at the AEI on Friday. Please be there.
    http://pol.moveon.org/iraqprotest/index.html
    ..handing over to Josh:
    “As we mentioned a while back, Sens. McCain and Lieberman are heading across town to the American Enterprise Institute on Friday to roll out their ‘surge’ plan to send a few tens of thousands more troops to Baghdad to crush the Mahdi Army. Make no mistake: this event is the official ‘surge’ roll-out.” […]
    “Now, I’ve seen protests outside AEI before. So if experience is any guide, they’ll probably have a few goons on loan from Ahmed Chalabi or someone like that to manhandle anyone who actually tries to make it in as a member of the public or just toss them out the closest window. So this will probably just be a down on the sidewalk outside the building. But you’ll get to see all the key regime changers and probably Joe and McCain and all the other PNAC folks. So if you’re going to be in DC, stop by. It’s right near the corner of 17th & M.
    At least if this is a topic that matters to you.”
    http://pol.moveon.org/iraqprotest/index.html

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  20. Alex says:

    Oh my. Another crash? Tell me you had back up.
    Good luck getting it all sorted out. Don’t envy you.
    Happy New Year!
    Alex
    P.S. Prediction: watch for lynchings to restart in the South thanks to the one just carried out in Iraq. Then watch it be defended by the usual suspects.

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  21. steambomb says:

    Chuck Hagel from a question and answer session 1/3/07. “I think this administrations policies have done a tremendous amount of destruction to our military.”

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  22. steambomb says:

    Go Macintosh!

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  23. Carroll says:

    I turned away every time the cable channels showed any footage of this..it is self demeaning to even watch this crap…I wouldn’t lower myself to the level of these thugs.
    And btw maybe Steve can address this when he gets his apple working…the PNAC subversion of America continues at the AEI:
    News reports say Bush is preparing to adopt the General Jack Keane and Fred Kagan plan for increasing troops in Iraq.
    http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.25292/pub_detail.asp
    Choosing Victory
    A Plan for Success in Iraq
    By Frederick W. Kagan
    Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2006
    PAPERS AND STUDIES
    AEI Online
    Publication Date: December 14, 2006
    Click here to view this interim report as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.
    Executive Summary
    Victory is still an option in Iraq. America, a country of 300 million people with a GDP of $12 trillion, and more than 1 million soldiers and marines can regain control of Iraq, a state the size of California with a population of 25 million and a GDP under $100 billion.
    Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. Defeat will lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased global terrorism.
    Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising sectarian violence threatens to break America’s will to fight. This violence will destroy the Iraqi government, armed forces, and people if it is not rapidly controlled.
    Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and decisively.
    Three courses of action have been proposed. All will fail.
    Withdraw immediately. This approach will lead to immediate defeat. The Iraqi Security Forces are entirely dependent upon American support to survive and function. If U.S. forces withdraw now, they will collapse and Iraq will descend into total civil war that will rapidly spread throughout the region.
    Engage Iraq’s neighbors. This approach will fail. The basic causes of violence and sources of manpower and resources for the warring sides come from within Iraq. Iraq’s neighbors are encouraging the violence, but they cannot stop it.
    Increase embedded trainers dramatically. This approach cannot succeed rapidly enough to prevent defeat. Removing U.S. forces from patrolling neighborhoods to embed them as trainers will lead to an immediate rise in violence. This rise in violence will destroy America’s remaining will to fight, and escalate the cycle of sectarian violence in Iraq beyond anything an Iraqi army could bring under control.
    We must act now to restore security and stability to Baghdad. We and the enemy have identified it as the decisive point.
    There is a way to do this.
    We must change our focus from training Iraqi soldiers to securing the Iraqi population and containing the rising violence. Securing the population has never been the primary mission of the U.S. military effort in Iraq, and now it must become the first priority.
    We must send more American combat forces into Iraq and especially into Baghdad to support this operation. A surge of seven Army brigades and Marine regiments to support clear-and-hold operations starting in the spring of 2007 is necessary, possible, and will be sufficient.
    These forces, partnered with Iraqi units, will clear critical Sunni and mixed Sunni-Shi’a neighborhoods, primarily on the west side of the city.
    After the neighborhoods have been cleared, U.S. soldiers and Marines, again partnered with Iraqis, will remain behind to maintain security.
    As security is established, reconstruction aid will help to reestablish normal life and, working through Iraqi officials, will strengthen Iraqi local government.
    This approach requires a national commitment to victory in Iraq:
    The ground forces must accept longer tours for several years. National Guard units will have to accept increased deployments during this period.
    Equipment shortages must be overcome by transferring equipment from non-deploying active duty, National Guard, and reserve units to those about to deploy. Military industry must be mobilized to provide replacement equipment sets urgently.
    The president must request a dramatic increase in reconstruction aid for Iraq. Responsibility and accountability for reconstruction must be assigned to established agencies. The president must insist upon the completion of reconstruction projects. The president should also request a dramatic increase in CERP funds.
    The president must request a substantial increase in ground forces end strength. This increase is vital to sustaining the morale of the combat forces by ensuring that relief is on the way. The president must issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this age.
    Failure in Iraq today will require far greater sacrifices tomorrow in far more desperate circumstances.
    Committing to victory now will demonstrate America’s strength to our friends and enemies around the world
    >>>>>>>>>>
    Fools and traitors…if the dems don’t cut off every red cent to Bush’s war they should be sent to Iraq as road side bomb sweepers.

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  24. Carroll says:

    Is there really a lot of difference between Saddam and the neos? Saddam tortured and killed his enemies and innocents alike, we torture and kill our enemies and innocents alike. Saddam did it for control, we do it for control. Probably the only difference is that Saddam had personal balls to the bitter end, we already know the neos have no balls.
    The whole thing is disgusting. The days of the locust are upon us.

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  25. Dan Kervick says:

    Here is why Saddam’s execution was such a preposterous political failure, given the context.
    The Iraqi government has been struggling since its formation to be taken seriously. Those of us who are skeptical, and tend to view the pretense of government in Baghdad as nothing but a imposture with no significant power in the country, are told that this “regime” – one uses the word warily – actually has the potential to govern a country of 30 million people. The Bush administration and its supporters assure us that the government is getting ready to “stand up as we stand down.”
    And yet in this case, this supposed national government couldn’t even govern a handful of their own people, and one lousy prisoner, on a day when they knew the eyes of the world were upon them and they might have been expected to put on their best face.
    An execution is usually a ritualized ceremony that affirms the power of the state. The final despair, abjection and humilation of the criminal is contrasted with the dignity, gravity and imperturbable might of the state. The representatives of the state usually appear in uniforms. They are reserved, calm and coldly efficient and practiced. There is a procedure. The decorum and propriety displayed by the state stand opposed to the hapless condemned man, who appears in the humble rags of a prisoner, the last shreds of his dignity and rebellious pretension torn away, with no remaining hope of evading his disgraceful fate. The government’s message is: we represent civilization, strength and order; this prisoner represents barbarism, weakness and chaos. The prisoner’s life will end; the state will go on.
    The Iraqi executioners managed instead to look like a bunch of cheap, confused hoods. Or even worse: they didn’t even rise to the level of hoods. It looked like Saddam was being executed by the Three Stooges. He even appeared bemused at the bungling incompetence of his own executioners. Nobody seemed to know precisely what to do; nobody appeared to be in clear charge. The movements were furtive and scurrying. There was no pomp, no gravity.
    And at least Saddam had on a dress coat! True it looked like an old and worn coat, but it was a bit more dignified than the bomber jackets or whatever the hell it was his bumpkin executioners were wearing. With the addition of the ski masks, the hangmen looked like they were just about to go out and rob a jewelry store.
    After watching that spectacle, one would get the impression that the Iraqi government just consists of a couple of guys, their brothers-in-law and a posse in tow. Apparently, the people in attendance were just some guys who knew a guy who knew a guy, etc. How could anyone think this oafish crew of ignorant, fanatic fools is fit to govern a country?

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  26. campbell says:

    2007 Campbell
    HELLO!! Philip Ruddock where are you? You have said and it’s on the public record that if David Hicks is not charged and tried by the end of November 2006, the Australian Government will demand he be sent home.
    Hicks refused to take a telephone call from his father recently, that’s a sign he going completely around the twist and psychotically damaged from his constant mind controlled torture.
    If anyone has seen ‘ The Road to Guantamano ‘ and listened to the stories of the British detainees who were released after suffering the inhumane treatment they received at the US gulag, before the UK Government demanded they be released, more Australians would be demanding that David be brought home NOW.
    Lets all hope that early in the New Year we will see the release of David Hicks, the Political prisoner being held in solitary confinement in the US Guantamano Bay torture establishment, or at least, see that he gets a fair trial and allowed to cross examine his accusers, which is very unlikely.
    It is no longer advantages to instil fear into Australians about Terrorist activities, but that will not stop the little Bush Monkey, Howard, from having another go at it in this, an election year, if the Australian People fall for that again there is really something wrong with their mentality…Still waiting for an arrest for the 1978 Hilton bombing, not the Tim Anderson one, who served 14 years for the crime that ASIO and the NSW Special Branch committed….to see that go unpunished, now that is fearful and waiting in anticipation to see what the dirty tricks department has in store leading up to the 2007 election…Trust a Liberal… Never

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  27. Zathras says:

    “The Americans often equated Saddam with the Sunni resistance to the occupation,” says Rosen. The Americans did. What about the Iraqi Shiites who conducted the actual execution?
    Look, I don’t expect to find any white hats, politically speaking, in an Arab country. The Shiite factions in Iraq contain some pretty repulsive characters, and some of them are worse than others. But even among the Shiites who conducted Saddam’s execution there must have been many who knew or were related to one of the people Saddam had imprisoned, tortured or killed, and some as well who knew or were related to someone recently murdered by the Sunni Arab-dominated insurgency. I think sometimes observers like Rosen are so intent on following the dynamic between the occupation and Iraqis that they lose sight of the dynamics among Iraqis themselves.
    “Fighting for national liberation” the insurgency is? More like fighting to restore Sunni domination of the country and suppress the Shia faith, from the standpoint of Iraqi Shiites, who have a lot of recent history on their side.
    Personally I think they would have been better advised at this point to proceed with Saddam’s trial as an American court would, for several reasons I don’t have time to list here. But I think we might have been better advised, three years ago, to set aside the idea of preparing a model trial — which kept the one man less popular in Iraq than the occupation out of sight and out of mind for over a year as the insurgency metastasized, and incidentally provided to Saddam more due process than any ordinary Iraqi accused of a crime is likely to have received since about the 1960s — and worked out a simpler, cruder procedure that allowed Iraqis to vent their feelings about this man long before now. Whether or not Saddam got justice as we understand the term was always less important than whether how he was dealt with affected the political situation in Iraq. By that standard the manner of his execution was merely unfortunate; the real mistake was setting such store on his trial. The procedure made us feel better, but wasn’t really necessary and indeed may have helped get a lot of Iraqis killed.

    Reply

  28. Matt says:

    You’d probably be better off tossing that Mac in the Pacific…

    Reply

  29. Frank says:

    Bush has a dark cloud following him over his head like that character in Al Kap’s, “Lil Abner” comic strip. Whatever Bush puts his hand to do becomes royally screwed up in execution…One would think such a high profile execution would have been carefully orchestrated.
    The Shias dignified Saddam’s death in ways he could never be dignified in life. The moderate Sunnis were given a hero on a silver platter. Then we let the Sunnis bury him…Guess what kind of a monument will be erected in his memory?
    As if the Sunnis needed more inspiration to keep killing fellow Iraqis.

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  30. John says:

    “Saddam’s on screen visage was one of aplomb, for he was conscious of the image he was displaying and wanted to go down as the grand historic leader he believed himself to be.” No one should underestimate the powerful impact that a man standing tall in the face of his own execution can have upon his people. In life Saddam was a monster; in death he will likely be a revered martyr.
    Another fiasco.

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  31. Jack Ballard says:

    Yep, It was another grand screw up by Bush&co.
    If you have the time could you comment about the move of Negroponte to the position of Deputy Secretary of State.
    Jack

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