The Trial of Saddam Hussein and The Fallout of The War

The Trial of Saddam Hussein


The fallout in the Middle East from the regime change in Iraq

Friday, September 16, 2005


In order to speed up the trial proceedings of Saddam Hussein, and avoid any nasty references to people and governments who supported him in the past, it seems that his fate has already been decided.

He is guilty.

That at least is the case according to an anonymous Iraqi judge, who told an Iranian news agency that Saddam Hussein's fate has already been decided.

The judge is quoted as saying:

"The trial of Saddam Hussein will be brief and immediately afterwards the former dictator will be hanged by a rope in one of the rooms of the Mukhaberat (Saddam's secret service) where thousands of Iraqis have been tortured and killed."


"all efforts by foreign countries to prevent the death by hanging of the former dictator are useless, as the sentence has already been issued by the Iraqi people."

Not an auspicious start for one of the world's fledging democracies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Saddam Hussein disappears

In an Orwellian twist, reminiscent of 1984, Iraq's children returned to school this week with a new syllabus that has effectively erased Saddam Hussein from its history.

The education department has replaced the old Baathist textbooks with a new set, that present a different version of history.

It is often said that history is written by the victors.

In the new version of the past, Baghdad no longer wins the Iran-Iraq war nor confronts the "evil" of Zionism alone.

The old requirement of instructing primary school children to learn such "catchy" phrases as "I love Saddam", is now forbidden.

Saddam is now rarely mentioned by name and, more worryingly, his rule is left unanalysed.

Those that ignore their history are destined to repeat it.

Old books, that are still in use, have had Saddamist pages and his photos ripped out or blanked out.

Indeed, there is no mention of the 1991 Gulf war; and the events of 2003 are described as a "major shake-up" of Iraq.

This of course, as unpalatable as it may be, means that some fifty years of Iraqi history has been expunged.

I am afraid you cannot simply do that, without creating a very dangerous vacuum; nature abhors vacuums.

Avoiding the past in this way, and refusing to confront it, will store up trouble for the future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Political Gimmick

Abdel Haq Alani, a senior member of Saddam Hussein's defence team, has said that the trial is nothing more than a political gimmick by the new Iraqi government.

He claimed that the trial is being held in order to generate support for next month's constitutional referendum.

Saddam, and seven other members of his regime, will stand trial in the Iraq Special Tribunal on October 19.

They are charged with ordering a massacre of 143 people in Dujail, in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against Saddam. If convicted, Saddam could be sentenced to death.

Alani said:

"The court isn't even halfway ready to try the case. It's simply political capital being used to follow the referendum on the constitution."

Adding that the trial had "nothing to do with the reality of the investigation."

He went on to say that:

"The defence team has not yet been finalized. It will be made public when the accused (Saddam) gives his approval to the new team."

Theoretically, Saddam faces a dozen trials; only if he doesn't get executed after the first one finds him guilty.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Kuwait Demands Death Penalty

Kuwait has requested, through a lawsuit against former Iraqi regime members, the death penalty for Saddam Hussein and his aides.

Kuwait Justice Minister Ahmad Baqer said that the death penalty was based on numerous crimes by the former Iraqi regime, and Kuwait was about to ask for judicial co-operation with Iraq.

On the possibility of Kuwaiti observers attending Saddam's trial, Baqer said this would depend on hearing procedures as well as on Kuwaiti public prosecution.


"This issue is handled by the public prosecution and it is an independent authority".

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry submitted a file, containing the lawsuit against the former Iraqi regime, to a special tribunal via the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

The file contained details of names of the accused, description of their crimes and evidence.