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, May 12, 2006

AWB Diplomatic Failure

The Cole inquiry in Australia into the AWB kickbacks scandal has been told by numerous diplomats that they were aware of allegations that Saddam Hussein had corrupted the UN oil-for-food program, but no one ordered an investigation.

In statements made to the inquiry, it seems that senior staff around the world were warned about kickbacks in 2000. However, no one acted because they believed that there was no evidence that AWB was involved and AWB denied being corrupt.

AWB paid over $290M in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime through a Jordanian trucking company, Alia.

Australian diplomat Bronte Moules reportedly sent several diplomatic cables raising his concerns about corruption to officials in Canberra in 2000. However, strange as it may seem, very few people could recall reading them.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Sham Trial

The former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, has put the boot into the trial of Saddam Hussein by calling it a sham designed to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Clark is a member of Saddam Hussein's defence team, and said yesterday that Saddam's trial was "a direct threat to international law, the United Nations, universal human rights and world peace."

Clark is demanding that the proceedings be transferred from the Iraqi Special Tribunal to a new court that could work independently, free of prejudice.

Clark went on to say that the US wanted the trial to "vindicate its invasion, to validate its occupation, and to make the world believe that the Iraqi people demanded that Saddam Hussein and leaders in his government be executed."

Clark claims that a fair trial in the midst of the widespread violence sweeping Iraq was impossible.

He noted that the fact that Saddam has signed death warrants is in itself not the act of a criminal, citing the fact that President Bush also signs death warrants:

"It is common for the law to require the highest official of a state to approve and sign death warrants. George W. Bush signed 152 such warrants as governor of Texas."

Clark is fogetting one thing, rightly or wrongly, to the victor the spoils and the right to rewrite history.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

AWB Report Out Next Month

Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, has been told to expect to receive the much awaited final report from the AWB oil-for-food inquiry commissioner Terence Cole on June 30th.

Mr Cole is leading the commission of inquiry into the $300M in kickbacks that the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) paid to Saddam Hussein's regime, under the UN oil for food initiative.

The inquiry began in January, and was expected to deliver its report by March 31st. The deadline was extended until June by the Governor-General, Michael Jeffery, on March 10th.

It was expected that former United Nations customs official, Felicity Johnston, would give evidence this week. However, this has been delayed whilst Ms Johnston's lawyers and those assisting the commissioner discuss how she will give her evidence; either by videolink, or fly from Washington to Sydney to appear in person before Mr Cole.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The World's Largest Embassy

Whatever happens in Iraq in the coming months and years, there will be one large scale monument to the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein; namely, the world's largest embassy.

The US is currently constructing a monolith, that dwarfs in size all the other embassies in the world.

Congress has been told that the bill for the embassy has now reached a staggering $592M.

The heavily guarded 42 hectare will have a 15ft thick perimeter wall once it is finished.

It will house around 8000 US staff, and will contain every comfort. There will be residences for the Ambassador and his deputy, six apartments for senior officials, and two huge office blocks for 8,000 staff to work in.

It is also rumoured that it will contain the largest swimming pool in Iraq, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a cinema, restaurants offering delicacies from US food chains, tennis courts and an American Club for evening functions.

Some cynics suggest that it out "blings" even Saddam Hussein's palaces, in terms of opulence and grandeur.

There are a number of questions that do need to be addressed, in relation to this monument:

1 Why does it need to be so big?

2 Why is it that this will be completed on target, yet other construction projects in Iraq are way off target?

3 Why is it that the electricity, water and other essential utilities for the construction site are on stream, and have not suffered the same cuts and disruptions that ordinary Iraqis suffer everyday with their essential utilities?

4 Why are the construction workers being employed to build this edifice not local Iraqis, but mainly Kuwaitis?

5 Does Washington really feel that this will win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis? Does Washington even care?