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, June 15, 2007

British Oil Trader Arrested

John Irving, a British oil trader was arrested yesterday on U.S. charges of paying bribes to Saddam Hussein as part of the U.N. oil-for-food program for Iraq.

Irving was detained in London, by the Metropolitan Police, on a U.S. extradition warrant. He appeared at the city's Westminster Magistrates Court and was released on bail until his next hearing on July 20.

Irving was one of three men charged in New York in 2005 with defrauding the United Nations of at least $100M, money that should have gone to humanitarian aid for Iraqis.

The other two men, Texas oil executive David Chalmers and Bulgarian oil trader Ludmil Dionissiev, have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The extradition warrant accuses Irving of colluding with Chalmers and others to defraud the U.N., and pay "illegal and secret commissions and surcharges to officials of the government of Iraq" between January 2000 and March 2003.

Irving has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pentagon Paints Grim Picture

A report issued by the Pentagon yesterday states that in the three months since sending in a "surge" of US troops, the overall levels of violence in Iraq have not decreased. All that has happened is that the violence has been displaced from Baghdad and Anbar, where U.S. forces are concentrated, to rise in most other provinces.

The report also notes that Iraq's government has proven "uneven" in delivering on its commitments under the strategy. Public pledges by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have in many cases produced no concrete results.

The report notes that:

"some analysts see a growing fragmentation of Iraq....the Iraqi people would be better off if the country were divided into three or more separate countries."

A mess by anyone's standards.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Powell Calls For Closure of Guantanamo Bay

Former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell said yesterday that the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay for foreign terrorism suspects should be immediately closed, and its inmates moved to the US.

Mr Powell, who in a 2003 speech to the UN Security Council made the case for war against Iraq for possessing weapons of mass destruction that were never found, described the prison in Cuba as a "major problem" for the US's image abroad and has done more harm than good.


"Guantanamo has become a major, major problem ... in the way the world perceives America, and if it were up to me I would close Guantanamo, not tomorrow but this afternoon ... and I would not let any of those people go. I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system.

Essentially, we have shaken the belief the world had in America's justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open and creating things like the military commission. We don't need it and it is causing us far more damage than any good we get for it

That's all very well, but why did he not say this several years ago?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Verdict Soon on Chemical Ali

The Iraqi court trying Saddam Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, aka "Chemical Ali", and other former regime officials for their roles in a 1980s military campaign against the Kurds said Sunday that it would issue a verdict on 24 June.

They all face a possible death sentence, if convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity.