A good description of a cunning fanatic is one who would always construe the evidence to support the conviction rather than establish it by objectively assessing the facts. Accordingly, the fanatic driven by ulterior motives proceeds to present the data with a slant by carefully selecting and emphasizing certain points and deliberately ignoring others. The masses in the Arab/Islamic world would readily attribute the above-mentioned term of fanatic to the Western mass media that has been constantly spin doctoring the facts to justify the recent war in Iraq. The right-wing section of the Political spectrum be it in the mass media or the government or the various influential institutions are the most vicious extremists.
These fanatics and extremist has naturally bred newer clones and has reinforced the prejudices of the existing ones. For them Saddam’s guilt, whatever that may be, is a foregone conclusion as the US appointed regime prepares to charge him and his men with war crimes on three accounts: gassing the Kurds in Halabja in 1988, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
According to Stephen Pelletiere who was the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000 disputes the guilt of Saddam Hussein but not the crime of the innocent Kurds that were killed in Halabja. He was privy to the classified reports produced by the United States Defence Intelligence Agency after conducting investigation into the matter. The report clearly stated that the Kurds were killed in the cross fire as both parties used chemical weapons but Saddam certainly did not target the Kurds intentionally. Furthermore, investigation into the bodies of the dead Kurds showed that they were killed by cyanide-based gas which was used by the Iranians whilst the Iraqis! used mustard based gas.
From the onset the US was fully complicit for supplying the materials knowing that they were being used for making weapons and were used in the battlefields against Iran. According to its own records it continued to supply the materials even after the Halabja incidence. Logic dictates that if you revile something and constantly lecture the world about it then you should set the example by not trading with it! Thus, the outrage in the Western intelligentsia in 2003 as opposed to 1988 was politically motivated and clearly dishonest. Unless of course it took fifteen years for the news to travel to London and Washington! In any case, the fanatics simply ignored such inconvenient points.
Saddam’s intention to invade Kuwait was known to the US ambassador April Gillespie who in fact gave a clear approval by recognising that Iraq’s dispute with Kuwait is an internal matter between the two nation. Many ordinary Americans do not know that Kuwait was part of the southern province of Iraq (Walayah of Basra) for centuries. Iraq has far greater right to claim Kuwait than the US has over the Hispanic territories that it annexed. It was the British colonial designs that created such fault lines in order to keep the Islamic world divided and weak, its gravitas naturally increased after the discovery of oil. The Kuwaiti movement for unification with Iraq in 1950s were ruthlessly hunted down by the Kuwaiti regime with the help of the British.
Truth is the first casualty of war and the US hired a PR company called Hill and Knowlton to market the first Gulf war to the American public. The Kuwaiti government gave $10.7 million to Hill and Knowlton for their services. CNN-TV broadcasted a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl in the US claiming that the Iraqi soldiers were taking the incubators and left the babies to die on the floor. Subsequent investigation clearly exposed the story to be built on lies just like the WMD claims over Iraq.
No doubt there were some Kuwaiti casualties but it was far less than the Iraqi casualties of 100,000 plus. Eventually, the Iraqi troops with the unarmed civilians were withdrawing in February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with the UN resolution. The US forces at the behest of the Kuwaiti regime attacked the retreating soldiers and civilians; massacred tens of thousands of people. These were men, women and children that posed no threat to the US armed forces. The ever moaning Americans should visualise this as multiple 9/11s and a real act of terrorism. Later this road became to be known as the “highway of death”.
It was reported that the US marines fought with each other to take a pot-shots at the Iraqis. Using sophisticated weapons and wearing US uniform means immunity from terms like barbaric, savage, terrorist and criminal! Their motivation to commit such crimes was fuelled by their racist outlook and inherent sadistic nature as clearly evident from the Abu-Ghraib incident. This is surely one of the most heinous war crimes in contemporary history. Saddam can be penalised to an extent for the initial invasion although he had good reasons but war crimes were in reality committed by the Kuwaiti regime and the US government on the “highway of death”. Again do not expect fanatics to question their beliefs, so such matters were simply ignored by the entire establishment including the UN.
The war with Iran was clearly backed by the US government and both sides on the battlefield suffered casualties. The Western arms industry made good profit and fuelled the war by supplying weapons to both sides. There was no record of any genocide committed by the Iraqi regime against the Iranians and if the rules of war was violated, both sides are guilty. Since, they reciprocated treatment of the prisoners of war and the use of chemical weapons. Thus, it is only the right of Iran to charge Saddam Hussein and not for the convenience of the US to gain political points for the recent war in Iraq.
It is not the Iraqis but the US appointed Iraqi puppets that are trying Saddam and his men, so how can one expect to get a fair trial? This court is illegal since it was designated by an illegal authority, created by the occupation. The trial should have been postponed until a legitimate government in Iraq has been established. The fanatics deliberately ignore this crucial point.
Furthermore, the fanatical mass media makes sweeping remarks that the vast majority of the Iraqis are happy to see Saddam in trial in a attempt to justify the illegal war whilst totally ignoring that he also has a wide support base. One thing is for certain, if Saddam stood for elections now he may not become the President but he is sure to get more votes than these CIA sponsored criminals like A. Chalabi and I. Allawi.
Many will refer to the suppression of the Shia and the Kurdish revolt and there is no attempt to deny the excesses of the Baathist regime however, no nation would sit and tolerate any attempts to secede or destabilise the country. In any case, internal repression does not qualify to be war crimes. The US government’s conduct in WACO was criticised for being heavy-handed (brutal and ruthless) in suppressing the cult of David Koresh. So imagine what it would do to the Blacks or the Hispanics seeking independence or autonomy.
This is not an attempt to defend the track record of Saddam Hussein. He should face charges for the crimes that he has committed against his citizens and possibly against Iran but the trial should not be used to legitimise the recent ugly aggression by the US! Nor should the US be allowed to be used it for political point scoring for its domestic audiences. Most certainly the Iraqis not the US appointed puppet should conduct the trial. The trial looks to be farcical and even more perverse when the US attempts to convey it as a symbol of it moral stature, when it was fully complicit with the Baathist regime.
It is said that a pig is a shameless creature and does not fight for its mate if another pig approaches. Likewise, when the US citizens argue their case for war on the basis of Saddam’s track record back in 1980s it reminds me of that shameless pig who does not understand the notion of honour and in this case the shameless hypocrisy of the US for advocating such arguments.
Many in the Arab/Muslim world including the Iraqis are feeling a travesty of justice, as Bush and Blair should face war crimes charges and Iraq should be entitled for war reparation. First of all for illegally attacking a country since no WMD. Secondly, for the maltreatment of the prisoners which is clearly a war crime.
Not surprisingly, the US does not want to subject itself to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court but it is more than happy to try its enemies. The fanatical Western media driven by ulterior motives is not interested to discuss the real war crimes committed by Bush and Blair despite such clear evidences. Hence like the UN Security Council the democratic nations of the US and UK has a veto and total immunity on this point of war crimes.
The fair-minded and the impartial people of the world must recognise that war crimes charges can never be applied to the US and possibly to its close allies; they are above the law. No wonder the US is busy seeking bilateral treaties to exclude its soldiers from any potential liability so that the future war crimes can be made ‘legal’. The Americans can continue to build the American dream whilst giving the rest of humanity a real nightmare.