Saddam's Trial & Execution
There can be little doubt that Saddam Hussein got what he deserved when he was hanged in one of his own execution chambers in Baghdad before dawn on December 30, 2006. The question however remains: did the world get what it deserved by way of the whole truth? In other words, in this display of the "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" mentality that passes for justice in Iraq, was full justice really done?
That the Shia-dominated Iraqi government -- such as it is -- wished to try and execute him as quickly as possible seems only natural, considering his years of bloody repression of Iraq's Shia majority. However, the charge regarding which he was convicted -- an easily proven case of his having ordered the summary execution of about 148 men from a small town where someone tried to assassinate him years ago -- seems almost ridiculously small compared to the enormity of the rest of his crimes. How about the some two-hundred thousand Kurds killed on Saddam's orders? How about the nearly one million men killed in his eight-year war with Iran, and then, after his invasion of Kuwait, the many thousands of southern Iraqis systematically executed by Saddam's army at the end of the 1991 Gulf War?
Why is it that the US government did not insist that Saddam be tried in an international War-Crimes Court as was Slobodan Milosevich, the former Serbian leader? After all, wasn't it even clearer that Saddam was behind all these crimes than it was that Milosovich was directly responsible for the bloodbath that engulfed the former country of Yugoslavia?
The answer to this big question sits squarely on the conscience of the USA. The obvious answer is that if Saddam had been tried by an international court, the full truth would have eventually come out for all the world to see. It would have become apparent that Saddam rose to power largely through the connivance of the USA, and that the US government had continually helped him in his eight-year war against Iran, even while we covertly -- through the Iran-Contra scheme -- prolonged that war by supplying Iran with weapons and spare parts. Meantime, Saddam considered the USA as being so friendly to his regime that he apparently thought that we would have no objections to his taking over Kuwait!
There is no doubt that a trial at the Hague would have been a great embarrassment for the USA. Saddam, whose megalomania even surpassed that of Milosevich, would have proudly proclaimed his love of his country and denounced the USA as having betrayed him for having done what he thought the US was encouraging him to do. On the other hand, in the eyes of those who believe that being bad is good, he would have been, like Hitler and Stalin -- both of whom Saddam admired -- a great hero. But at least the full record would have been exposed before all the world.
Not that it won't be eventually. At least according to both Muslim as well as Christian belief there will be a final reckoning before God's tribunal at the end of the world. But in the meantime it might have been more helpful for the world's future stability to have had the whole story fully revealed. Otherwise we could end up having this bloody history repeat itself yet again.
R W Kropf 1/2/07