From Saddam, with Love



Saddam Hussein has sent a letter to his family, according to Newsweek. Most of if was redacted by military censors.

No telling what Saddam attempted to write in those squelched lines. Maybe he urged the Fayadeen to kill more US soldiers. Or gave solace to the bitter and dead-enders. Is it possible he said something about those weapons of mass destruction Dubya’s daddy and Reagan sold him oh-so long ago?

Chances are it was little more than gibberish.

One has to wonder. Saddam must realize he is in prison, or in custody — whatever Bush calls the gulag from Bagram to Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and beyond — so why the heck would he write something motivating Pentagon-types with permanent markers to censor him? Is it possible Saddam is a drugged-out zombie, a mere pharmaceutical shadow of his former self? Is it possible he did not write a letter and is incapable of doing so even if he wanted to?

Or is this another Bush PR stunt?

Good chance we will never know.

And then there is the Saddam photo posted on the MSNBC site. It’s credited as a “AFP-Getty Image” — presumably a respectable photojournalism outfit — and yet the photo resembles something snapped by a kid with a disposable cardboard camera with a plastic lens. It has all the quality of a photo left out on the veranda overnight during a rainstorm and baked the next morning in the sun. In the blurry and faded photograph Saddam stares off in the distance, probably at his now life-long — no doubt to soon be a short life — interrogators who brusquely demand he look at the birdie.

Saddam will soon be handed over to the so-called interim Iraqi government — that is to say the government handpicked by the Bushites — and put on trial for crimes against the Iraqi people. Or I should say the case of Saddam will be handed over to the Iraqis; Saddam’s stilted, dazed, and robotic body — if the weather beaten photo mentioned above is any guide — will remain in the custody of Rumsfeld and the Pentagon.

The Butcher of Baghdad is a dead man walking.

Few doubt Saddam is guilty of imprisonment, torture, deportation, assassination, and execution. Saddam had Ayatollah Mohamad Baqir al-Hakim, the leader of SCIRI, sentenced to life imprisonment. He arrested, tortured, and killed Ayatollah Mohamad al-Sadr and his sister Amina al-Sadr (thus at least partially explaining Muqtada al-Sadr’s attitude problem with authority figures). He had 90 members of the al-Hakim family arrested and sixteen of them executed. Even the borders of Iraq did not stop Saddam’s numerous vendettas. He had the opposition leader Haj Sahal al-Salman murdered in the United Arab Emirates, Sami Mahdi and Ni’ma Mohamad assassinated in Pakistan, and Sayed Mahdi al-Hakim killed in Sudan. And he had thousands of other nameless people executed as well.

Most of the above were killed while the beloved Reagan and one-termer Bush Senior were in office.

The Gipper is now gone. But while alive and not napping during CIA briefings he was making sure Saddam received only the best — hundreds of millions of dollars in loan guarantees, high-value military intelligence, satellite data, UH-1H and Hughes MD-500 Defender helicopters, dual-use equipment for Iraq’s nuclear program, in a word almost anything Saddam wanted so long as he continued slaughtering large numbers of Iranians.

Meanwhile, the Israelis sold murder merchandise to the Iranians so they might continue eradicating Iraqis.

Of course, as the nation mourned Reagan’s passing from planet earth, you heard nothing about such dark and cynical things — or are you likely to hear about them now as Bush’s handpicked stooges ready to put Saddam on trial and ultimately march him to the gallows.

In his four month old letter written on a standard form provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Saddam said hello to his family.

In the next letter, he may as well say good-bye.


KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai Park: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation