FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

From Saddam, with Love

by KURT NIMMO

 

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

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
Leslie Scott
Trump in the Middle East: New Ideas, Old Politics
George Wuerthner
Environmental Groups as Climate Deniers
Pauline Murphy
The Irish Dead: Fighting Fascism in Spain, 1937
Brian Trautman
Veterans on the March
Eric Sommer
Trumps Attack on Social Spending Escalates Long-term Massive Robbery of American Work
Binoy Kampmark
Twenty-Seven Hours: Donald Trump in Israel
Christian Hillegas
Trump’s Islamophobia: the Persistence of Orientalism in Western Rhetoric and Media
Michael J. Sainato
Russiagate: Clintonites Spread the Weiner Conspiracy
Walter Clemens
What the President Could Learn from Our Shih-Tzu Eddie
May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail