Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

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 . 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:

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017
Ron Jacobs
A Theory of Despair?
Gilbert Mercier
Globalist Clinton: Clear and Present Danger to World Peace
James A Haught
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Uri Avnery
The Peres Funeral Ruckus
Tom Clifford
Duterte’s Gambit: the Philippines’s Pivot to China
Reyes Mata III
Scaling Camelot’s Walls: an Essay Regarding Donald Trump
Raouf Halaby
Away from the Fray: From Election Frenzy to an Interlude in Paradise
James McEnteer
Art of the Feel
David Yearsley
Trump and Hitchcock in the Age of Conspiracies
Charles R. Larson
Review: Sjón’s “Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was”