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The capture of Saddam Hussein has already brought about a great deal of gloating. But it is critically important to recall that this wicked tyrant of Iraq was a valued friend of the current occupiers of Iraq, particularly when he served his purpose and carried out his worst atrocities: the slaughters of Iraqi communists, Kurds, religious minorities, and numerous Iraqi dissents, and the war of aggression against Iran. He was backed not only by the Arab gulf states and Saudi Arabia, but also by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the former USSR. The Baathist regime received trade credits, loans, armaments and critical military and logistic support from its allies, including the NATO countries. American Type Culture Collection and and the Center for Disease Control had supplied biological spores to the Baathist regime ith the full knowledge and connivance of the US authorities. USA Today provides a partial list of the types biological pathogens supplied to Saddam Hussein’s regime.
George W. Bush’s (hereafter Bush#2) gloating speech following the capture of Saddam Hussein gives a useful point of reference to check Iraqi reality against the lies of the occupiers.
Bush#2 said, “For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens, who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.”
Though Saddam Hussein’s regime may be gone forever, it is the Anglo-American occupiers who are putting men and women, including Iraqi scientists, into prison camps. According to report recently published in the Washington Post, “the CIA has recruited and trained some former Iraqi intelligence agents to help identify the insurgents” even though earlier “Bremer dissolved Iraq’s four intelligence services, along with the ministries of information and defense.” In the same Post report a former intelligence officer stated: “Intelligence services are the heart and soul of a new country.” So Instead of Hussein’s police, Iraq now has a secret police in service of Anglo-American occupiers. Bush#2 said, “A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.”
Alas, though Iraqis are authentically rejoicing the capture of Saddam Hussein, there cannot little ground for much hope until the occupiers are kicked out. Until Iraqis have their own elected government exercising sovereign control over its rich hydrocarbon resources, a “painful era” will not be over.
Bush#2 said, “The success of yesterday’ mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq. The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. That it took more than eight months for the Anglo-American occupiers to capture a much hated dictator of Iraq is a testimony to the general unreliability of “intelligence.” And despite extensive hunt by US intelligence and US military in team with Pakistani and other intelligence agencies, bin Laden is now almost a forgotten figure, except when audio or video tapes surface.
More importantly the rationalized [begin italics] causa belli [end italics] namely, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq posed a threat to the United States, or that Iraq had any link with the terrorists attacks of 9-11 are all demonstrably false.
Even though in his speech Bush thanked and congratulated “the members of our armed forces,” he did not recall either those US soldiers who died or the Iraqi civilians (let alone Iraqi soldiers) who were killed by Anglo-American bombing n this unnecessary war. It will take some effort to remove the memory of the bombings of Iraqi neighborhoods which the US had targeted to try in vain to knock off Saddam Hussien and his family from the face of the earth based on reports from “intelligence” sources. How many civilians had to die because the US had decided that Hussein was no more an asset but a liability who refused to follow orders.
Bush#2 further averred, “The war on terror is a different kind of war, waged capture by capture, cell by cell, and victory by victory. Our security is assured by our perseverance and by our sure belief in the success of liberty. And the United States of America will not relent until this war is won.” This means that occupation will continue, with its methods of hammering the civilian population and the rhetoric of “war on terrorism“.
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The talking heads of the corporate media will pontificate on the meaning of the capture of Saddam Hussein for a short period until another major development occurs. But the resistance against the occupation will continue.
It is for the democratically elected representatives of the Iraqi people to put Hussein to trial for his war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is not for the United States or its puppet regime to indict Hussein in a show trial. Hussein’s crimes are many, but resisting the illegal US-led invasion is not one of his crimes. Hussein is as much entitled to a proper defense as any one of former or present world leaders: Pinochet, Shuharto, Milosevic, Henry Kissigner, Bush#1, Bush#2, Blair, or Putin.
The United States invaded Iraq in obvious violation of international law, just like Iraq had invaded Iran and later Kuwait in violation of international law. Indeed, whereas Iraq had certain legitimate grievances (though not justification for war) against Kuwait, which was overproducing oil in excess of its allocated OPEC quota and possibly taking advantage of slant diagonal drilling to steal Iraqi oil, the United States’ justification for invading Iraq is absolutely groundless. The actual motives to invade and occupy Iraq has nothing to do with Bush’s stated reasons for Persian Gulf War II.
A non-farcical trial of Saddam Hussein, in a free Iraq, that is, a country free from its Anglo-American invaders, in an independent court of honest and impartial judges, would be worthwhile, because it would ensure that the criminal responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousand of Iraqis, Kurds, and Iranian is finally brought to justice. A fair trial would also expose the complicity of the regime’s Arab and Western backers, including Bush#1, Rumsfeld-Powell (first incarnations), Thatcher, assorted Arab monarchs and dictators, and others, as well as world leaders who master-minded the invasion and the occupation of Iraq, namely, Bush#2, Blair, Rumsfeld-Powell (second incarnations), the neo-cons, and so on. This, of course, is altogether unthinkable to the regimes in Washington and London. It is, thus, a sure bet that they will do everything to subvert an independent trial of Hussein.
The antiwar movement’s goals should remain simple: Self-determination for Iraq, and USA-UK out of Iraq.
ABU SPINOZA is a columnist for Pressaction