Occupier’s “Justice”

The Trial of Saddam Hussein

The Trial of Saddam Hussein
By Dr. Abdul-Haq Al-Ani
Paperback: 421 pages
Publisher: Clarity Press (May 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0932863582
ISBN-13: 978-0932863584

Spurred by his abhorrence of imperialism and to better equip himself, Abdul-Haq Al-Ani studied law in Britain. The barrister then applied his knowledge to become, temporarily, part of Saddam Hussein’s defense team and to write The Trial of Saddam Hussein, and even though the book profoundly, cogently, and — on its face — irrefutably exposes the injustice of the trial of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants, it exposes much, much more.

Al-Ani’s analysis of the trial of Hussein is based in a system of entrenched injustice imposed by the imperialist, occidental world. For the imperialist system, with collaborationist Iraqis, was not conjured into existence to “try” and condemn Hussein. Al-Ani describes an extant, hypocritical system wherein law applies to the victims of imperialists, but imperialists hold themselves above the law. “A state cannot operate internationally and rely on international law and the UN, but still be able to excuse itself from being bound by whatever it chooses to reject. This is an unsustainable argument,” reasons Al-Ani.

The United States is a testament to how preponderent prowess in violence sets a “nation” beyond the reach of the law.1 The United States of America is built upon the denationalization of the Original Peoples and a subsequent colonization by the genocidaires. Yet the US government has never apologized to its victims, recompensed them, or atoned for its malevolence.2 This is the historical baggage carried by the US.

So, historically, any claim to moral authority by the US (that is, being a self-proclaimed beacon on the hill, a human rights leader, or a leader of the free world, etc.), in an effort to bolster or garner legitimacy for its “adventurism” abroad, is preposterous and nugatory.

Al-Ani details the illegality that underlies the invasion of Iraq — a prima facie “supreme international crime” so reprehensible that the Nuremburg Tribunal said it differs from other war crimes in that “it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

The barrister accuses the US-UK of genocide. The genocide dates back to at least 1991 when the US formed a coalition to oust Hussein’s invasion force from Kuwait, a state whose borders are an imperialist creation and, therefore, according to Al-Ani, violable. Ergo, the invasion of Kuwait was caused by British imperialists.

Al-Ani gives an Arab perspective on the Ba’ath Party (divulging that he is a former member) and its importance to the citizens of Iraq and wider afield in the Middle East. The party captured the nationalist aspirations of the people and attracted those people opposed to the imperialist-Zionist usurpation of Palestine.

As for life under the rule of Saddam Hussein, Al-Ani asserts that Iraqis were safe as long as they did not cross the “red line”; that is, they did not act or conspire against the Ba’ath Party or state.

Al-Ani does not focus on whether Hussein was a good man or bad man. He is focused on adherence to the norms of law and justice. Hussein does receive criticism, however, especially for his “calamitous miscalculation” to attack Iran — a “gift to imperialism.” I wonder what Al-Ani would say if someone wrote that same words to describe the attack of Iraq?

Al-Ani situates in time. He presents a picture of a thriving Iraq in 1991: a surfeit of electricity; clean, well, equipped hospitals and clinics free to all Iraqis; clean water; no illiteracy; free education from elementary school right through graduate school; home-based industries; a good highway system; and a real estate bank to provide low-interest loans for low-income families (wiped out by Paul Bremer). Compare this to Iraq today where the electric grid still has not been fully restored.3

What permits such carnage and destruction? Al-Ani sees an inability to recognize and embrace diversity. Eurocentrism,4 he posits, holds sway; law that thwarts imperialists can be swatted aside while the same law can be bent to damn the defiers of imperialists. The Trial of Saddam Hussein gives poignant examples of Eurocentrism: from the United Nations Charter and delegation of powers between the General Assembly and the Security Council, drawing of international borders, international law and its application, to the arrogation of the right to breach the borders of sovereign nations. What gives Westerners the right to disarm Iraq? Al-Ani compares, “Equally perplexing for the Muslim jurist is that Isreal is rewarded with new weapons and financial backing following the invasion of Lebanon [in 2006] while Iraq is decimated following its invasion of Kuwait.”

Militaristically inclined types proffer that a so-called humanitarian intervention can justify the violation of national sovereignty. Here Al-Ani sides with law professor Francis Boyle who described humanitarian intervention as “a joke and a fraud.” Obviously, for humanitarian interventions to have any moral or legal legitimacy, they must not be capricious nor unilateral; otherwise, they can function criminally as pretexts for imperialism.

Surely no one would suggest there was anything humanitarian in the annihilation of Fallujah. Here again Eurocentrism is exposed. After all, how would Occidentals respond if a Christian or Jewish town in the West were obliterated?

International Law

Al-Ani sees two legitimate sources of international law: the United Nations General Assembly and treaties. He has scorn for the International Criminal Court (ICC) for reasons such as its Article 16, which defers to the Security Council, undermining ICC independence and making it a “judicial tool of imperialism” as well as its inability to agree on a definition for the crime of aggression. Al-Ani does not mince words when he notes “the great silence of the jurists of the Anglo-Saxon world, which almost amounts to an acquiescence in the crimes” of aggression.

The invasion was illegal under the UN Charter. Al-Ani argues that since Iraq was not a threat to peace, it would have been impossible to invoke a resolution of attack against it. It violates the raison d’être of the organization. Nevertheless, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1472 which instead of condemning the attack remained seized of the matter — pointing, according to Al-Ani, to the futility and incompetence of the UN, an understandable view given what has transpired.

Arresting Saddam Hussein

Al-Ani notes, “It is ironic that the US/UK intended to try top Iraqi officials for crimes of stipulated Iraqi laws while at the same refusing to accept the jurisdiction of the prevailing Iraqi law.”

He observes that Article 131 of the 2005 Iraqi Constitution calling for the continuation of the Tribunal was without legitimate legal force since it was implemented under occupation. Consequently, there was no legal jurisdiction for trying Saddam Hussein. Among the problems with the arrest of Saddam Hussein:

  • a head-of-state does not lose authority at hands of occupier;
  • a head-of-state has legal immunity; and
  • Hussein could not be classified as a POW.

The Iraqi High Tribunal

Among the problems Al-Ani finds with the Iraqi High Tribunal:

  • De-Ba’athication (an act which constitutes a crime against humanity according to the ICC’s Article 7) removed all Ba’athist judges in Iraq, yet Article 43 of the Hague Convention forbids this.
  • What process was used to select judges? Who were the judges? The anonymous judges were secretly trained in Britain. Al-Ani asks, “[W]hy should an Iraqi tribunal with allegedly Iraqi judges and operating under Iraqi law be trained by private contractors who have no knowledge of Iraqi law?”
  • Judicial independence: the Iraqi Special Tribunal, later renamed the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT), was clearly set up by the occupiers. Al-Ani argues that the trial was completely controlled by the US through the Regime Crimes Liaison Office (RCLO) set up by the US Department of Justice and funded by the US Congress.
  • Preventing international lawyers to aid Hussein’s defense — a violation of the legal concept Equality of Arms: “The right of the accused to legal counsel is so universal that it is difficult to see how a court would admit evidence secured when the accused was not in receipt of legal advice.”
  • Security for the defense: defense lawyers were murdered, forced to flee Iraq, and intimidated; so-called Human Rights Watch (HRW) admitted as much.
  • Defense and witnesses faced the possibility of civil suits for actions and words in court.
  • The collapse in security made finding willing defense witnesses difficult: “The inequality between the blanket anonymity granted to the prosecution witnesses and the exposure of the identity of one potential defense witness clearly demonstrates the inequality of arms.”
  • Defendants were prevented the right to private and confidential legal counsel.
  • Switching chief justices; the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) charged that this was a “blatant attack on the independence of the judiciary.”
  • The court-appointed defense’s performance was “poor”; they turned down right to cross examine witnesses often or were denied cross-examination by the court.
  • Important evidence was withheld from the trial and defense.
  • It was seven months into trial before charges were formally laid against Hussein and co-defendants.
  • Overt judicial bias: hearsay admitted; court relied on witness testimony when documentary evidence was available; transmission of defendant’s spoken words was cut off during trial; the court refused to respond to defense requests.
  • Closing the defense’s case summarily.
  • The appeal process was a mockery: 30 days to present an appeal, and no right to challenge the legality of the IHT whose statute Al-Ani finds riddled with errors and flagrant grammatical mistakes, indicating that it was a translation from English. Al-Ani wonders why HRW and the ICTJ did not complain.

Why Dujail?

The Tribunal made events occuring in the town of Dujail, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Da’wah Party, the first case to be tried against Saddam Hussein and his top officials. In 1982, assassins from Dujail ambushed Hussein’s motorcade. Hussein was accused afterwards of ordering a crackdown in which 148 of the town’s men were sentenced and executed. It is not the most heinous crime alleged of Hussein, yet that is where the Tribunal began and ended.

Al-Ani writes that the perpetrators involved in the assassination admitted to acting on orders from Iran, a treasonous act during war, which then raged between Iraq and Iran. He sees no relevance of Geneva Conventions to the Dujail case. Yet, even some western-based progressivist writers and corporate media critics were quick to share the corporate media line on Hussein’s guilt over events at Dujail.5

Even though during the trial, Hussein had accepted sole responsibility for the killings at Dujail, the IHT was hard-pressed to support its verdict. The ICTJ wrote, “The Dujail verdict was delivered in a 40-minute session that gave little indication of the judgment’s detail and reasoning.”6

Nonetheless, “Even if Saddam Hussein accepted responsibilty and knew of the punishments the culprits were likely to and did incur, including death by hanging, it does not make him anymore of a criminal than Governor George Bush signing the death warrants of criminals in Texas, some of whom turned out to be innocent…” Also, an admission itself was insufficient to convict since, Al-Ani argues, evidence of the wrongdoing by the Revolutionary Guard and demonstrating Hussein’s knowledge of this was a necessary condition.

Al-Ani concludes that the Tribunal failed to establish that Hussein was criminally responsible for Dujail. Of the judgment, Al-Ani finds, “It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the judgment was written in English by the US/UK legal advisors in the RCLO in exactly the same way the defense was written by an appointee of the RCLO and translated into Arabic.”

He criticizes HRW, which “after spending months observing the trial, did not arrive at the only conclusion possible, namely that the Tribunal and those who served in it had been chosen because they were convinced of the guilt of the accused …”

“The most bizarre thing about this trial is that the accused were sentenced to death before the court argued the reasons for it in its judgment.” An appeal by the defense was rejected.

Of the appeal judgment, Al-Ani says, “[T]he lack of a single piece of evidence being identified to support its judgment, the misunderstanding of the principles of international law and the total indifference to the principles of justice that transcend all laws, international and domestic. These all demonstrate the incompetence of the IHT and a total failure of justice.” Thus had the US-UK obtained a “victor’s justice by proxy.”

Saddam Hussein was sentenced to hanging. Al-Ani objects that the basis for carrying out a death sentence was flimsy and illegitimate; moreover, it was disrespectfully pushed through on a Sunni holy day “with the connivance of an illegal occupying entity.”

Al-Ani finds “the sole contribution of the Tribunal is that it sets a precedent for trying other heads of state who challenge US supremacy…” He considers George W. Bush and Tony Blair the most obvious candidates to be tried under this precedent. Instead the ICC is pursuing prosecution of a sitting head-of-state in Sudan, which has aggressed no other country.7 Eurocentrism?

The Trial of Saddam Hussein is densely packed with legal arguments (though eminently readable and comprehensible) and fastidious conclusions, and a simple book review cannot do justice to the plethora of rationales that Al-Ani provides. At this time of year, if Christmas means anything about peace on Earth and good will towards fellow humans, then read The Trial of Saddam Hussein by Al-Ani, and become active in the antiwar and social justice movements.

  1. See International Justice and Impunity: The Case of the United States Edited by Nils Andersson, Daniel Iagolnitzer, and Diana G. Collier (Clarity Press, 2008). Review. []
  2. The same holds true for colonialist governments throughout the western hemisphere. []
  3. Still no electricity surge,” Realnews.com, 15 December 2008. []
  4. Applied loosely, the rationale being that Americans and other Westerners stem from European colonial stock. []
  5. E.g., see Norman Solomon, “Rumsfeld’s Handshake Deal With Saddam: History Out of Media Bounds,” Dissident Voice, 10 December 2005. []
  6. Briefing paper, Dujail: Trial and Error?” International Center for Transitional Justice, November 2006. []
  7. Davion C. Ford, “Is the ICC jeopardizing peace in Sudan?” Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 19 November 2008. []
Kim Petersen is an independent writer and former co-editor of the Dissident Voice newsletter. He can be emailed at: kimohp at gmail.com. Twitter: @kimpetersen. Read other articles by Kim.

24 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on December 17th, 2008 at 10:36am #

    criminals of all kinds always resort to rationalization to assuage own guilt- provided they have any pangs at all.
    US had proffered us a myriad of reasons for murdering hussein and invading the evil empire.
    empire being evil but weak/wobbly, was targeted for demolition and perm’nt occup’n.
    true, saddam was a criminal but suharto, truman, et al were also criminals. so,once again and for the trillionth time, victor meted out ‘justice’. thnx

  2. kahar said on December 17th, 2008 at 3:02pm #

    Thanks for this review.

    “The Tribunal made events occuring in the town of Dujail, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Da’wah Party, the first case to be tried against Saddam Hussein and his top officials.”

    The Da’wa Party called for the invasion and destruction of Iraq, they were the bed partners of Bush/Blair, were given media attention and they believed in the necessity of the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives. They are the most disgusting fascist scum of the earth that there is, no different from Saddam. I can only guess that this was the only reason the Dujail case was used for prosecution, it was a gift to Da’wa’s service to the invaders.

    “It (the Dujail case) is not the most heinous crime alleged of Hussein, yet that is where the Tribunal began and ended.”

    The reason is glaringly obvious, as former top politician and co-founder of the Bilderberg group, Denis Healey (this also echoed by Ken Livingstone) once put it: ” Saddam received his lists of who to torture and kill directly from the CIA”. Moreover there is the massive gifts of weaponry from western governments throughout the 80s. The west is deeply involved in all of Saddam’s crimes, there is little he did without their direction, he was after all their golden boy of the 50s when they trained him in torture, murder, assassination and interrogation techniques. Of course they had to kill him after arresting him as quickly as they could for he held massive evidence incriminating them.

  3. JN said on December 17th, 2008 at 7:22pm #

    While a lot of what the author says is true, Saddam Hussein was hardly an innocent victim, or for that matter a heroic anti-imperialist. His fate was deserved. So you’ll forgive me if I don’t cry for the mass-murdering fascist?

    None of which is intended as a defence of the invasion & occupation. Bush, Blair, Clinton, et al are as guilty as Saddam & deserve the same sentence.

    ORGANISE! ACT!
    END THE WARS!

  4. Jason Oberg said on December 17th, 2008 at 10:25pm #

    While it is indeed hard for one to have much sympathy for Hussein, the fact of the matter is any society should be ever-vigilant in upholding the tenets of justice. We gave Saddam Hussein no such consideration. This man was a pawn of the U.S. government from way back in the 80’s. The U.S. chewed this man up and spit him out, manipulating and lying to him to meet their own nefarious ends, then viciously betrayed him when it suited them. Then they reduced his country to ashes, murdering many more of his people than he allegedly ever did. Then, to top it all off, they rushed him through an orchestrated, for-appearances-only trial with a pre-ordained outcome, and murdered him. Now, when it comes to evil, Hussein couldn’t hold a candle to the United States on his most diabolical day. We’ll never hear any of that on CNN, will we?

  5. Hue Longer said on December 18th, 2008 at 1:01am #

    JN,
    I hate how in standard company we have to prequalify our statements. Who said Sadam was a great guy and why do I have to say he wasn’t before bringing up matters such as this? It shifts the focus.

  6. kahar said on December 18th, 2008 at 3:25am #

    JN read the review, no one is saying Saddam was innocent, and Jason, it’s not about having sympathy, again, try reading the review. Read my comment above because you both completely miss the point.

    “Al-Ani gives an Arab perspective on the Ba’ath Party.. and its importance to the citizens of Iraq..”

    This is BS nonsense, the Baath party was installed in a bloody coup coordinated by MI6 and CIA overthrowing and murdering popular leader Abdl Karim Qasim. The Baath then mass murdered thousands of communist party members and anyone related to them, anyone active, and any supporter of Qasim and in fact anyone whom they saw as a possible potential threat of any form. As if the Baath were not bad enough we then have Baath Party chief interrogator and torturer Saddam taking over leadership of the party in a coup backed by the CIA. None of this could have been achieved without the full support of the MI6 and CIA. It is disgusting and an insult to Iraqis to suggest that Al Ani’s view is typical of an Arab perspective. That is simply a lie. You cannot take the words of a Baath Party member as representative of the ordinary people. I cannot express how disgusting that is.

  7. Kim Petersen said on December 18th, 2008 at 6:21am #

    I submit that in a book review, the meaning of one sentence should not be extrapolated beyond what it actually states. However, to provide more context:

    Al-Ani delves into the Ba’athist history in the book. He holds that Arab Communists lost favor due to their adherence to Moscow and Jewish Communists who backed the formation of Israel. Ba’athists opposed the formation of Israel.

    Al-Ani writes that the Ba’ath party represented for him everything he aspiring towards: “full independence from foreign domination, equal distribution of wealth among the impoverished Arabs and above all the union of the nation …” But he is a former party member and criticizes the party for what it became.

    As for Al-Ani’s take on history, he writes of a Communist wave of terrorizing and killing that preceeded the killing of Communists.

    As a final comment, Al-Ani finds, “Contrary to what is frequently argued – that the Ba’athists came to power with the help of the CIA – it is my belief that the opposite is true. The Ba’athists used the CIA to come to power …”

    For further context, read the book and get a first-hand account.

  8. kahar said on December 18th, 2008 at 3:34pm #

    I’m afraid, Kim Peterson, Al Ani in your above comment distorts and turns upside down every fact (and I have extrapolated correctly). I know this first hand, and his writing amounts to genocide denial. “The communists lost favor”? with whom does he mean? This is a bad joke, they were given freedoms under Qasim who fell out of favor with the British who then assassinated him. There was NO wave of terror from Communists, if you knew the people and the tragedies that befell them and their families and friends you would be sickened and ashamed to repeat Al Ani’s views. They were not supporters of Israel, this is an excuse to demonise them. And as for “The Ba’athists used the CIA to come to power”, LOL! I laugh through tears, actually it was the British who put them in power, the CIA later. The Baath were a bunch of morons. You really need to investigate this a bit deeper and thank you I’d rather not read this lying prostitute’s book. If the above is anything to go by I can only imagine what distortions the rest of the book contains and wonder at the writer’s intentions for they certainly aren’t honest. But this is the way “history” is created and facts and reality wiped out. Of course for the nonsense to be believable and acceptable it had to be an Iraqi who writes such a book (no doubt with the approval of the Anglo-American barbarians)

  9. Kim Petersen said on December 18th, 2008 at 4:04pm #

    Kahar, with all due respect, I am perplexed by your rationales. 1) You state that one should investigate deeper while closing one avenue of investigation. So much for open-mindedness and disinterest. 2) I fail to see where the genocide denial comes in. 3) That you assert Al-Ani is lying, with no evidence to back this up, is hardly convincing. 4) Also, you missed the point of my previous comment. I have only given you a snippet of Al-Ani’s book, and that snippet represents my interpretation.

    Yet you choose to go from my paraphrase.

    Al-Ani writes, “The Arab Communists have never been able to accommodate their recognition of the imperially-created racist state of Israel at the expense of uprooting hundreds of thousands of innocent impoverished aspiring Arabs, which may be partly due to the extent of Jewish influence in the international communist movement.”

    If you have further problems understanding Al-Ani’s arguments, I encourage you to open your mind and read his book, then where you disagree, write a rebuttal based on substantiated facts rather than ad hominem.

  10. kahar said on December 19th, 2008 at 5:35am #

    re 1&3) What exactly have you investigated? Repeating the words of a Baathi, these people are the darling of the western imperialists. No one else can counter them, do you have any idea how many Iraqis have been hounded, threatened, murdered or gone into hiding for speaking out? This is ONGOING. They do not have the luxury to publish books, unless they join the club — this like everything else I’ve mentioned is not opinion, it is fact. My views are not from a second hand source or some genocider’s book, they are my experience, my country, my people. And again I repeat: The Iraqi Communists NEVER supported Israel. Is that clear enough? Al Ani is a liar. And he is a prostitute — this is not an ad hominem remark, he served/s the system, he is a Baathi, he writes lies in return for money = a prostitute.
    re 2) the mass murder that took place after Qasim was overthrown was an indiscriminate genocide. For anyone to concoct ANY reason to justify this act is genocide denial, what Al Ani has done is to try to justify this US/UK/Baathi crime as a necessity against treason (at least from the reply you gave previously).

    If you have further problems understanding what I have said, I encourage you to open your mind, investigate further, investigate the forgotten and disappeared of Iraq for it is dangerous and immoral to just take the unsubstantiated words of a Baathi genocider as fact.

  11. bozh said on December 19th, 2008 at 9:24am #

    kahar, people tell me that the bathists in iraq have provided schooling and healthcare for all of its citizens.
    they have also kept the evil empire together. of course, by violence.
    just like china, india, pakistan, russia, iran, israel.
    of course, people who wanted independence or self rule also used violence against their respective evil empires. all empires r evil, to me.
    US and some other empires have always strongly suppotred some empires while strongly undermining others.
    communist lands did suport set up of israel. i don’t know if communist iniraq had done that.
    any documentation ab the iraqi communists’ stance re israel? thnx

  12. kahar said on December 19th, 2008 at 10:29am #

    Documentation? oh gee.. sorry I kinda forgot to bring that with me when we left what with so many people we knew disappeared or in jail lovingly being tortured, raped and murdered by Al Ani’s generous and caring Baathis for absolutely no reason. Well, bozh, hows about you provide me with evidence that you’re not a Nazi? It’s easy to sling mud isn’t it. Maybe you’re into satanic rituals. Where’s the documentaion to prove you’re not?

  13. bozh said on December 19th, 2008 at 11:14am #

    kahar,i didn’t call u names. calling names people, explains nothing.
    if u keep geting so angry/against free speech i don’t think too many people wld read what u say.
    either u become civil or u’r out. that’s a promise!

  14. Shabnam said on December 19th, 2008 at 3:03pm #

    CIA indeed was involved in bringing the Ba’ath party to power. This fact has been established not only by words of the politicians but also by the writings of many researchers like Said Aburish and Cockburn.
    In July 1958 Brigadier Abd al-Karim al-Qasim and the Free Officers movement led an army revolt which developed into a revolution that swept away the monarchy and the colonial political order.
    Qasim had no political party of his own and it was the powerful Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) which provided him with a mass political base. Founded in 1934, the party had an impressive record of anti-colonial resistance and had widespread respect among the population. In the 1940s and 1950s, its membership and support had expanded, particularly within the Shi’ite community. The tilt towards the Communist Party by the Shi’ite community has been explained as the response of a politically disenfranchised community from which ‘the poorest of the poor’ were drawn. People of the west must understand that when we are talking about ‘communist’ and ‘leftist’ in the Middle Eastern countries, we are talking about patriotic people who want the best for their country. These people were devoted to their well being of their citizens and many of them sacrificed their lives toward this goal. The Shi’ites, contrary to the Kurds, was always fighting against the colonial and imperialist west side by side with other Iraqi people for a sovereign and undivided Iraq.
    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/217.html

    But despite this development, the real political struggle was not between the secular Communists and the religious Shi’ite opposition, but between the two main secular forces, the Communists and the Ba’athists – a struggle which also reflected the Sunni-Shi’ite divide as the Ba’ath Party was overwhelmingly a Sunni-dominated party. After a failed assassination attempt in 1959 against Qasim (in which Saddam Hussein participated), most of the Ba’athist leaders fled the country. As a result the Communists emerged even stronger. Qasim carried out anti-American and anti corporate policies, like Mossadeq in Iran, as starting the process of nationalizing foreign oil companies in Iraq, withdrawing Iraq from the US-initiated right-wing Baghdad Pact (where US-puppet state ,Pakistan, was a member) and decriminalizing the Iraqi Communist Party. Therefore, he was popular among the population, but he was deeply hated by the western powers, mainly US and Britain. Thus, they wanted him to be eliminated.
    In February of 1963, a CIA-organized coup did successfully assassinate Qasim and Saddam’s Ba’ath Party came to power for the first time. Saddam returned from exile in Egypt and took up the key post as head of Iraq’s secret service. The CIA then provided the new Iraqi regime with the names of thousands of communists, and other leftist activists and organizers. Thousands of these supporters of Qasim and his policies were soon dead in a CIA operation of mass murder carried out by the CIA’s close friends in Iraq.
    In addition to the 149 officially executed, about 5,000 are killed in the terror, many buried alive in mass graves. Others believe more than 5000 were killed.
    This has been confirmed by different sources. For example, Qasim’s foreign minister later told two analysts that:
    {the Iraqi Foreign Ministry had information of complicity between the Ba’ath and the CIA. In many cases the CIA supplied the Ba’ath with the names of individual communists, some of whom were taken from their homes and murdered.}
    King Hussein told a similar story to the Egyptian journalist Mohamed Heikal:
    {I know for a fact that what happened in Iraq on 8 February was supported by American intelligence … Many meetings were held between the Ba’ath Party and American intelligence – the most critical ones in Kuwait. Did you know that on 8 February, the day of the coup in Baghdad, there was a secret radio broadcast directed toward Iraq that relayed to those carrying out the coup the names and addresses of Communists there so that they could be seized and executed.}
    http://www.iiwds.com/said_aburish/a_lostvictories.htm

    The book, “A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite” by Said K. Aburish, also describes how the CIA, Saddam and other members of the Baath party collaborated to bring about the coup, murdering more than 5,000 people in the process. The United States went on to help Saddam win the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19970629/ai_n14102154
    Regarding the trial of Saddam, Al-Ani is right when he says:

    { Al-Ani’s analysis of the trial of Hussein is based in a system of entrenched injustice imposed by the imperialist, occidental world.}

    However, I disagree when the following biased sentence circulate around because it is not based on facts but, as a former Ba’athist, on hatred against Iran where was number one enemy among Ba’athists and they wanted nothing but Iran destruction at any cost.

    {The Tribunal made events occuring in the town of Dujail, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Da’wah Party, the first case to be tried against Saddam Hussein and his top officials. In 1982, assassins from Dujail ambushed Hussein’s motorcade.}
    The fact is that Iran was against the way Saddam’s trial was designed because it basically was controlled by imperialists and Zionists who designed and executed its operation to have a speedy trial to control peoples emotion to close the case quickly so they can hide their own crimes against humanity in Iraq, Iran, and the region.
    Today we are witnessing the cooperation of Zionism and many Arab head of States such as Saudi Arabia and its extension, ‘journalists’ who support themselves on Saudis’ petrodollar, spreading lies and cooperate with Israel against Iran and trying to set the international stage for a military strike on Iran.
    Iranians were writing and protesting the same thing on Dujail as Al-Ani was. Thus, the following statement is biased:

    [The Tribunal made events occurring in the town of Dujail, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Da’wah Party, the first case to be tried against Saddam Hussein and his top officials.]

    In fact the Iranian newspapers were printing Mr. Al-Ani’s protest against Dujail. The following quote shows this fact:
    کشتار دجيل در آغاز محاکمه صدام حسين، بلافاصله اين سؤال را پيش می کشد که اين پرونده چه
    چه ويژگيهايی دارد که در اولويت رسيدگی به اتهامات بلندبالای رهبر پيشين عراق قرار گرفته است

    The above line asked: “What are the special characteristics of Dujail massacred where deserves to be at the top of the list?”
    http://azadebe.blogfa.com/8407.aspx

    Iranian government wanted the court consider Saddam Hussein invasion of Iran where killed thousands of Iranians by chemical weapon received from the brutal West. But no success.
    However, the agenda of the trial and its execution were controlled by no one except the occupiers. Iranian wanted an International organization to take charge of this trial to expose crimes of the powers involved but it didn’t go anywhere. The occupiers were interested in a speedy trial to hide their own crimes against humanity.
    Michael Scharf, was one of the agent of imperialist and Zionist who was deeply involved in this trial. He is the director of the Frederick Cox International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He worked in the State Department during the administrations of both George H.W. Bush, as well as Bill Clinton. His debate over Saddam’s trial with ABDUL HAQ AL-ANI at Democracy Now is very interesting in exposing the power behind this trial.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2004/12/15/justice_in_baghdad_a_debate_between

    The occupiers were also involved in staging a show to fool illiterate people to believe that Iraqi people where solely responsible for the down fall of statute of Saddam Hussein, but the following video exposes American imperialism and Zionism involvement in staging the show.
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90237

  15. kahar said on December 19th, 2008 at 4:23pm #

    bozh, what makes you think I’m angry? And what names do you mean? I called you nothing, that’s just your imagination. I was giving you examples that turned the mirror on you so you can understand what you were asking. I dont give a toss what you think so threaten all you like.

  16. kahar said on December 19th, 2008 at 4:58pm #

    Shabnam, that’s great but a few points:
    The communists were not exclusively shia arab but also many kurdish, we really have to avoid this kind of talk of sectarian divide, reality was never like this. (The kurdish Talabanis and Barazanis are something else with a shadowy history strongly allied to Israel and the imperialist west, hence you have the Jewish Mr Talabani installed as President of Iraq by the US.) Also, it was not just members of the communist party that were rounded up and disappeared the majority were their relatives, friends and anyone who happened to come under suspicion for no known reason, the lists for arrest came from the CIA.

  17. Shabnam said on December 19th, 2008 at 7:17pm #

    Kahar:
    You are right. In the past majority of people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds were working together for a just society leaning towards socialism. Unfortunately, since the early 1980s Zionists are working hard among the ethnic groups of the region and using opportunists to put one against the other to divide and weaken us where some ethnic groups are cooperating with Israel to establish their own tribes.
    In the past and until early 1980s, majority of the ‘left,’ for example in Iran, were mainly Stalinist and some Moist. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, the Iranian ‘left’ is dominated by Trotskyite groups. The United States did not use ethnic divide to destabilize Iran, but the Zionists are doing this kind of division to destabilize Iran and other Islamic countries from Mauritania to Afghanistan to establish ‘the greater Israel.’ This policy of divide and rule has become the policy of the empire directed by the Zionist group and they are very active among all ethnic groups of Iran especially the Kurds and Azeri. Majority of the Iranian Trotskyite groups view the Islamic liberation movement such as Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Iranian government as enemy number one, similar to Zionists. The Kurds of Iran has taken a very reactionary line and are working closely with the Zionists and imperialists forces and have announced that in case of a military attack they would not be fighting with other Iranians against the common enemy.

  18. JN said on December 19th, 2008 at 10:23pm #

    Hue Longer & Kahar,
    I don’t like having to constantly state the obvious any more than you do. I am absolutely against the wars, not to mention capitalism & imperialism generally.

    The book is written by a member of the Ba’ath party, a lawyer for Saddam Hussien’s defence. Therefore, he presumably is trying to defend Saddam Hussien, his party & his regime? So don’t give me sarcasm about no one saying he was “a great guy.”

    Now, I haven’t actually read the book so I can’t comment on it’s actual content. The review, however, is pretty dubious. It repeatedly blurs the line between “victims of imperialism” & Saddam Hussien, an instrument of imperialism & a mass-murdering fascist in his own right.

    As I said, a lot of the critiscism of the West is true (EG: the US was founded on genocide & is still doing it today). What I am objecting to is the apologetics for Saddam & the Ba’ath. This is the ‘anti-imperialism’ of fools: to defend 1 mass-murderer while opposing another. Ask the Iranians if Saddam Hussien was anti-imperialist. Ask HIS victims if his execution was an “injustice.”

    To state the obvious 1 more time: none of this justifies the invasion or the sanctions & bombing that preceded it. Those are equally criminal & evil, & the guilty deserve the same fate as Saddam.

  19. kahar said on December 20th, 2008 at 10:17am #

    JN: “Ask HIS victims if his execution was an “injustice.””

    OK I’ll ask myself and my relatives for you JN… Well the answer is as previously, as I am not a bloodthirsty knumbskull, I and every Iraqi are entitled to the right to have the guilty exposed and brought to justice, puppets like Saddam held enoromous evidence against his handlers, the real mass murderers, namely the US and UK. The trial was a sham and an insult to Iraqis and gave us no justice but just replaced the old puppet with a new and far worse version. The UK and US have not loosened their stranglehold over Iraq for a century and without ridding Iraq of these barbarians there will never be any justice no matter how many puppets are executed. The US/UK installed Saddam in power, maintained him and protected him and then when his usefulness was expired they killed.

  20. Jason Oberg said on December 20th, 2008 at 10:24am #

    Hue Longer and Kahar,
    I read the review, thanks. As to Hue, I don’t exactly appreciate your “standard company” remark. I don’t think anyone who even knows this website exists would be standard company. I doubt anyone is wandering in here after catching the latest episode of “American Idol.”
    As to Kahar, I don’t believe I’ve missed the point of the article. I was simply giving my overall summarizing opinion of the whole Hussein/Iraq situation, which is all you really need to know. The United States is far more evil than Saddam was, on the whole, and its history of despicable acts reaches much farther back than Saddam’s period of rule. As I said, this is my overall point, and I’m not apologetic about not being terribly concerned about whether the Ba’athists or the Shia are a better or worse political party in Iraq. That seems neither here nor there now. And yes, I agree that arguing semantics about who is more evil is in its own way idiotic. I attack the United States more fiercely, however, because of its hypocrisy before its own citizens and the rest of the world. At least with Saddam, what you saw was what you got. He made no pretense of not being an aggressive dictator.

  21. Jason Oberg said on December 20th, 2008 at 10:29am #

    And Kahar, as to your last comment, about how the US/UK installed Hussein, maintained him, then had him killed, etc.: That’s what I said in my first comment. So tell me again how I’ve missed the point…?

  22. kahar said on December 21st, 2008 at 8:48am #

    Jason, my comment as I mentioned very clearly already was specific to your comment on having sympathy:
    “While it is indeed hard for one to have much sympathy for Hussein, the fact of the matter is any society should be ever-vigilant in upholding the tenets of justice.” It’s not about sympathy and justice for Saddam, he is a vicious mass murderer and no Iraqi needs proof of that. Is my last comment (of 10.17am) so hard to understand?

    The article is about the trial, the point of a trial is to expose the truth and the true perpetrators of the crimes (US/UK), so that they don’t go on doing the same thing as they are still and as they have been for a century, not to lynch the monkey (who holds all the evidence to convict his masters) which brings no joy to anyone and changes absolutely nothing.

    And this: “and I’m not apologetic about not being terribly concerned about whether the Ba’athists or the Shia are a better or worse political party in Iraq.” Eh?? Shia/sunna this is all BS nonsense created in 2004 by the barbarians invaders to create animosity and a cover for genocide, a formula they use everywhere they invade. The Baathis were both Sunna and Shia, ditto for the communists, the Qasim government and all previous.

  23. JN said on December 21st, 2008 at 6:06pm #

    Kahar,

    “Ask HIS victims if his execution was an “injustice.””
    That wasn’t aimed at you, but at the original article. I apologise for not making that clear. What I meant is that his sentence was fully deserved; it was not an injustice TO HIM. Of course the trial was a joke & a propaganda exercise conducted in the context of a criminal & genocidal occupation.

    I agree with you almost completely. As I said, what I am arguing with is the defence of Saddam & the Ba’ath as “victims of imperialism” & “defiers of imperialism” when in reality they were a set of fascists who loyally served imperialism until it turned against them.

    For example:
    “As for life under the rule of Saddam Hussein, Al-Ani asserts that Iraqis were safe as long as they did not cross the “red line”; that is, they did not act or conspire against the Ba’ath Party or state.”
    Is this 1 of the “plethora of rationales” & “fastidious conclusions” that the book is so full of? It’s a strange thing to see quoted with apparent approval by the editor of a site calling itself DISSIDENT Voice.

  24. Kim Petersen said on December 21st, 2008 at 6:55pm #

    JN,

    It is a book review. What you quote refers clearly to Al-Ani and not me. I fail to see any logic in how you could leap to the conclusion of “apparent approval” by me.

    I agree with much of what you and kahar are saying, but your focus on Saddam Hussein and his alleged crimes are completely off base. The review is not about that, as a straightforward reading will adduce.

    I wrote (as you can see above): “Al-Ani does not focus on whether Hussein was a good man or bad man. He is focused on adherence to the norms of law and justice.”

    So naturally, the review will be about how Al-Ani sees the “norms of law and justice” applied in the trial of Saddam Hussein.