Monday, January 08, 2007

The Path To Hussein's Lynching

The NYT has a lengthy chunk of dictation in-depth report on the long back-door maneuvering between the American government and the Iraqi government in the days leading to the dreadful execution of Saddam Hussein.

Supposedly the U.S., looking to conform to international protocols, wanted to delay Hussein's execution, while the Iraqis, motivated in large part by revenge, wanted to hasten it—a conflict that led to several heated exchanges between the two parties before the U.S. decided to bow to Iraqi sovereignty and hand Hussein over. Right, because we care oh SO much about Iraqi sovereignty. Hey, you think if those soverign Iraqis had acquitted Saddam and wanted to set him free, the Americans would have turned him over so quickly? I mean, y'know, because our respect for Iraqi sovereignty is just sooooo strong?

The best bit in the entire article is a small detail which has never before surfaced: the Americans wanted a written statement from the chief judge of the highest court that the execution was lawful. He refused, so Prime Minister Maliki went instead to a body of Shiite clerics. Because, really, the execution didn’t already look enough like an act of sectarian vengeance.

Still not explained: why Saddam Hussein had to die before his second trial (the one most likely to uncover US collusion in the poison-gassing deaths of 180,000 Kurds) could conclude. We were left with the disgusting spectacle of his judges dropping the case against him. Saddam will go down as officially Not Guilty of what was supposedly his biggest crime against Humanity. Good job, everyone!