Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Video Suggests Saddam Execution Was Carried Out By Shiite Militia Members

A new cell phone recorded video now circulating on the Internet on with audio strongly suggests that the execution of Saddam Hussein was carried out by Shiite Militia group members aligned with radical antiAmerica cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. This new evidence strongly suggests that the Saddam execution was rushed through to satisfy this militia group and the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and that the normal path of justice in the "new" Iraq was deliberately avoided. Saddam had more trials pending on far more serious charges and also was facing civil charges in at least one lawsuit filed in the U.S. None of these important cases are likely to be heard except for the civil suit in the U.S. now.

Rather than an orderly execution, done with proper professionalism, it appears from the audio that the executioners were taunting Saddam Hussein with a chant of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada", and other wholly improper conduct, which seems to suggest that Saddam Hussein was handed over to the same Shiite militia elements responsible for kidnappings, murders, and other crimes against the Sunni civilian population of Iraq. Everyday 5 bodies or more that show the signs of torture and are handcuffed are found in river that runs through Baghdad by police patrols, most probably victims of the same Shiite militia group that carried out the execution of Saddam Hussein. Generally about 50 bodies a day, generally of Sunni citizens are found murdered, torured and handcuffed in the streets of Baghdad. These persons are denied a fair trial as well.

If anything this audio portion of the video seems to suggest that the very unusual execution of a prisoner was carried out only to satisfy this Shiite militia group before a major Islamic holiday. Saudi Arabia has condemned this execution before a major Islamic holiday as entirely inappropriate.

All of this raises serious questions about whether justice was really followed in the recent legal dealings and execution of Saddam Hussein. The question of whether this has become just another killing by the Shiite militia associated with radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is now raised by the audio clues during the execution. The official Iraqi state version of the execution was supposed to be without audio. But this cell phone recorded version raises serious questions of an improper role of Muqtada al-Sadr's involvement in this affair.

By any reasonable standard, Saddam Hussein was indeed a murderous thug who deserved to be brought to justice. The victims of the far more serious crimes than the murder of 148 Shiites who were denied justice and killed by Saddam Hussein after a failed assassination attempt such as another 5,000 who were killed or worse were denied their justice. But the quick rush to execution in full view of the entire world community seems to point out serious improper involvement by a Shiite militia in Iraq's justice system, strongly raising questions whether innocent Sunni citizens can be afforded a fair trial in such a kangaroo court justice system. The U.S. had a real obligation to be sure that all the charges and victims were heard from before handing Saddam Hussein off to the Shiite militia members for execution.

So far this execution video is not playing very well in parts of Iraq. The chants of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada" seem to only indicatre that the murderous corrupt regime of Saddam Husein has only been replaced by a murderous sectarian Shiite regime dominated by militia involvement in the police, courts and government. These militia groups when in the guise of Iraqi police leave many in Iraq fearing that they are only there to kidnap or murder them, not protect them as the role of proper police really shoud be. This is not the kind of Iraq that Americans should be proud of helping to build.


At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The execution of Saddam Hussein marks a continuation of the unilateral approach taken by the United States in its intervention in the Middle East. In stark contrast to the practice of the Allied powers at Nuremburg and Tokyo, where the surviving Axis leaders were handed over to an international tribuneral, tried, and condemned, Saddam Hussein was tried by a regime in Iraq whose mandate to rule rest solidly on the basis of American military support. But what could have induced the Americans to cooperate with the Shia dominated government in a manner that appears at first glance to be a sure-fire way to inflame Sunni elements of the Iraqi population?

As can be seen and heard in the execution images, the last minutes of Saddam Hussein were highly charged with sectarian hatred. These images, recording such a scene and such behavior, serve at least two immediate purposes: one, the images underscore the biased and sectarian process that impelled the Iraqi government to execute Hussein at this time, and two, this same sectarian process that was designed to give closure and catharsis to the non-Sunni victims of the Hussein regime actually records an event where Saddam the Genocidal Dictator becomes Saddam the Sunni martyr at the hands of the Shia. In important ways, the last images of Saddam Hussein cement his legacy in Iraq as something of a Sunni hero. Is this really what U.S. policy desires or intends?

It has been recognized in most political and scholarly circles that the Sunni triangle represents a faction that ruled and controlled Iraq since the Ottoman period. The United States desperately requires some means to reach out to this historic Sunni power base in order to co-opt elements friendly to U.S. antebellum policy and might pose as a useful counterbalance to Iran-leaning Shia political factions. In order to rehabilitate the Bathist Sunnis tainted by Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein must be done away with. With Saddam dead, the way is now clear to rehabilitate the so-called good Bathists who supported the regime prior to the American invasion.

The situation is in some ways eerily analogous to that of American policy in post-war Germany where elements of the Nazi regime were cultivated and rehabilitated by allied intelligence agencies in order to build cadres that would prevent the spread of Communist influence into post-war West Germany. What is different in the current Iraqi situation is that the Americans have allowed the body of Saddam to be placed in a specific place which may now serve as a memorial to Saddam the Martyr, something the Americans never allowed to occur with Nazis convicted and executed for crimes against humanity. It is indeed a curious circumstance that deserves study and comment.

Does the unilateral and rushed execution of Saddam Hussein represent the first step of the United States’ attempt to rehabilitate former Bathists who once served the Saddam Hussein regime?

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Paul Hooson said...

Excellent comment, Madonna. Your conclusions and analysis are excellent. It's a deep shame that out government's foreign policy isn't arrived at by many in the public who seem to have a far better grasp of MidEast history or understanding of MidEast tensions and problems.

A total lack of MidEast history on the part of this administration in regards to the past British misadventure in Iraq has been just one fatal flaw in this policy. After WWI, when the Turkish Ottoman Empire had been defeated in the war, Britain discovered huge oil assets were in parts of the MidEast. Winston Churchill reportedly drew up a map in a hotel room for a British colonial invasion that incorporated three ethnic groups with nothing in common into some fictious new state of Iraq.

But the British colonial interests had great difficulty hanging on to this area because of Arab nationalist insurgencies. Britain tended to side with the Sunni interests, mainly because the Sunni sect does represent about 80% of all Islam members worldwide. Britain used cruel military methods such as the mustard gassing of entire Shiite villages where the nationalist insurgency was thought to be strong, but even this could not control the violence.

With the rise of Arab Socialism in the MidEast, such as Egypt's Gamel Nasser and his Baathist type party in that state which was able to successfully remove British forces after the politically disasterous Suez Canal Crisis in 1956, British colonial rule was forever weakened in the region. It also marked a turning point where other Western powers were proven vulnerable to attempts to control the region.

Iraqi Baathists were inspired by Gamel Nasser and other Arab nationalism interests which helped to force British troops out of control in 1958 with a serious rebellion.

This Bush Administration never seem to read or understand history. The lessons of the British colonial rule failure in the MidEast region seem to go totally unheeded.

And to further complicate matters, Iraq has the added difficulty of the sectarian conflict that started soon after the death of Muhammad where followers split into groups such as the Sunni and Shiite sects with sharp differences. In several short years in Iraq, the U.S. cannot resolve centuries of sectarian conflict.


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