Monday, November 06, 2006
|In a pensive mood ...|
raq sets another milestone on its difficult journey to become a normal country. The tyrant, who held them for over three decades under his Republic of Fear, has been found guilty in the first of a dozen cases lodged against him. Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to take a long trip at the end of a short rope.
An automatic appeals process will kick into gear within one month, and may take a month or two to complete. If the verdict is upheld, he will be executed within 30 days of that decision. Two others, including his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti were also sentenced to the gallows, and former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan was given life in prison.
This first trial dealt with the massacre of civilians at al-Dujaile, a Shiite village only 60 km. north of Baghdad. There were more than 150 killings there on Saddam's orders, as well as hundreds more arrests and tortures -- including women and children. This tyrant even hanged young children like common criminals, for "rebellion."
Perhaps this is why he is said to fear hanging. He wished to die like an honourable man, in front of a firing squad. The judge told him these things are not up for negotiation. He'll be hanged like a common outlaw, albeit one responsible for hundreds of thousands of murders of Iraqi people -- many of which were by the most gruesome methods imaginable.
All the more pathetic does this fact make of his defiant cries to over-shout Judge Rasheed yesterday, with "Long live the Iraqi people!" and "God is great!"
Judge Rasheed gives new meaning to the descriptor, "no nonsense judge." I've been watching court proceedings over many months (carried on Associated Press feed by satellite, with a translation audio track available). He did a great job dealing with the endless attempts at grandstanding, in my opinion. You don't behave -- get out of my court! He handed that treatment out to globe-trotting moonbat Ramsey Clark yesterday, who sat dumbstruck with his headphones askew until Rasheed gave it to him in English. "Out! Get out!"
Non-Iraqis can only begin to imagine what it must feel like to be one of Saddam's former victim populations today. As for the hundreds of thousands he ordered to their deaths, one can only hope there is some form of afterlife, and they were all looking down into that courtroom.
For all the doom and gloom, unmitigated disaster, success is impossible stuff being trumpeted this election season, Iraq has come an incredible distance in three and a half years. Two fair and legitimate elections, one constitutional referendum, each with greater participation than the previous one, and despite mortal risk in carrying out their democratic decisions. (I hope that others will ponder that before deciding to forgo their own right, in far more conducive places.) The terrorists are vicious and tenacious, emboldened by their success in finally igniting sectarianism. Plenty of foreigners are now ready to give up on them. I don't believe the Iraqi people (and yes, there is such a thing) are ready to throw in the towel. This latest milestone should remind them of how much they have accomplished.
I can already hear the hand-wringing about "victor's justice" and "puppet court / puppet government" from the expected quarters. The EU is protesting the death penalty. Perhaps France will launch a special protest on Saddam's behalf. Amnesty is protesting the entire process, and plenty more will chime in. It doesn't matter -- Prime Minister al-Maliki has been showing that Iraq is a sovereign country -- and exercising independence shouldn't come as a surprise, either to Europeans or Americans.
Go take a look at this article on Hot Air for a perfect example of why AllahPundit is a great blogger. It's the perfect time to learn that Winston Churchill (follow his links!) had just this treatment in mind for Hitler, if they should ever capture him. With one exception: he would have done away with the trial part. The important thing was executing Hitler as a common criminal (Churchill actually hoped it could be in a US-made electric chair, suitable for gangsters and common outlaws).
AP also points to one of the first English language accounts of the al-Dujaile atrocities, posted in December 2003 on our longtime favourite IRAQ THE MODEL. Omar had met a survivor of Dujaile by chance, at a photcopy office. The man was then a junior physician at a Baghdad hospital, and he wrote the account in his own words, which Omar published on his (then one month-old) blog. You ought to read them.
The piece was published on Dec. 9, 2003. I thought, "Hmm. Something else important happened that month." It was only 5 days later that Saddam was dragged out of his hiding hole. Scroll up just a little, and you'll find this:
Sunday, December 14, 2003[I've edited only to separate his line breaks]
The big brother in a small hole
It's the justice day.
The tyrants' hour has finally came. I went down to the streets to share the joy with my brothers. This is our day, the day of all the oppressed and good people on earth.
Tears of joy filled the eyes of all the people.
Saddam, the coward, hides in a hole, shaking in fear from being captured.
Not a single bullet was fired, without any resistance, God, he was even cooperative! The mighty tyrant, who exploited all our country's fortune for his personal protection, surrenders like the cowered I expected him to be.
Yes, he should be prosecuted in Iraq. We will not allow anything else.
We want to see him in a cage bending more and more, humiliated more and more, just as he forced all the Iraqis to bend to him, like they were his slaves. But we will not be like him, we will give him a fair trail, and he will get just what he deserves, although I have no idea what does he really deserve.
It's indeed an inauspicious day for all the tyrants. Let them know that their days are near too.
This is the day of all Iraqi martyrs who were slaughtered just to please his sick lust for blood.
Rest in peace my brothers. The paradise is yours and the disgrace and hell is for all the tyrants on earth.
Thank you American, British, Spanish, Italian, Australian, Ukrainian, Japanese and all the coalition people and all the good people on earth.
God bless the 1st brigade.
God bless the 4th infantry division.
God bless Iraq.
God bless America.
God bless the coalition people and soldiers.
God bless all the freedom loving people on earth.
I wish I could hug you all.
Posted by Omar @ 18:32
Omar and Mohammed continue to write their blog, and now also write for Pajamas Media. Here are Mohammed's thoughts after yesterdays verdict: The Day of Justice (An Exclusive Dispatch From Baghdad):, and here's an exerpt:
Right now volleys of bullets ring not far from where I sit, some are fired to express joy while others are fired in a desperate expression of denial but I have no doubt who is going to prevail. Although the road is long but we are walking forward and will not look back.Congratulations, indeed! Despite all the slanders and insults flowing so freely of late, declaring that you guys are not fit or able to handle freedom, you are truly amazing. Shame on those who would turn their backs on you now.
I salute the honorable special tribunal that challenged threats and risks and insisted on keeping up the work until the end, and today it brought back the pride of the land that wrote the world’s first laws.
I salute the witnesses who risked their lives to reveal the truth and expose the crimes of the dictator.
I salute the brave men and women of the coalition who came to this land and made this day possible.
Congratulations to all my Iraqi brothers and sisters on this glorious day.