Late yesterday and this morning, a few western newspapers (or right wing bent) headlined the death sentence for Saddam Hussein as “World’s leaders welcome Saddam’s death sentence” but without specifying who those ‘world leaders’ are!
Take it from me – it’s only US President Bush and his close allies like Britain and Australia, and of course the current Iraqi government(?). However, there is one exception – neighbouring Iran still recalls how Saddam resorted to poison gas to kill its soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War, a war crime that was abetted by the USA. Iran welcomes teh death sentence.
Other than America’s British sycophant, the majority of European nations do not ‘welcome’ the punitive sentence. For a start, the Europeans are against the death sentence per se. Secondly, they know that Saddam’s trial was stage-managed by the Yanks to imporve Bush's Republican party's prospects for the US mid-term elections.
Forget about 'due process' - Saddam Hussein's guilty verdict and death sentence were 'givens'.
Now, let’s hear from more independent views from around the world:
al Jazeera reported Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International's middle east and north africa director, saying: "Throughout Saddam's rule, we reported on massive abuses in his country. We felt it was important that he and others be held accountable.”
"But even he deserves a fair trial, and the proceeding in Baghdad failed to meet the necessary fair trial standards."
We may expect Amnesty International to be against the death sentence, as every civilised person should be, but ignore that for one instant and take note of what it says as a conclusion – namely, “…the proceeding [of Saddam’s trial] in Baghdad failed to meet the necessary fair trial standards."
How about the media?
The New York Times called for Saddam's execution to be deferred, saying his trial had given Iraq "neither the full justice nor the full fairness it deserved". Againwe hear questions about the 'fairness' of the kangaroo court's process and inevitable verdict.
Not unexpectedly, British newspapers gave opinions that spanned teh entire spectrum from gleeful delight to warnings about further bloodshed to Saddam's execution being akin to 'judicial murder':
The left-wing Daily Mirror tabloid cautioned in its editorial: "He may have been a brutal dictator, but there is every risk his hanging will bring more bloodshed" while The Guardian provided good advice that if "a new Iraq is to ever ... emerge from the ruins of the old, eschewing judicial murder would be a good start."
The Independent lamented in the same tone as The Guardian that the trial had "solved nothing, ended nothing, healed nothing" but Rubert Murdoch's right wing The Sun tabloid rejected such arguments as ‘liberal hand-wringing’. Its editorila crowed: "There can be no more fitting end than a hangman's noose for this gangster-turned-president."
France's centre-right La Figaro wrote: "It's a shame the verdict can give the impression of legitimising a military intervention taken under false pretexts, when it should be before all else a founding act for a state based on the rule of law after 24 years of dictatorship."
"... legitimising a military intervention taken place under false pretext ...". Right smack on thw spot.
Germany's Leipziger Volkszeitung said: "For President George W Bush, the sentence for Saddam is without a doubt a political success that he very much needs ... but he shouldn't forget that the Iraq liberated from its dictator remains ungovernable."
The Germans have cleverly reminded us that Saddam’s execution was a foregone American (Bush’s) requirement!
The Berliner Zeitung said it should have been a historic chance to learn about the brutalities of Saddam's rule and help the nation move on. It lamented of opportunity lost: "Instead of that, the trial was manipulated by the occupational forces."
"... the trial was manipulated by the occupational forces." We all sure know that, don’t we – even those ardently pro-Bush people, though they will pretend to deny so.
OK, I won’t quote from the predictable press of Sunni Pakistan and Indonesian but what about US ally Japan, and perhaps Hong Kong?
Japan’s influential Asahi Shimbun noted: "Officially, the trial was presided by Iraqis ... but analysts believe this verdict was scheduled to show American voters progress in Iraq, just ahead of the US mid-term election on Tuesday."
Again, Saddam’s execution eridct was stage-managed for Bush and his Zionist neocons.
And to sum it all, Hong Kong's best-selling English newspaper the South China Morning Post criticised Saddam's trial for being "so flawed they made a mockery of the judicial system".
Aiya, Tailo, lei gong kei charn hai garm ke*, Amen!
* You are spot on, brother