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Saddam sentenced to hang

November 5th, 2006

There can be few people on the planet more deserving of death than Saddam Hussein. However, the crime for which he has just been sentenced to die was, by his standards, relatively minor. Following an assassination attempt attributed to terrorists and traitors, his regime responded with indiscriminate arrests. Those seized were held incommunicado in secret prisons, tortured (in some cases to death) and then, in many cases, executed after trials by special tribunals set up to secure convictions where normal courts would not.

If the precedent set by this case is applied consistently, we can expect to see many more death sentences arising from events in Iraq and elsewhere, and not just among the remnants of the Baathist regime.

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  1. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 06:46 | #1

    “an indifferent little blog”. Currency Lad, absolutely not so. It was a very high quality blog respected (if not loved) even by by members of the left. We of the anti-left of course hope its recess will end before too long.

    In the meantime keep commenting on other blogs. Q and others will likely get an increase in their traffic for which they should be thankful. Have you tried Leftwrites yet? Nah, you’d be banned straight off there, not just threatened as is the case here.

  2. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 08:47 | #2

    “by means other than a war too. What means would you suggest?”
    Milano803, I think Mark means a vote of the United Nations, followed by a severe dressing down by Kofi Annan or Jaques Chirac.

  3. pablo
    November 8th, 2006 at 10:30 | #3

    You didn’t necessarily have to be left to want Saddam left alone. I took my leanings from Plato that citizens of the state have the duty to overthrow the tyrant. Contracting it out to Bush, Blair and the rodent denied the good citizens of Iraq from doing the necessary deed. Bush senior is guilty here of pulling the rug from the Shiites who it seems were prepared to mount an insurrection after Gulf War 1. I still think there is a lot more to be said by Blair on his motivations. Certainly the US/UK policy of no fly zones plus leaky UN sanctions was not enough to see Saddam go. And to name names, where is Bill Hartley now that we need him? I seem to recall his leftish views on his Baghdad mate were way too much for the ALP left. Are you out there Bill?

  4. November 8th, 2006 at 11:31 | #4

    Very good aricle in today’s Age “This was no fair trial“.

    It acknowledges that “(Hussein) is not a hero, and Iraq would be a better place if he had never been born. In any properly constituted international court, he would have been found guilty of the same charges he faced in Iraq.”

    Nevertheless the article points out the trial was not fair because of the removal of trial judges who were deemed to have had too much respecte the rights of the accused and the murder of defence lawyers. Also, it points out (as I have also suggested) that the charges Hussein had to face excluded crimes which would raised emabarassing questions about the past complicity of the US with his regime.

    It concludes: “Saddam has not had a fair trial, although that, too, would certainly have found him guilty. He is the victim of a state-sponsored lynching, and so, for many people, he will die a martyr. That will make little difference in Iraq, where people have more immediate things to worry about, but it certainly does not help the cause of international law.”

    whyisitso,

    The threat of WMD’s, even if they existed, could have dealt with by the Weapons Inspectors. The German government, suggested at the time that the WMD inspection program be expanded to encompass inspections for human rights violations. This was not considered, of course, because the US Government was not interested in peace.

    Nearly every knowledgable commentator warned at the time that the removal of Hussein by invasion was not going to improve things. It would either have resulted in another dicatorship or else in a prolonged bloody conflict. In fact, the latter has occurred. According to one reliable source, that is an article in Britain’s Lancet medical journal, has cost the lives of 650.000 Iraqis. It has also caused a renewed refugee exodus.

    How do you regard the Australian government allowing $300 million in bribes being paid to a Government which you tell us was such a threat to world peace that the invasion leading to this bloody conflict was unavoidable? Do you truly believe that Howard, Downer and Vaille did not know what was going on at the time?

  5. November 8th, 2006 at 11:52 | #5

    Mark’s “solution” is often proposed by the left and is essentially this: that Saddam would have been brought down eventually by “internal contradictions”. In other words, Mark and the left believe a horrendous civil war – worse than anything we’ve seen in Iraq during the past few years – would have been preferable. Coupled with the UN’s sanctions holocaust – also supported by the left – the death toll would have topped a million in no time. Regarding Saddam and the US, most of the tyrant’s weapons were provided by Russia, China and France – conincidentally, all nations which opposed the invasion (Saddam owed them billions and they wanted their money). More amusing than the Saddam/Rumsfeld picture is the photograph of Kim Jong Il and Clinton’s Secretary of State drinking champagne in a country where millions are starving to death. Clinton himself supported regime change in Iraq and actually made it official US policy.

  6. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 12:13 | #6

    “Do you truly believe that Howard, Downer and Vaille did not know what was going on at the time?”

    It’s obvious that they didn’t. But leftists will believe what they want to believe as they always do. And they will continue repeating lies about Howard, Downer and Vaile until they come to be accepted as fact, at least among themselves – an old, well tried technique of the left.

  7. November 8th, 2006 at 14:09 | #7

    From a letter just sent by a friend to a newspaper:

    President Bush and PM Howard praise Iraq for an exemplary, “fair trial” for Saddam Hussein.

    “Fair”?

    Would you allow your child to be tried in a system where:

    * Political interference from top government officials undermine the court’s independence and impartiality?

    * Witnesses and defence lawyers are threatened, maimed, murdered?

    * Security for participants – prosecution, defence, judicial – cannot be assured?

    * Your child is denied access to legal counsel for the first year after arrest?

    * The prosecution produces evidence and witnesses without first showing them to defence lawyers?

    * A third country with a vested interest in a conviction spends US$75 million on the trial?

    * Independent experts assert that proceedings don’t meet relevant international standards?

    Saddam Hussein was judged guilty of crimes against humanity, a conviction consistent with the evidence provided. Saddam Hussein may be the most scurrilous, evil, scumbag in existence today.

    Still – let’s not pretend this was an “exemplary” or “fair” trial. If it is, let’s subject our children to such judicial protocols, and adopt them for our own.

  8. November 8th, 2006 at 14:22 | #8

    Apologies for the broken link to The Age article above.

    It can be found here.

  9. November 8th, 2006 at 14:49 | #9

    Thanks James for the usual leftist apologia: Saddam was hardly done by.

  10. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 14:51 | #10

    “Would you allow your child to be tried in a system where:”

    This isn’t my child. He’s got a hell lot better trial than he ever gave his victioms. I really can’t understand the sympathy you lefties have for brutal dictators.

  11. November 8th, 2006 at 15:19 | #11

    For once, James, you and I can agree. This may (or may not) have been the best trial possible under the circumstances, but “exemplaryâ€? and “fairâ€? – no.

  12. November 8th, 2006 at 15:30 | #12

    C.L.,
    Fair go – the trial was not one I would want to undergo and there are many points at which an Australian court would have thrown the whole thing out and started again.
    This is certainly a better trial than any of his victims got, but comparing it to a null value is hardly a valid comparison for calling it “exemplary� or “fair�.

  13. Terje
    November 8th, 2006 at 15:38 | #13

    The prosecution produces evidence and witnesses without first showing them to defence lawyers?

    Is that really true? If so then it does sound more like a kangaroo court than I had expected. Although given the potential violence that witnesses may face I can see some argument for unusual provisions. If so I would expect that the defence lawyers would get extra time to prepare before cross examination.

    This isn’t my child. He’s got a hell lot better trial than he ever gave his victioms.

    That is true in most criminal trials involving murder. If you think that punishment by executive decree without the due process of law is appropriate then you need to explain what Saddam is actually guilty of.

  14. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 16:50 | #14

    Here is a country where people are being blown to pieces every day by insurgents, where the government is struggling bravely to maintain its authority and institutions and you lot expect it to have developed all the safeguards of the Westminster common law system. For heavens sake get real. Even third world countries that have made significant advances towards democracy (eg Indonesia, Malaysia) are still real having trouble with developing legal systems up to that standard.

    It really is the height of elitist arrogance to think you ought to sit at your bloody computers and make pronouncements about the evolving system in countries like Iraq. Maybe you should examine the legal systems of China, Cuba, Venezuela and other countries dear to your leftist hearts and see how they compare – the trouble these countries’ systems are nowhere as transparent as that in Iraq.

    Explain what Saddam is guilty of! Give us a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. November 8th, 2006 at 17:01 | #15

    whyisitso,
    Perhaps you should step away from your computer keyboard and stop making pronouncements on what a fair trial is. Do you really want to say that, provided the trial is better than one in China, Cuba or Venezuela that is it exemplary and fair? If so, you are setting some abysmally low standards.
    I believe, from my own knowledge, the verdict was an accurate one – but we should not delude ourselves that this was an exemplary or fair process.
    I should also note that it is a long time since I was called a lefty, even by implication.

  16. BillyMM
    November 8th, 2006 at 17:12 | #16

    Tony Blair opposes to the death sentence!

    Is it why I would feel so entertaining to read his essay/speech on The “Third Road”, although I was always so bored with the politics?

    The thing will also do Tony Blair good. The british congress is so fed up with his coalition relationship with U.S.. Will this help him to relieve a little bit of stress?

    Maybe Tony himself is not aware of this. He is a noble man, and not so selfish as what I am thinking.

  17. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 18:10 | #17

    Read my comment, Andrew and you’ll see bhow stupid your comment is! I’m accepting that the process wasn’t exemplary by Westminster standards aren’t I? Or can’t you read?

  18. Terje
    November 8th, 2006 at 18:11 | #18

    BillyMM,

    See if you can find anybody else on this site that thinks I am left wing. I wish you luck.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  19. whyisitso
    November 8th, 2006 at 18:59 | #19

    What the hell are you on about Terje? That was BillyMM’s first comment (#66) on this thread and he didn’t even mention you. Are we a bit hypersensitive today?

  20. Robert G
    December 31st, 2006 at 10:49 | #20

    So, did he really hang or is it just a scam? No pictures of the actual event, just before and after. Hmmmm!

  21. Dave Surls
    January 1st, 2007 at 04:59 | #21

    “Saddam Hussein may be the most scurrilous, evil, scumbag in existence today.”

    Not any more.

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