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Libyan Writer Ghoma

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Saturday, 30 December, 2006


By: Ghoma

        Iraq has already suffered its more than allotted or chosen share of defeats, humiliations, destructions, and the loss of life and property in the current cycle of violence as well as in the many others which history has kept track of. One or few more "sacrificial lambs" wouldn't even register on the radars of the fighting factions, or would tilt the balance of power in one direction or the other, nor would serve to re-address the long incurred injustices by one side or the other. It'll only add to the series of hates and revenges that usually plagues a sectarian society. If such an act, horrible as it's, can be counted as part of the catharsis needed by a deeply traumatized country like Iraq today, then it must be sensibly and delicately calibrated to coincide with the period of convalescence, not while the patient is still under surgery. So why the rush to execute Saddam and his cohorts? Or, perhaps only to inflame further the sectarian strives and to stoke more fuel to an already uncontrollable raging hell? Any meaningful step, by any sane person, not to mention by states and their apparatuses, wouldn't include the use of such a reckless and an certainly will be an unfruitful act?

        Once again, the kangaroo courts of Baghdad had stood to their reputations and found Saddam guilty of a bunch of real or fabricated crimes by giving him and his codefendants the death penalty; and now, once again, the same sentence has been re-confirmed by another branch of the same ill-reputed system under which the whole charade has been carried on, for quite some time now, the so-called court of appeals! The verdict of guilt was no surprise to anyone, including Saddam and the other codefendants, since all the cards were stacked against any other possible outcome. The irony, the "new Iraq, is no different than the old one! Ain't this no different than the host of extra-judicial courts -such as revolutionary courts, martial courts, extraordinary courts, and the like- Saddam and the rest of the Arab dictators gaggle were accused of practicing? Why is anything to do with Arabs had to be pushed few notched down the totem pole? Is it because more effective, or just more humiliating? If it's the second then, rest assured one more ain't going to work, their skins have thickened to callous level and their feelings are anaesthetized beyond hurt.

        Indeed, this time around the 'trial' and its reached verdicts were unprecedented in the history of invasions, warfare, occupations, and their aftermaths: The managing of a defeated country and the treatment of its prisoners of war! According to all customs, codes, and common sense Saddam and his codefendants are prisoners of war; since they were captured in the battle fields, by the army of the invading and occupying power, the USA. No matter acrobatics or maneuvers were performed and no matter what spins, the spokespersons of the USA and their puppets in Baghdad, are apt to put on it, it sill remains a fact that today Saddam is the under the lock and guard of the occupying power and its badly installed pseudo government. The present "government of Iraq" has no authority outside of the "Green Zone" which is, in its turn, controlled by the USA's Army and therefore is under US jurisdiction.

        All conventions, protocols, international treaties, agreements, and the like, about the treatments of prisoners of war, prohibited the conqueror(s) from playing havoc with the vanquished sense of dignity and life. The essence of those convention is: War's spoils may reach far and wide but humans must be left with some rights to claim. It's in their rights not to be mistreated, and not to be put on trial by the conquering power or under any other form of government under its will, as long as the war and occupation last. It's neither civilized nor humane to subject defeated prisoners to trials and their outcome, particularly when willed, designed, and carried to conclusions under the guardianship of the same invading and occupying power, and when this same power is busy justifying the whole campaign as a "civilizing mission," to tame the savages and to bring the rule of law to a land long been ravished by centuries of internecine strives. The USA, as an active member of the international community and as a signatory to the treaties concerning war and peace and their consequences, should abide by its obligations and refrain from delivering Saddam and the others to their butchers, the puppets of Baghdad, to slaughter. These defendants should be kept safe until at least the war's conclusion and the establishment in Baghdad of a real and a legitimate government representative of ALL IRAQIS and not only the collaborationists bunch and their band of quislings that are taken for leaders. Any other way is merely throwing the international conventions, and the presumed civilized norms underlying them, into the wind and slapping the world, but more so the Arabs, in the face.

        It's true that wars take over when reason and persuasion got nowhere. They're the replacement of civilized dealings where raw power and the motivation of revenge were the only left tools. But since the Bush Administration, and its neoconservative allies, made no secrets of their wars being waged in the name of civilization and its inherent ideas. If it's indeed a war of ideas, then let the good and lasting ideas be the guiding light, such as, abiding by the rules, honoring taken commitments, decency, and human compassion, etc., be at the forefront of such a cache , or trove! of human and civilizational achievements. Without letting the crude, unbridled, and untamed 'human nature' takes charge by inflicting revenge, humiliation to the vanquished, and the rest of the base behaviors associated with the savagery stage of human march.

        History may not treat the ones holding today's power in their hands, just as it didn't for those who were at the helm when similar events took place in Baghdad more than 8-centuries ago. On February 10, 1258, the armies of Hulago, after laying a brief siege to Baghdad, had entered the city sacked, plundered, and raped its inhabitants, put its people to the sword, and executed the Caliph. Due to the Mongol's tradition of not "shedding royal blood" Al-Musta'sim was wrapped in a rug and let the horses trampled him to death. Then as now, blind hate, contempt and humiliation, not justice, mind you, were the driving forces. Bush may well pass into history just as Hulago did, as the plunderer of the Middle East.

        I t'd be unfitting and grave mistake for another conquering power at a distance of 8-centuries, and after 4-long-years of occupation and destruction, to put now, though a self-appointed tyrant, Saddam, to the gallows! It's neither responsible nor dignified to re-enact at the opening of the 21st century acts of savagery that took place long time ago during what came to be called the Dark Ages. If our age is to be true to its claim, that of being the most enlightened times so far in human history, then let the light spread its beam and let true justice be the main aim. As part of humanity had already abandoned some of the practices associated with the Dark Ages, such as zealotry and ignorance, while others still hesitant, thus it's incumbent upon the 'enlightened' t, not only to have wisdom and big heart, but also to prove by deeds that it's up to its claims, of being civilized!

        Putting an end to people like Saddam before the events they've triggered could have been committed to paper is a tragic loss of memory. Only Saddam and few of his cohorts have the ins and outs of what had precipitated the various invasions and wars that are either still going on or the area have still to deal with their consequences. Just back in the mid-13th century, Al-Musta'sim had no time to record the details of tragic events that ultimately burned the dry and the green, this around, history is apt to play fowl again and deprive this as well as future generations of what took place and where mistakes done. The rush to end the responsible actors and main player before they've time to lick their wounds, swallow their pride, and come to terms with their fate, to then digest, reflect, and testify before history, was, still is, to no small part, one conjecture what kept the area in mired in its own swamps, and of the repetitive roilings in the same muddy ponds, over and over again!

        Of course, not all the players are interested in having Saddam or for that matter any of the rest be democratic or tyrants, to bark loud and recant their stories, deceptions, and failed strategies. Some parts perhaps have to hide some of its tactics by burying those who knew of them and were on the receiving end to some of their outcomes. How many details from the Iraqi side, of the Iran-Iraq war, of Kuwait's invasion, of the First Gulf War, and of the ongoing war will lost with him? How future historians will fill the dots and guess the intent, while future generations have to cdo without the missed the lessons which certainly were contained in such long and poignant nightmares? The price of much cursing, supplicating, and a lot of prayings, is sometimes to miss the train and thus bound to slug it alone, if ever!

        Saddam's lynching by his nemeses and through his conquerors wouldn't come to anything of significance to the people of Iraq nor gain a badge of honor to the USA. It'll only leave a dark stain on a superpower running the world alone when no one else was left with enough power or the guts to curb some of its excesses. As to the puppets in Baghdad, the traitors in Iraq, and their backers in Tehran and Riyadh, and the other miserable Arab capitals, no Eid nor a pilgrimage will ever erase the sins of thuggery, cowardice, and betrayal.


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