Monday, July 18, 2005

Saddam, The US, and their Victims


I was surprised yesterday while reading this news about Saddam's trial: After more than 19 months in U.S. custody, Saddam Hussein now faces trial for the first time, in a case centering on the killing of 150 people from Dujail, scene of a 1982 assassination attempt against him.

I used to daydream during my high school years in Baghdad about the day that Saddam will fall; it was one of my fantasies. I wanted to know all the secrets behind his irresponsible and aggressive decisions since he came to power in the early eighties.

The US administration seems to be planning to accuse Saddam and other top leaders of the fallen Iraqi government with one charge. Yes, just one: executing 158 people in Dujail after a failed assassination plot on the life of Saddam. Then, if convicted, he'll be executedd.

With all due respect to the 158 victims and their families, this incident is minor as compared to the other major atrocities committed during Saddam's era: The war on Iran that lasted for eight years and caused the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians (during which many of my relatives were killed and injured), the brutal policy against the Iraqi Kurds (where some of my Kurdish friends' families were displaced and murdered), the brutal policy against Iraqis of Iranian decent (where three of my mom's uncles were kicked out of the country without a having committed any crimes), the cold-blooded assassinations of opposition party members (like one of my cousins who was assassinated in front of his family for being a member of the Shia Dawa Party), the foolish attack against Kuwait that destroyed the remains of pan-Arabism politics in the region (where two of my uncles were living in Kuwait and left the country after the fierce attack), the massacres against Iraqis in the south of the country after the 1991 uprising, and many other major catastrophes.

The US administration doesn't want to let the Iraqis know the truth. Saddam won't let the Iraqis know the truth. Both the US and Saddam will keep the secrets of Saddam's crimes that were historically supported, justified, and covered up by the US.

I opposed the war of occupation years before the fall of Baghdad, not because I liked Saddam, but because I saw all of this coming. After two years of "liberation", the US didn't find any WMD, we didn't see Saddam telling us any of his secrets, and Iraq is burning.

The US administration will bury the executed body of Saddam along with all the secrets we're not supposed to know: All the military support (like the unlimited support for Iraq's war on the Anti-American government in Iran), all the dirty political deals (like giving the green light to Saddam's attack on Kuwait and the following written permissions to the Iraqi government in Safwan to crush the southern revolution in 1991), all the chemical weapons sold to Iraq (like the ones used against Iranians on the war fronts, and Iraqi Kurds in the north of Iraq), and many more political and economical secret deals.

*******

On a more personal note, we have had no news from Iraq. My heart and mind is with all the thousands of political prisoners and their terrified families around the country.