The sentencing of Saddam Hussein 5


I hold no brief for Saddam Hussein. He is a gruesome dictator who is much better out of power, and a dangerous man who is much better in captivity. I am nonetheless sorry he will be murdered by the State. Iraq has seen quite enough death already, and like so many of the others, this will merely engender more. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died already due to the Bush/Blair invasion. The vast majority of them were totally innocent. If you kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people, you are bound to kill the odd guilty one from time to time, whether by accident or design. That is the measure of the Bush/Blair achievement.

This death, just like that of al-Zaqarwi, will be hailed as a “Turning-point” by the invaders, their leaders, puppets and media spokesmen. So was the capture of Saddam, so were the elections, so was the formation of the government, so was the disbanding of the army. It is unsurprising that there have been so many – a downward spiral is just an unending circle of turning points, and Iraq has been embarked on a helter-skelter ride to Hell. Given what came after him, Bush/Blair have achieved the near impossible feat of making Saddam Hussein look like a comparatively better leader for the Iraqi people.

The trial itself was a political charade with the Americans as puppeteers. Judges were repeatedly changed if they showed any sign of independent thought. Defence lawyers who looked too effective were simply murdered. The TV cameras were turned off on the show trial if it got sticky for the US – with an American hand on the button. And the ultimate in stage management, the verdict was handed down two days before the US mid-term elections. Who honestly does not believe that timing was contrived?

I am all in favour of Dictators and War Criminals being punished. I wish Saddam had received a fair trial, and think the Hague would have been much better – he would have been seen to get a fair trial, and I am pretty sure a fair guilty verdict. We should not lose sight of the need to hold justice over the mighty. Bush and Blair are responsible for the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state, against the wishes of the UN Security Council. They have on their hands the blood of hundreds of thousands of people. I live and hope that I will see the day when they are in the dock.

I will still be against the death penalty.

Craig Murray


5 thoughts on “The sentencing of Saddam Hussein

  • richard

    Well said, Craig. Surely the most powerful rejection of everything that Saddam stands for would have been for the international community to refuse to apply the "logic of death" by which Saddam himself ruled, and sentence him instead to life imprisonment.

  • Juvenal

    Your FCO drafting skills have not left you Craig. The ability to infer without proof has always been a strongpoint of British diplomatic correspondence.

    But let's be straight on this one – are you saying that the US has been murdering Saddam's defence lawyers? Because that is the impression that you give (while carefully avoiding a direct accusation).

  • Craig

    I don't know who did it. But if you were really trying to run a fair tral, preventing the murder of the defence might perhaps have been a higher priority…

  • Chuck Unsworth

    I agree. Judicial killing is truly ghastly. Saddam Hussein has been found guilty and is clearly evil. He should be isolated from the rest of humanity, but State sponsored revenge killing is monstrously inhumane.

    Forty years ago we as a nation turned our backs on hanging. Why should we condone such disgusting action by others now?

    It will be said by the politicians that it's a matter for the Iraqis, but this is to deliberately ignore the fact that the current institutions of State in Iraq are those put in place by an invading force – ourselves and the Americans. So the 'justice' meted out to Hussein is our 'justice', but the penalties are not. How hypocritical.

    Are we seriously saying that the tenets of our Rule of Law are somehow not relevant outside of the UK? Perhaps we are. Look at the one-sided treaty on extradition with the USA. Look at the relationship of our legislation to that of the European Community.

    This is Law determined by political necessity. It is neither just nor moral.

  • jeff

    I am in a quandary about the merits of the death penalty. I am a former soldier and I am sure that if somebody were trying to kill me I would try to kill him or her first. (Simple survival instinct) However even if an international court for war crimes sanctioned an execution I'm not sure that I could kill somebody in cold blood even if it was George Bush. I am a lifelong member of Amnesty International and believe in its apolitical approach to securing individual rights. By not having a political agenda AI and other humanitarian agencies enjoy a credibility that most governments lack. I am still a fence sitter when it comes to Capital Punishment.

    Off Topic:

    I sent an email to Craig however anybody that can provide me with the information requested in the email would be most welcome.

    Hello Craig, I hope things are going well for you

    Would I as a Canadian be able to retrieve the documents that the British Government have claimed copyright over, under the Data Protection Act or the Freedom of Information Act?

    Thankyou Jeff E.

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