i am not sure i agree with kanchan on the topic of saddam hussein, although i do agree with him on the utter hypocrisy of india's brazen 'secularists'.
maybe saddam hussein was a war criminal. but there are lots of people who deserve to be tried and convicted as war criminals. however, if they are white americans or british, they tend not to be. example is henry kissinger, who was responsible for the deaths of a million innocent cambodians. why are there no trials of these people, including the brit royal family (responsible for crimes against humanity in india during partition)?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kanchan Gupta
Date: Jan 5, 2007 12:17 AM
Subject: Saddam deserved to die and more
The Pioneer / Edit Page / Main Article / January 05, 2007
He deserved death and more
By Kanchan Gupta
When a monster is put to death, the civilised world is supposed to celebrate and heave a sigh of relief. That's what happened when the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg tried Adolf Hitler's trusted men who survived the war, found them guilty of committing gross crimes against humanity, and marched them to the gallows of Allied justice.
Had 24x7 television come of age then, we can be sure the executions, held inside a gymnasium where two gallows were used alternately, would have been telecast live. In the absence of live broadcasting, draws were held and reporters invited to witness and photograph the brutal end to which those who perpetrated horrendous brutality were put, partly as justice but largely as retribution.
No tears were shed over the Nuremburg executions of October 16, 1946. Neither did anybody feel particularly re-morseful after Benito Mussolini was shot dead with his mistress by Italians on April 28, 1945, and then hung on public display in Milan, without being accorded the privilege of a trial.
Nor, for that matter, was there any mourning or grief when Japan's wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo was hanged as a war criminal on December 23, 1948. Barring black badges at AK Gopalan Bhawan in New Delhi, the world was not repulsed by the public execution of Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena on Christmas, 1989, after being picked up from their palace which, among other minor luxuries, had commodes crafted out of 24 karat gold.
It would also be instructive to recall the near silence that greeted the ghastly killing of Mohammed Najibullah, the dethroned President of Afghanistan, on September 27, 1996 by the Taliban. Along with his brother, he was dragged out of the UN compound in Kabul where they had been provided with refuge and enjoyed immunity under international law. The Taliban then proceeded to castrate and drag the two men behind a jeep, before shooting them and stringing up their bodies from lamp posts outside the presidential palace for two days.
In sharp contrast, the execution of Saddam Hussein on Eid-ul-Adha, after being found guilty by an Iraqi court of ordering the massacre of 148 Shias at Dujail, has triggered a dam burst of outrage and sympathy. Both are on ample display in India where 'secular' politicians who believe that the easiest way to get Muslim votes is to berate the US are tripping over each other to "denounce the execution of Saddam Hussein".
This can mean one of three things. First, those of our politicians who are pained by the exit of Saddam Hussein remain unmoved by the sorrow of tens of thousands of Muslims — Sunnis, Shias and Kurds — whose loved ones were remorselessly slaughtered for the perverse pleasure of the 'Butcher of Baghdad'. Second, in all probability many of those who are shedding tears over Saddam Hussein are ignorant of the heart-wrenching details of his tyrannical rule that lasted more than three decades. Third, they are dangerously indifferent, if not criminally cynical, about the moral markers that must set the course for a ruler anywhere in the world.
In his dying moments, Saddam Hussein may have chanted, "God is great" and "There is no god, but God", incantations that give the lie to the claim that he was the embodiment of "secularism", for a true Muslim cannot be truly secular. That does not, however, mean that he lived a godly life or conducted his temporal affairs in accord with god's word till his ouster by kafirs in 2003.
Such was the contempt among Iraqis for their fallen dictator that when he was picked up from the hole where he was hiding and grandiosely declared, "I am Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, and I wish to negotiate", people mocked at him pitilessly. The contempt, distaste and hatred for Saddam Hussein were not unfounded — not then, not now.
Never mind the Sunni insurgents, most of them remnants of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime, who are fighting with their backs to the wall, fearful of Shia majority rule and its implications. Ask the Iraqis who have suffered in silence for decades and they will tell you that if there is anything which upsets them about Saddam Hussein's execution, it is the fact that they have been robbed of the pleasure to see him die many times over for his innumerable crimes.
The current rickety dispensation in Baghdad headed by Prime Minister Nuri Kamel al-Maliki may not be the desired alternative. But whatever its weaknesses, it does not run a police state where the mukhabarat gets to decide who lives and who dies. Till Saddam Hussein's monstrous regime was in power, the mukhabarat was everywhere, much like Stalin's secret police, enforcing order not through rule of law but by unleashing terror, torture and death.
Such was the fear that Iraqis would be cautious about what they said at home lest their children repeat their conversation at school where teachers would seek promotion and benefits by carrying tales to the mukhabarat. Saddam Hussein set the ground rules for his stooges when, within days of coming to power, he slaughtered most of the top Ba'athist leaders, had the carnage videographed and ordered that the bloodletting should be screened in every town and village.
Over the years Iraqis came to fear the midnight knock. People would be picked up for "questioning" and they would never return home. Mothers lost their children, wives their husbands, children their parents. Entire families were devastated as Saddam Hussein insisted that not only should those whom he deemed guilty of indeterminate and imaginary crimes be punished, but also their first, second and third cousins.
While those who praise him for keeping fractious Iraq, an artificial construct to begin with, together are not entirely wrong, what they do not mention are the methods he used for this 'achievement'. For instance, during his 1987-88 campaign against Kurds, Saddam Hussein ordered mass slaughter on an unprecedented scale, killing at least 180,000 men, women and children. In Halabja, a Kurshish town, 5,000 Iraqis were gassed to death. He repeated the massacre in 1991, this time targeting Shias and leaving as many as 100,000 dead.
The victims of Saddam Hussein's criminality in the northern, Kurd-dominated areas and the southern, Shia majority areas were Muslims. As were the Sunnis he killed with equal cruelty. Those who cite prisoner abuse by US-led forces at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad forget that in the immediate aftermath of Iraq's liberation, thousands flocked the execution chamber of this jail and wept inconsolably while hugging the three ropes from which their flesh-and-blood had been hanged on the orders of Saddam Hussein's regime. Elsewhere, wailing men and women dug up mass graves with shovels and spades, many used their hands, to recover the skeletal remains of the ogre's victims.
"We reject considering Saddam Hussein as a representative of any sect in Iraq because the tyrant only represented his evil soul," the Iraqi Government said in a formal statement after his execution. For once, an official Arab response was not couched in loquacious, elliptical language. Tragically, that "evil soul" has now become the object of praise and worship among India's 'secular' charlatans.