The last sessions of the trial of Saddam Hussein and his cronies was weighed down with undertones reminding us all of the infamous Spanish Inquisition or the more recent Mahdawi Courts.
Millions have been watching this trial turn to farce. They all saw the judge, the embodiment of hatred, looking more like a representative of the Nazi or Stalinist eras. His harsh voice, his poisonous words, his spite-filled eyes all suggested that his mind was made up and the case pre-judged and the defendant headed for eventual execution.
I am not here to defend Saddam Hussein and his cronies, but rather to draw attention to the fact that the purpose of the trial is really to judge a whole era of Arab nationalism and Iraqi history – although admittedly Saddam Hussein is perhaps one of its most terrifying evocations.
Does anyone, anywhere, with any insight seriously think that Saddam Hussein is so important to the future that he must be judged in such a humiliating manner? Or are they using this trial as a way to discredit Iraq and belittle its identity and hide its important position in the history of mankind?
I believe that this trial has been staged as an example, ‘pour encourager les autres’, which is to serve as a harsh lesson to World leaders who might even consider opposing the American Alliance’s plans. It is intended to send a powerful message about the fate of any nation – big or small – that might contemplate standing against American interests even for a moment.
Why is Iraq so important to the West that they want to redraw the map of the area yet again and under total American control?
1. Iraq is crucial to the world’s oil supply.
2. Iraq possesses huge human and economic potential.
3. Iraq was on the verge of becoming a nuclear power which might lead to a form of strategic balance with Israel.
4. Iraq came to the defence of Palestine and the Palestinians – a key issue in the Arab world.
5. Iraq is a powerful member of the Arab Nationalism movement and will not be moved from its central position.
6. Iraq and its army emerged as a power to be reckoned with, after its eight year war with Iran.
So this trial of Saddam and his cronies really stands for a trial of Iraq both as punishment for its past and to prevent it taking any useful future role.
I repeat, I am not defending Saddam. I am defending Iraq. I am not disputing the need for justice. I am, rather, condemning the tyrannical behaviour of the judge and his unprecedented behaviour in managing the trial.
Everything we have heard about America and its belief in democracy is completely negated, contradicted even, by the biased acts of the judge – a man who patently knows nothing of democracy.
This trial turned to farce is but one example of what is in store for that sad country. It is a strong indicator of the ultimate goal, which is to overturn the history and culture of the country, perhaps even to redraw its borders, culminating in the total dismemberment of Iraq.
What we are seeing now is an artificial re-writing of history. Free people cannot be ruled by outsiders nor can they be subject to the law of an external power. Arabs should not turn a blind eye to what is happening because once this rewriting succeeds in Iraq it will expand into other countries in the region.
This is one of the gravest issues facing us in the Arab world and we must face up to it and deal with it immediately in Iraq.
Arab nationalism is based on the warm acceptance of everyone, of all minorities and social groups. Any change in this approach would cause a rift that would simply be too hard to heal in the future and would especially hit the Eastern Arab countries and the Arabian peninsula.
Iraq deserves our help and support in facing this difficult situation. The Arab nation must stand firm to prevent the dissolution of Iraq’s culture and history. If not, then we all face the same possibility; those countries with diverse national groups or many religions more so than others.
To prevent the trial of Saddam from becoming a battleground for Iraq’s history, we must take these steps:
• Stop the current trial immediately. The Arab League must take the initiative and form a court with Arab judges to look into the practices of the previous Iraqi regime.
• Set that court in an Arab capital. That court should be empowered to look into the crimes of all who have done wrong to the Iraqi people before and after the American occupation.
• All those convicted must receive a fair sentence; and no country, Arab or non-Arab, should give them asylum. They must be treated as merely criminals.
• Anyone who is acquitted must be allowed to return to his normal life and helped to resume his proper place in Iraqi society.
• That court must have the power to prosecute any Iraqi party or organisation that is loyal, in any form, to any entity outside Iraq.
• The Gulf countries must take the initiative to rescue Iraq’s history and culture not just for Iraq but for the sake of all of us in the GCC.
Let’s deal with this now; before it is too late.