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Neil Mick
01-02-2007, 07:20 PM
And so, we turn the page of our calendars into the political mess that heralds 2007. At its onset, we consider the passing of three leaders, and their legacies they left behind.

At one end we have the Godfather of Soul taking his last ride to the Apollo Theatre, in full regalia in a white chariot, led by 2 white horses. People danced and sang in the streets, yet were hushed inside, passing by his coffin in respectful silence.

James Brown's legacy is easy to mark, and the positive qualities evident. Brown changed the way A-A's thought of themselves and provided an uplifting message in his music. His music had a major influence in the direction of future musical movements of pop, rock, and rap, to mention a few.

Yet, in the '80s, at the height of his powers, he suffered a major sidelining in his career because he wanted to represent himself, and refused to give his cut to the Mob. And so, they shut him out of the music business for a time. Perhaps his connection to the other leaders is only indirect, as it deals with an economic connection, tenuous at best.

In the middle sprectrum was a President who suffered the dubious distinction of being the only man in the office who was neither elected to a Presidency or vice-Presidency. We hear all the lauds and one-sided praises for his term (for instance, not one word on Ford's approval of Suharto's invasion of E. Timor; and barely a media-titter on the pardoning of Nixon, the act that distinguishes his term), and yet one has to wonder...all the praises that were heaped upon by the present Administration, all of THOSE people (Cheney, Bush Sr, Rumsfeld, et al) were in the White House mix, in the late '70's, onward.

Further down the notorious scale, the last leader's death was not untimely, at all. Quite the opposite: Hussein's death was well-orchestrated, quite likely by the very same folks that had dealings with him in the '70's and '80's, at the height of his crimes. It didn't seem to bother then...but I suppose that there is no worse crime, than a dictator attempting to bite the hand of his masters.

These folks that orchestrated his murder can rest easy, now: whatever Hussein had to testify as to their involvement has been smothered, literally. What further connections did Mssrs Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush Sr., Wolfewitz, Fyfe and Pearl, et al have with Saddam?

We'll never know now, thanks to them.

Nope, what we have is a hastily buried body of a murderous thug, formerly supported by his US lackeys, murdered in the midst of a show-trial under a foreign Occupation, in the beginning of Eid, an important Islamic festival of forgiveness.

'Illegal' Execution Enrages Arabs (http://www.dahrjamailiraq.com/hard_news/archives/iraq/000521.php#more)

Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, the Kurdish judge who had first presided over Saddam Hussein's trial told reporters that the execution at the beginning of Eid was illegal under Iraqi law, besides violating the customs of Islam.

Amin said that under Iraqi law "no verdict should be implemented during the official holidays or religious festivals."

Lovely. :rolleyes:

And then there was the execution itself. Hussein was bareheaded, mocking his guards, making patriotic statements which were cut off by the trapdoor.

And all on a cellphone video! :eek:

While Iraqi Shias, particularly those in the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, view the execution as a sign that Allah supports them, many Sunnis across Iraq and the Middle East now see Saddam Hussein as a great martyr.

"Saddam Hussein is the greatest martyr of the century," Ahmed Hanousy, a student in Amman in Jordan told IPS. A 50 year-old man in Baghdad said "the Americans and Iranians meant to insult all Arabs by this execution."

Others see the execution in all sorts of ways. Sabriya Salih, a 55-year-old man from Baghdad who was evicted from his home by Shia death squads told IPS "I am happy for this end. I have too much to worry about now, but look what a holy death Saddam received."

Salih paused and added: "He died at the holiest moments of the year with pilgrims just finishing their pilgrimage ceremonies hailing "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) as if God meant to give him that glory."

In official expression of anger, Libya denounced the timing of the execution and announced three days of official mourning. Eid celebrations were cancelled. The government of Saudi Arabia also condemned the timing of the execution.

I have to ask myself...OK, so it's a given that I live in a brutal corporatocracy filled with an apathetic public that allows an occupation killing a person every THREE MINUTES, to pass with the same aplomb, as if we're ordering a coffee.

And, it's a given that for different reasons, this corporatocracy will do terrible things, usually with narrow, greedy motives.

But, I'd at LEAST hope that the Powers That Be would not shoot themselves in the foot, so clearly. I almost wonder if someone upstairs WANTS this Occupation to fail.

Now how Orwellian is that???

Just a few thoughts on the political vista, as the year dawns. :ai: :ki: :do:

P.S. Don't get me wrong about Ford, either. I have a lot of respect for what he said in his interview about the present Administration, and his term did have positive notes.

Guilty Spark
01-05-2007, 11:31 AM
Ya I was quite heart broken after hearing Hussain died.
I hear some near forgotten actor will star in a reality TV spin off of his trial.

So, it's the occupation killing people every 3 minutes? They are to blame for the citizens of Iraq killing each other? When someone deconates a bomb in a crowded market I'm inclined to place blame on the bomber.

"'Illegal' Execution Enrages Arabs"

Reminds me of a funny line I heard. (Could have been a cartoon)
"Tomorrows train bombing angers muslim community"

Neil Mick
01-05-2007, 03:06 PM
Thank God for you, Grant...I was beginning to think that Aikidoists worldwide have gone to sleep from an overdose of political apathy. :crazy:

Ya I was quite heart broken after hearing Hussain died.
I hear some near forgotten actor will star in a reality TV spin off of his trial.

Very funny...but it's not only about the tragedy of gov't sanctioned murder, which I oppose. It's about due-process. And, you completely ignored the implications of a former leader of a country executed, under a foreign occupation.

But more to the point, Hussein was only charged for a small portion of the ppl that he is accused of killing. All those other murders and investigations into same are now buried, literally. Why investigate the past crimes of a now-executed dictator? Why investigate the dictator's friendly ties to superpowers at the time he carried out the worst of his crimes, when he's now dead and buried?

And, do you think that worldwide condemnation of the trial was merely anti-American sentiment?? Please, it was a show-trial; and the measure of justice in a society depends upon how its judicial system deals with the worst of its criminals.

So, it's the occupation killing people every 3 minutes? They are to blame for the citizens of Iraq killing each other?

Funny, but I don't seem to remember ppl dying every 3 minutes before the Occupation...so yeah, the Occupation (read: the US) is responsible.

If you walk into a bad crime-zone and cause mayhem: it's mendacious to blame the residents and the "bad neighborhood" for the resultant chaos that you caused.

When someone deconates a bomb in a crowded market I'm inclined to place blame on the bomber.

Then, I'd say that you're inclined not to look very far into the reasons why that bomb was detonated.

"'Illegal' Execution Enrages Arabs"

Reminds me of a funny line I heard. (Could have been a cartoon)
"Tomorrows train bombing angers muslim community"

Oh, yes: that's so very funny, haha. :rolleyes:

But, considering that the US orchestrated the trial: it's not really funny, at all. Unless, you're going to suggest that the Muslim community is, en masse, responsible for the bombings and the legal system emplaced by the Occupying Army.

Please, Grant, please: run with this logic, for awhile. I'm an old pro at arguing against absurdities...no need to stop now.

Mike Sigman
01-05-2007, 07:59 PM
......., the Occupation (read: the US) is responsible. ...........But, considering that the US orchestrated the trial: and In the middle sprectrum was a President who suffered the dubious distinction of being the only man in the office who was neither elected to a Presidency or vice-Presidency. We hear all the lauds and one-sided praises for his term (for instance, not one word on Ford's approval of Suharto's invasion of E. Timor; and barely a media-titter on the pardoning of Nixon, the act that distinguishes his term), and yet one has to wonder...all the praises that were heaped upon by the present Administration, all of THOSE people (Cheney, Bush Sr, Rumsfeld, et al) were in the White House mix, in the late '70's, onward. Ah the continual Hegemonist doctrine of the socialist Left. If the US would just commit suicide and leave things alone, the world would be a better place. In fact, Leftists were ecstatic that their anti-US control of the press helped lead to the pull-out after a "never really try and win" Vietnam War. Like Neil, Leftists don't ever bring up that after the US pulled out of Vietnam, peace didn't reign as they predicted. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese were killed by the NVN allies of the Left. Between one and three million Cambodians were killed after the NVN's assisted the Khmer Rouge. Nowhere does Neil mention that.... honesty is not a policy of the Left and never has been. Besides, millions of foreigners' lives are really as meaningless as the lives of the Jooz in Israel, to the far Left like Neil. This is the mindset that follows the same pattern as the "socialist workers party", the "NAZI's" as they turned more and more fascist. Let them non-believers die, eh, Neil? Unless of course, you can use deaths to somehow damage the US.

Let me see if I can find something on the Hegemonist beliefs of the Left, where the US is always evil. Last I saw something was when the Left, one week after the 9/11 destruction of 3000 Americans, began to blame America for the attack. Ah, here's a recent article explaining the doctrine of the Left and Neil Mick:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2006/12/seeds_intellectual_destruction.html

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-05-2007, 08:58 PM
Neil, admit it -- you post these "hot," non-Aikido/MA-related threads for the sole purpose of getting Mike going. C'mon, 'fess up. :p

Mike Sigman
01-05-2007, 09:12 PM
Neil, admit it -- you post these "hot," non-Aikido/MA-related threads for the sole purpose of getting Mike going. C'mon, 'fess up. :pOther way around, Cady. I see someone who is off-balance either physically or mentally, I push to their weak area. With Neil, it's like I'm baiting a chained, rabid dog. I like to see him bark. ;)

Mike

Neil Mick
01-05-2007, 11:30 PM
Neil, admit it -- you post these "hot," non-Aikido/MA-related threads for the sole purpose of getting Mike going. C'mon, 'fess up. :p

Nah, I've got Mikey on ignore: he and his blatant disrespect can go rail in the dark at everything from Pelosi to latte-drinkers, for all I care.

Guilty Spark
01-06-2007, 12:49 AM
Neil Mick wrote:
Thank God for you, Grant...I was beginning to think that Aikidoists worldwide have gone to sleep from an overdose of political apathy.

Looked like you were left hanging there, just thought I could help :)


Very funny...but it's not only about the tragedy of gov't sanctioned murder, which I oppose. It's about due-process. And, you completely ignored the implications of a former leader of a country executed, under a foreign occupation.

But more to the point, Hussein was only charged for a small portion of the ppl that he is accused of killing. All those other murders and investigations into same are now buried, literally. Why investigate the past crimes of a now-executed dictator? Why investigate the dictator's friendly ties to superpowers at the time he carried out the worst of his crimes, when he's now dead and buried?

Why only investigate a few crimes? Good question. At a guess could you imagine how long the trial would last if we investigated EVERY single person he is responsible for murdering? Every single mass grave, execution etc..?
Saddam would die of old age.

I'm guessing they took what they could get.
Someone wanted him to pay for the things he did. Maybe someeone wanted him out of the picture.
I'm more than happy taking a mass murderer and charging him for the murder of just one person and giving him the death penalty. Better than having them "rot" in prison (steak night fridays) for years and years, maybe write a book.
You can bet Saddam Hussain was getting much more food in prison than a good portion of his country, I don't find that on at all.


And, do you think that worldwide condemnation of the trial was merely anti-American sentiment?? Please, it was a show-trial; and the measure of justice in a society depends upon how its judicial system deals with the worst of its criminals.
Deffinatly a show trial. Kinda like OJ Simpson. (speaking of which hee's wrote some dumb books oo)


Funny, but I don't seem to remember ppl dying every 3 minutes before the Occupation...so yeah, the Occupation (read: the US) is responsible.

Maybe thats because people dying every 3 minutes from starvation, executions and being raped and thrown from private jets mid flight never really made the news.


If you walk into a bad crime-zone and cause mayhem: it's mendacious to blame the residents and the "bad neighborhood" for the resultant chaos that you caused.
I see your point of view but myself I still hold an individual responsible for their own actions.
If I loose my job and I steal from a grocery store is it fairr for me to blame my old boss?
These guys, regardless of whats going on, choose to kill their neighbours. They squeeze the trigger, press the detonator button and cut the throats.

quote
When someone deconates a bomb in a crowded market I'm inclined to place blame on the bomber.


Then, I'd say that you're inclined not to look very far into the reasons why that bomb was detonated.

I think the why is simple. To kill another human being out of hate.


But, considering that the US orchestrated the trial: it's not really funny, at all. Unless, you're going to suggest that the Muslim community is, en masse, responsible for the bombings and the legal system emplaced by the Occupying Army.

I'm suggesting in the muslim community it seems like "Outrage over bla bla bbla" is an automatic response.
Along with signs reading "we are a religion of peace" beside signs saying "cut their heads off" :freaky:


Please, Grant, please: run with this logic, for awhile. I'm an old pro at arguing against absurdities...no need to stop now.
Like I said, it looked like you were left hanging, anything I can do to help.

And I agree, you are an old pro at this. Things change though my friend, a new perspective and perhapes the changing of old beliefs and points of view might be benificial or atleast give one room to grow?

Neil Mick
01-06-2007, 03:42 AM
.
Why only investigate a few crimes? Good question. At a guess could you imagine how long the trial would last if we investigated EVERY single person he is responsible for murdering?

No, not every single one. But, come on: he wasn't even charged with the Anfal Campaign, which was easily his highest victim count.

I'm guessing they took what they could get.

Then, IMO: you'd be guessing wrong. "They" can certainly "get" a legal trial that respects int'l law, if they desired. But, "they" didn't; because a fair trial would have brought out "their" names, and "their" connections to him.

Get the picture (http://rwor.org/a/011/hitman.htm) yet?

Someone wanted him to pay for the things he did. Maybe someeone wanted him out of the picture.

NOW you're talking. And, who, exactly: would want him out of the picture? Many of his victims and families, certainly. The Shia, yes. Even, some Sunni's and some insurgents probaably joined in the celebrations.

But, the ppl that set up the trials are the ones with all the power.

I'm more than happy taking a mass murderer and charging him for the murder of just one person and giving him the death penalty. Better than having them "rot" in prison (steak night fridays) for years and years, maybe write a book.

Actually, he was already writing novels...tepid royal court-romances, apparently.

What an ex-dictator will do in prison, to pass the time... :freaky:

Deffinatly a show trial. Kinda like OJ Simpson. (speaking of which hee's wrote some dumb books oo)

Maybe its some sort of sublimation-process of the guilty...gotta write a dumb book, lol.

Maybe thats because people dying every 3 minutes from starvation, executions and being raped and thrown from private jets mid flight never really made the news.

Sorry, Grant: but this is a misrepresentation. The worst of Hussein's crimes were during the '80's, when he was Our Man in the MidEast.

During Hussein's reign, ppl kept accurate counts in the morgues. They had to: inefficiency was harshly dealt with.

But now, of course: reporters are kept away from the morgues, and the Occupying Army does its level best to blur the exact cost in lives.

I see your point of view but myself I still hold an individual responsible for their own actions.

Yes, as do I. I'm not saying that Hussein was some sort of saint or should have escaped justice.

If I loose my job and I steal from a grocery store is it fairr for me to blame my old boss?

If you lose your job when you steal from a grocery store is it fair for you to blame your old boss, when that boss bought you the tools, trained you in burglary, and didn't seem to mind it, when you burgled the other half dozen stores in the neighborhood...?

These guys, regardless of whats going on, choose to kill their neighbours.

With a lot of help, and backing

I think the why is simple. To kill another human being out of hate.

Oh, OK, so we ARE using absurdity. So, this bomber-dude just woke up one day, decided he hated other human beings SO much, that he was willing to blow himself up, as well?

Sorry, but ppl are not wired so simply. To kill yourself requires powerful motivations. We have a strong survival instinct. We don't just pop ourselves because we really hate someone.

I'm suggesting in the muslim community it seems like "Outrage over bla bla bbla" is an automatic response.

Well, considering the headlines of just last year: can you really blame them?

Along with signs reading "we are a religion of peace" beside signs saying "cut their heads off" :freaky:

Yeah, I hate it when "religious men of peace" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QHmHo4q1Gs) espouse violence, don't you? :rolleyes:

Things change though my friend, a new perspective and perhapes the changing of old beliefs and points of view might be benificial or atleast give one room to grow?

Oh, you mean like, learn to stop hating the war and loving the Occupation?

Neil Mick
01-06-2007, 04:19 AM
I thought that this was interesting:

Execution Memories Refuse To Go Away (http://www.dahrjamailiraq.com/hard_news/archives/iraq/000523.php#more)

Footage of Saddam's last moments, taken by an onlooker with a mobile phone, shows the former dictator appearing calm and composed while dealing with taunts from witnesses below him. The audio reveals several men praising the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Mohammed Bakr al-Sadr, founder of the Shia Dawa Party, who was killed by Saddam in 1980.

"Peace be upon Muhammad and his followers," shouted someone near the person who filmed the events. "Curse his enemies and make victorious his son Muqtada! Muqtada! Muqtada." These chants are commonly used by members of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army militia..

There has been a huge international backlash to the footage. In India millions of Muslims demonstrated against the execution being carried out during the sacred festival of Eid.

Across Iraq, Shias seem mostly pleased. "Of course things will be better now that Saddam is dead," Saed Abdul-Hussain, a cleric from the Shia dominated city Najaf told IPS in Baghdad. "It is like hitting the snake on the head and I hope his followers will hand over their weapons and accept the fact that they lost."

But few believe that Saddam was inspiring the armed resistance.

"Who is Saddam and why would he affect anything after his death," a 55-year-old teacher from Fallujah told IPS. "The idea of his leading the resistance from jail is too ridiculous for a sane man to believe. We know that Mujahideen (holy warriors) are the only ones who will kick the occupation out of the country."

And, speaking of absurdist ruminations...

Rubaie later insisted that there was nothing improper about the shouting from the crowd, or the fact that executioners and officials danced around Saddam's body. "This is the tradition of the Iraqis, when they do something, they dance around the body and they express their feelings," he said in an interview to CNN.

Oh sure! Whenever Mahmoud and Abdul want to celebrate; you can always find them in the center of town, hoisting up a poor passerby and doing a little jig at his dangling feet. Those guys...what a couple of cut-ups! :freaky: :D

Anyway...

A senior Interior Ministry official told reporters that the hanging was supposed to be carried out by hangmen employed by the Interior Ministry but that "militias" had managed to infiltrate the executioners' team.

The airing of the footage has further damaged the government of embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and possibilities of reconciliation between political and sectarian groups in Iraq.

U.S. Presidential press secretary Tony Snow, formerly of Fox News, dismissed calls to join international condemnation of Saddam Hussein's execution. "The government is investigating the conduct of some people within the chamber and I think we'll leave it at that," Snow told reporters. "But the one thing you got to keep in mind is that you got justice."

"frontier justice" does not = justice

(Or, perhaps the British should have simply dragged off Pinochet by his heels when they detained him in the '90's and offered up some "justice," too...but I forgot!

Pinochet good; Hussein bad.

Uh huh. :rolleyes: )

The U.S. military claims it had no control over the events at the execution, despite handing Saddam over to Iraqi authorities just minutes before the footage was taken. The U.S. military then transported the body to Tikrit where it was later buried.

Many Iraqis simply want the bloodshed and chaos that has engulfed their country to end.

"I just pray to Allah to stop the bleeding that started when those strangers came into our country," 65-year-old Ahmed Alwan from Baghdad told IPS. "There is no future for us to think about under such a mess, and killing Saddam will just add more hatred between Iraqis, especially with the savage comments that appeared on the video."

Most Iraqis seem skeptical of the current U.S.-backed Iraqi government, which has been unable to restore even basic services, let alone security.

"Our government thought they could fool us again by killing the man," 30-year-old grocer Atwan in the Hurriya district of Baghdad told IPS. "We have had enough and what we demand is a real change, or else we will take another course regardless of what our religious and political leaders tell us. What we want is a better life and real brotherhood between Iraqis."

Hogan
01-06-2007, 05:14 PM
I hope, Neil, you pay Jun extra for all the web space he allows for your politcal writings.... Are you too cheap to get your own blog?

Neil Mick
01-06-2007, 07:36 PM
"'Illegal' Execution Enrages Arabs"

Reminds me of a funny line I heard. (Could have been a cartoon)
"Tomorrows train bombing angers muslim community"

2nd-time rejoinders lack the same immediacy: but this line also reminded me of a line from an old joke (you can see where it's dated):

On a visit to the US, the ambassador of Egypt engaged in small-talk with the President about TV. "You Americans watch this show," he said. "It's called 'Star Trek.'"

"Yes, that's so, Mr. Ambassador," said the President. "It's one of my favorite TV-shows."

"But, I don't understand something," said the Ambassador. "Why are there no Arabs on the show?"

"Oh, that's easy," laughed the President. "You see: it takes place in the future." :uch:

Mark Freeman
01-07-2007, 10:00 AM
I hope, Neil, you pay Jun extra for all the web space he allows for your politcal writings.... Are you too cheap to get your own blog?

I see by Neil's gold star that he does pay to be on this one John, where's yours? ;)

And why not pose questions political or otherwise ( as long as they are in the correct section ) isn't that what forum threads are for?

As for the 3 men recently passed on, I mourn the passing of James Brown, a man whose influence will be heard in music for many years to come. I recently saw him on a UK tv chat show, where he shared the line up with Joss Stone ( a very young white girl soul singer ). They did a number together at the end of the show and JB was paying tribute to Joss Stone!! she was fortunate beyond words, and he showed his greatness in this act - brilliant. :D

Saddam - I'm sure that some will mourn his passing, but not many. His influence will undoubtedly be felt for quite some time to come, very little of it being positive.
Personally I think he should have had to face 'all' the charges laid against him, but I'm also aware that there were vested interests determined not to have incriminating evidence aired in court. The cause for truth has been dealt a blow with his hasty execution. :(

2007 is no doubt going to see Iraq and it's troubles dominating the news. :uch:

regards,

Mark

Neil Mick
01-07-2007, 02:44 PM
I see by Neil's gold star that he does pay to be on this one John, where's yours? ;)

Yeah, he has a tendency to ignore these glaring little bits of reality, smacking him in the face. :) I especially love it when he comes here and derides me for mentioning him while he's on ignore, and then he comes back a few posts later and starts carping on me.

Go figure...perhaps he's had a string of slow days at work... :p

And why not pose questions political or otherwise ( as long as they are in the correct section ) isn't that what forum threads are for?

Oh no, Mark! We must keep these hallowed threads pure...so that we may not taint the other discussions of Aikido-related topics--such as music, Xmas jokes, deceased pets, and the antics of one Nick Simpson... :crazy:

2007 is no doubt going to see Iraq and it's troubles dominating the news. :uch:

True enough. With the expected troop-surge imminent, it does not bode well for Iraqi's, or US troops. :(

***********************************************************

For those that follow my ramblings, you probably know that I am a big fan of Robert Fisk, British reporter who covers the MidEast. I went to hear him at a presentation in a church, once. I had to sit in the aisle, as there were no seats, anywhere...the place was packed.

Anyway, he wrote a really fine piece on the death of Hussein, recently. IMO, it rises above his usual good work (click on the link for the entire article). Enjoy!

The Whole Bloody Thing Was Obscene (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16086.htm)

The lynching of Saddam Hussein - for that is what we are talking about - will turn out to be one of the determining moments in the whole shameful crusade upon which the West embarked in March of 2003. Only the president-governor George Bush and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara could have devised a militia administration in Iraq so murderous and so immoral that the most ruthless mass murderer in the Middle East could end his days on the gallows as a figure of nobility, scalding his hooded killers for their lack of manhood and - in his last seconds - reminding the thug who told him to "go to hell" that the hell was now Iraq.

"Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it," Malcolm reported of the execution of the treacherous Thane of Cawdor in Macbeth. Or, as a good friend of mine in Ballymena said to me on the phone a few hours later, "The whole bloody thing was obscene." Quite so. On this occasion, I'll go along with the voice of Protestant Ulster.

Of course, Saddam gave his victims no trial; his enemies had no opportunity to hear the evidence against them; they were mown down into mass graves, not handed a black scarf to prevent the hangman's noose from burning their neck as it broke their spine. Justice was "done", even if a trifle cruelly. But this is not the point. Regime change was done in our name and Saddam's execution was a direct result of our crusade for a "new" Middle East. To watch a uniformed American general - despite the indiscipline of more and more US troops in Iraq - wheedling and whining at a press conference that his men were very courteous to Saddam until the very moment of handover to Muqtada al-Sadr's killers could only be appreciated with the blackest of humour.

Worst of all, perhaps, is that the hanging of Saddam mimicked, in ghostly, miniature form, the manner of his own regime's bestial executions. Saddam's own hangman at Abu Ghraib, a certain Abu Widad, would also taunt his victims before pulling the trap door lever, a last cruelty before extinction. Is this where Saddam's hangmen learned their job? And just who exactly were those leather-jacketed hangmen last week, by the way? No one, it seemed, bothered to ask this salient question. Who chose them? Al-Maliki's militia chums? Or the Americans who managed the whole roadshow from the start, who so organised Saddam's trial that he was never allowed to reveal details of his friendly relations with three US administrations - and thus took the secrets of the murderous, decade-long Baghdad-Washington military alliance to his grave?

I would not ask this question were it not for the sense of profound shock I experienced when touring the Abu Ghraib prison after "Iraq's liberation" and meeting the US-appointed senior Iraqi medical officer at the jail. When his minders were distracted, he admitted to me he had also been the senior "medical officer" at Abu Ghraib when Saddam's prisoners were tortured to death there. No wonder our enemies-become-friends are turning into our enemies again.

But this is not just about Iraq. More than 35 years ago, I was being driven home from school by my Dad when his new-fangled car radio broadcast a report of the dawn hanging of a man at - I think - Wormwood Scrubs. I remember the unpleasant look of sanctity that came over my father's face when I asked him if this was right. "It's the law, Old Boy," he said, as if such cruelties were immutable to the human race. Yet this was the same father who, as a young soldier in the First World War, was threatened with court martial because he refused to command the firing party to execute an equally young Australian soldier.

Maybe only older men, sensing their failing powers, enjoy the prerogatives of execution. More than 10 years ago, the now-dead President Hrawi of Lebanon and the since-murdered prime minister Rafiq Hariri signed the death warrants of two young Muslim men. One of them had panicked during a domestic robbery north of Beirut and shot a Christian man and his sister. Hrawi - in the words of one of his top security officers at the time - "wanted to show he could hang Muslims in a Christian area". He got his way. The two men - one of whom had not even been present in the house during the robbery - were taken to their public execution beside the main Beirut-Jounieh highway, swooning with fear at the sight of their white-hooded executioners, while the Christian glitterati, heading home from night-clubs with their mini-skirted girlfriends, pulled up to watch the fun.

I suggested at the time, much to Hrawi's disgust, that this should become a permanent feature of Beirut's nightlife, that regular public hangings on the Mediterranean Corniche would bring in tens of thousands more tourists, especially from Saudi Arabia where you could catch the odd beheading only at Friday prayers.

No, it's not about the wickedness of the hanged man. Unlike the Thane of Cawdor, Saddam did not "set forth a deep repentance" on the scaffold. We merely shamed ourselves in an utterly predictable way. Either you support the death penalty - whatever the nastiness or innocence of the condemned. Or you don't. C'est tout.

That could be an excellent last line for this thread. "Either you support the death penalty: or you don't." It's that simple.

And, since statistics show that the death penalty does NOT curb violence: I contend that it's ineffective as a deterrent to crime...even, for wannabee "client-state" dictators who've fallen out of favor.

Mike Sigman
01-07-2007, 03:32 PM
For those that follow my ramblings, you probably know that I am a big fan of Robert Fisk, British reporter who covers the MidEast. [[snip]]Anyway, he wrote a really fine piece on the death of Hussein, recently. The problem with Robert Fisk is that he, like Neil, is essentially dishonest. He thinks that presenting one-side, false, or skewed facts that support his own views is indeed "the right thing to do", because it leads people to "do the morally correct thing". It's like the religious fanatic who kills "in the name of God".... they think it's morally justified to lie, kill, etc., as long as it is "the right thing to do", i.e, "in God's name". Same fanatical beliefs.

Robert Fisk is just as much a mendacious nut-case as Neil is, when it comes to skewing facts while ignoring any facts against your own case:

http://www.honestreporting.com/articles/critiques/Robert_Fisks_Orwellian_Newspeak.asp


FWIW

Mike

Guilty Spark
01-08-2007, 12:50 AM
Hey Neil, I'll catch your other points when I have a few more minutes to post.

And, since statistics show that the death penalty does NOT curb violence: I contend that it's ineffective as a deterrent to crime...even, for wannabee "client-state" dictators who've fallen out of favor.
Fair enough, I agree. Death penalty is not a detterent and will not stop crime, kinda.
What are the chances of Saddam Hussain killing someone again? Or for that matter, someone else who has been put to death commtting another crime?
Zero. So in essense it doesn't deter someone from committing murder but it DOES stop them from murdering again.
Now you can argue that additional violence and murder is being committed as a direct result of said death penalties being carried out and it could be true. Maybe someone will choose to kill someone because their favorite mass murder was put to death (ie those stupid stupid women who fall in love with criminals on death row, marry them bla bla) but that's their own choice. If they choose to murder someone then they too should be punished, but it's a different case.
Of course this is using the western justice system where criminals get out of jail rather easily sometimes, perhaps it isn't as easy to get out of jail in the east.
All in all I'm glad Saddam isn't living the rest of his days with a roof over his head, free razors and news papers and eating better than half his country,

Jim ashby
01-08-2007, 03:35 AM
"Honest reporting"? Just read the background.Unbiased honesty is unlikely.

Mark Freeman
01-08-2007, 06:25 AM
He thinks that presenting one-side, false, or skewed facts that support his own views is indeed "the right thing to do", because it leads people to "do the morally correct thing".

Sounds like Mr Bush and Mr Blair in the run up to the Iraq invasion. ;)

regards,

Mark

Taliesin
01-08-2007, 07:54 AM
If this was simply the execution of a murderer or mass-murderer there would be far less furore.

If it was a matter of being held responsible for your actions causing death to innocents then I would ask when is Donald Rumsfelt's Trial due (and is his execution date penciled in).

But there are additional issues - why was he tried solely on matters not embarrassing to the powers that be (the great and holy US), why was his execution arranged for a time when Moslem's do not execute anyone.

It is hard to avoid conclusion that this had nothing to do with Justice and everything to do with making an example to the other dictators supported by Western Powers (The UK is just as guilty) that they must only torture and kill who they are told to.

This 'trial' and execution had all the hallmarks of silencing an inconvient witness

Hogan
01-08-2007, 08:39 AM
I see by Neil's gold star that he does pay to be on this one John, where's yours? ;)

I don't write political posts on an aikido board geared towards trolling.

And why not pose questions political or otherwise ( as long as they are in the correct section ) isn't that what forum threads are for?
These boards are for trolling?

Hogan
01-08-2007, 08:42 AM
... I especially love it when he comes here and derides me for mentioning him while he's on ignore, and then he comes back a few posts later and starts carping on me.
Small difference, Herr Mick, I don't have you on ignore. I am not afraid of other people arguments as you are, apparently.

Oh no, Mark! We must keep these hallowed threads pure...so that we may not taint the other discussions of Aikido-related topics--such as music, Xmas jokes, deceased pets, and the antics of one Nick Simpson... :crazy:
Yes, you are right; this is the place to personally criticise & spout lies - you fit right in.

Neil Mick
01-08-2007, 01:35 PM
What are the chances of Saddam Hussain killing someone again? Or for that matter, someone else who has been put to death commtting another crime?
Zero. So in essense it doesn't deter someone from committing murder but it DOES stop them from murdering again.

By having the State act the role of murderer-in-chief.

Now you can argue that additional violence and murder is being committed as a direct result of said death penalties being carried out and it could be true.

IMO, no "could's" about it. This lynching will undoubtedly cause more sectarian violence. As David so well put it:

If this was simply the execution of a murderer or mass-murderer there would be far less furore.

If it was a matter of being held responsible for your actions causing death to innocents then I would ask when is Donald Rumsfelt's Trial due (and is his execution date penciled in).

There is clear evidence that Rumsfeld approved the exact methods of a torture that ended in a death. So, why should Rummy spend out his days in comfort and ease, free from punishment, when his former crony-in-arms gets the lynch-mob?

Again, we're not just talking about some average Joe. We're talking about the former leader of a country deposed illegally, tried under questionable legal processes and lynched...all under a US Occupation.

I think that Hussein SHOULD have been punished (personally, I would have elected to have him serve as a hospital attendant in a poor Shia community, for life, if I had any say in the matter)--along with all the other players and accomplices of his crimes--but there's a right way, and a wrong way, to administer justice. And sometimes, as David points out, the tools of justice are misused by the powerful, to silence the inconvenient.

Finally, a country that has suffered for so long under a cruel dictatorship needs some official outlet to begin the healing-process. In post-apartheid S.Africa, that was the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. A lynched ex-leader, followed by a hasty burial, is hardly what I'd call "healing the wounds of a nation." But our actions as an Occupying Power prove that we couldn't care less, about the Iraqi's.

Neil Mick
01-08-2007, 02:20 PM
Images of Hanging Make Hussein a Martyr to Many (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/06/world/middleeast/06arabs.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&ref=world&oref=slogin) (log-in req'd)

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 5 — In the week since Saddam Hussein was hanged in an execution steeped in sectarian overtones, his public image in the Arab world, formerly that of a convicted dictator, has undergone a resurgence of admiration and awe.

A labor federation in Tunis paid homage to Saddam Hussein.
On the streets, in newspapers and over the Internet, Mr. Hussein has emerged as a Sunni Arab hero who stood calm and composed as his Shiite executioners tormented and abused him.

“No one will ever forget the way in which Saddam was executed,” President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt remarked in an interview with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot published Friday and distributed by the official Egyptian news agency. “They turned him into a martyr.”

In Libya, which canceled celebrations of the feast of Id al-Adha after the execution, a government statement said a statue depicting Mr. Hussein in the gallows would be erected, along with a monument to Omar al-Mukhtar, who resisted the Italian invasion of Libya and was hanged by the Italians in 1931.

In Morocco and the Palestinian territories, demonstrators held aloft photographs of Mr. Hussein and condemned the United States.

I dunno, Grant...given my choice btw Hussein alive and awaiting justice, or Hussein dead and hoisted up as some great martyr: I think I'd prefer the former.

“Suddenly we forgot that he was a dictator and that he killed thousands of people,” said Roula Haddad, 33, a Lebanese Christian. “All our hatred for him suddenly turned into sympathy, sympathy with someone who was treated unjustly by an occupation force and its collaborators.”

Just a month ago Mr. Hussein was widely dismissed as a criminal who deserved the death penalty, even if his trial was seen as flawed. Much of the Middle East reacted with a collective shrug when he was found guilty of crimes against humanity in November.

At the heart of the sudden reversal of opinion was the symbolism of the hasty execution, now framed as an act of sectarian vengeance shrouded in political theater and overseen by the American occupation.

In much of the predominantly Sunni Arab world, the timing of the execution in the early hours of Id al-Adha, which is among the holiest days of the Muslim year, when violence is forbidden and when even Mr. Hussein himself sometimes released prisoners, was seen as a direct insult to the Sunni world.

Great...so the "Beast of Baghdad" is now the "Lion of Islam."

Even the pro-Saudi news media, normally critical of Mr. Hussein, chimed in with a more sentimental tone.

In the London-based pan-Arab daily Al Hayat, Bilal Khubbaiz, commenting on Iranian and Israeli praise of the execution, wrote, “Saddam, as Iraq’s ruler, was an iron curtain that prevented the Iranian influence from reaching into the Arab world,” as well as “a formidable party in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

Zuhayr Qusaybati, also writing in Al Hayat, said the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, “gave Saddam what he most wanted: he turned him into a martyr in the eyes of many Iraqis, who can now demand revenge.”

“The height of idiocy,” Mr. Qusaybati said, “is for the man who rules Baghdad under American protection not to realize the purpose of rushing the execution, and that the guillotine carries the signature of a Shiite figure as the flames of sectarian division do not spare Shiites or Sunnis in a country grieving for its butchered citizens.”

My point, exactly.

James Davis
01-08-2007, 04:07 PM
A lynched ex-leader, followed by a hasty burial, is hardly what I'd call "healing the wounds of a nation." But our actions as an Occupying Power prove that we couldn't care less, about the Iraqi's.
After he was found guilty, he was killed so hastily because Iraqi law demands it. They don't have an appeals process.

Neil Mick
01-08-2007, 06:33 PM
After he was found guilty, he was killed so hastily because Iraqi law demands it. They don't have an appeals process.

I'm guessing that you're reaching on a limb, here, James, as (I suspect) neither you nor I are experts in Iraqi law.

But, Hussein kept saying during the trial that he was the President of Iraq, and he was beyond litigation, much like our own President. This, IMO, is why it was so important to try him in an international court. He could claim immunity to Iraqi law; but no one is above the Geneva Conventions.

Also, a Kurdish judge (in an article I recently linked) stated that it is against Iraqi law to execute someone at the beginning of the Feast of Eid. And so, on several levels, the timing and the nature of the execution reveal the arrogant disregard the Occupying Power in regard to the Iraqi people.

Mike Sigman
01-09-2007, 08:15 PM
Also, a Kurdish judge (in an article I recently linked) stated that it is against Iraqi law to execute someone at the beginning of the Feast of Eid. And so, on several levels, the timing and the nature of the execution reveal the arrogant disregard the Occupying Power in regard to the Iraqi people. Has anyone seen Neil Mick complaining so much about the videos of Americans and enemies of terrorists dying from their skulls being drilled into with electric drills? Or of heads being sawed off? Or of children who were gassed to death by Saddam? No. Neil is only angry at America and "The Jooooz". Anything done to them is fine (oh sure, a little glib lip-service so that he can get by the people with double-digit IQ's). One wonders why Neil doesn't just move to an Islamic country?

First of all, people like Neil will be the first ones killed, when the time comes. Islam does not believe women or gays are human. Islam does not tolerate "unbelievers", so Neil better get ready to start praying on a rug 5 times a day. Islam does not tolerate a "free and open society", so Neil better get used to the idea that he can't publish his ravings freely. And so on.

Tell us more about your incensed outrage about such a horrible and humiliating death for Saddam, Neil. Go to Iraq and publish your thoughts to the people whose relatives died by Saddam's orders. Or are you a hypocrite?

Regards,

Mike

Mark Gibbons
01-09-2007, 09:16 PM
Hey Mike,

What happened to your position of no personal comments? That last post was offensive. So was the one calling Neil a mendacious nut-case.


Mark

Mike Sigman
01-09-2007, 09:27 PM
What happened to your position of no personal comments? That last post was offensive. So was the one calling Neil a mendacious nut-case. No, if you'll notice in archived posts here and in other places, I never make personal comments except to someone who establishes himself as making personal comments. Go look at Neil's posts and see if he makes personal and offensive comments about The Jooz, Bush, Cheney, etc. He opened the door. Odd .... let me look and see if you've ever complained about Neil's offensive personal comments or his skewed and offensive remarks about Jews. I'll get back to you... I'm assuming you support what he says or that you've complained, right?

Mike Sigman

Mark Gibbons
01-09-2007, 10:31 PM
....... I'll get back to you... I'm assuming you support what he says or that you've complained, right?

Mike Sigman

I can complain about your rudeness without supporting someone else. You do quite a job of complaining about Neil's posts. I couldn't improve on it and don't feel any need to add to it.

I have never read Neil making as offensive of remarks about members of the forum as you have been making lately. Seems you have the principal of not making personal remarks, except when you feel like it, then it's ok. That's how it reads anyway.

Mark

Mike Sigman
01-10-2007, 07:51 AM
I can complain about your rudeness without supporting someone else. You do quite a job of complaining about Neil's posts. Ah.... then you don't see the humour in someone handing back Neil's personal-attack posts at him and then having him complain about "liberal bashing"? And you don't see the humour in returning the favours to a few Brits who ceaselessly complain about the US... only to have them cry out lout about "Euro-bashing" when it's handed back to them? Pity. I'll explain it to you sometime.

Your basic premise about "no personal comments" was false, but I don't think that's your problem. You simply don't like viewpoints that oppose your own and, like Neil, you've taken it personal. Fair enough. It's an Open Discussion. But you don't seem to have any humour behind your complaints... it's a partisan thing, right? No, don't answer. I'm not really interested.

Mike

akiy
01-10-2007, 12:05 PM
Thread closed due to personal comments and attacks.

-- Jun