Although news reports everywhere are contradicting themselves during this fluid situation, the truth is Saddam might be hanged very soon, within the next few hours or days.
This comes at a time when the Bush project is collapsing in Iraq. On the American side, the number of U.S. troops killed will reach to 3000 in the next few days. On the Iraqi side, new attempts to create a pro-occupation coalition in the Iraqi government (led by Hakim, Hashimi, and Talbani-Barazani) failed after Sistani rejected the idea and refused to give his blessings. At the same time, an anti-occupation coalition is emerging inside and outside the Iraqi government and will include everyone except the failed pro-occupation alliance.
Clearly, there are problems.
- At the same time that millions of Iraqis were and are still being killed, injured, and displaced because of the U.S. interventions;
- At the same time that the Iraqi social fabric is being destroyed and turned into fragments;
- At the same time that the state Iraq is being literally "wiped off the map" and cut apart;
- At the same time that everyday in Iraq is worse than the day before;
- And at the same time that tens of thousands of U.S. solders are being killed, injured, and traumatized for the rest of their lives and trillions of the U.S. taxpayers' money wasted -
--the one and only victory that the Bush administration can claim is hanging the former dictator.
The U.S. administration will use Saddam to distract public opinion from the atrocities going on by parading this fake "victory." It will then also bury the executed body of Saddam along with all the secrets we're not supposed to know, continuing to leave us in the dark.
The crimes of Saddam
With all due respect to the 158 victims of Al-Dujail - where an assassination attempt was made against Saddam -- and their families, this incident was minor when compared to the other major atrocities committed during Saddam's era and supported by the U.S.,
These atrocities included the War on Iran (and the U.S. military support), the dirty political deals (like giving the green light to Saddam's attack on Kuwait and the following written permission to the Iraqi government in Safwan to crush the southern revolution in 1991). They also included the chemical weapons sold to Iraq (like the ones used against Iran on the war fronts, and Iraqi Kurds in the north of Iraq). And there were many more political and economical secret deals and crimes against Iraqis and other people in the region.
There are many people, like Mr. Tareq Aziz, the former Iraqi Vice President and Prime Minister, who are still asking to testify in cases related to Al-Dujail and Al-Anfal (the attacks against Kurds). Aziz said that he has information that will "embarrass many people inside and outside Iraq". But there were people were denied the chance to let us all know the truth, because this truth is not convenient to the Bush administration.
Saddam indeed was a brutal dictator.
The fact that atrocities worse than those caused by him are now going on during the occupation, should make the Bush administration feel ashamed that they have made Saddam's brutal dictatorship look like a walk in the park.
What happens next
Iraqis don't miss Saddam, but they miss their national government that was inherited by the Baath regime and was destroyed under this occupation.
Saddam's life or death is irrelevant to the current Iraqi situation. Iraqis are fighting to hold their country together and get it back from the foreign occupiers. Saddam's recent trial and imminent execution are nothing more than evidence of how foreign interventions to change political regimes will destroy entire countries and split entire nations. The current situation in Iraq is a good indicator for how Iran and Syria, or other countries, would look if the U.S. administration went ahead and interfered and changed their political regimes.
Iraqis were besieged by more than eight revolutions and coup d'états since the end of the British occupation in 1921. Yet, none of those events destroyed Iraq the way the current U.S.-led occupation has and continues to.
These devastating events, the senseless deaths and political skulduggery, and the annihilation of an independent state have proven that Iraqis are the only ones who have the capability, and the right, to change their political regime without destroying their country.
The only way a certain regime can be changed, or enhanced, without destroying the rest of the country is when the change comes from within; when the people are given the chance to change their own regimes by themselves. Otherwise, we'll end up having other Iraqs around the region and the rest of the world.
Written in collaboration with Jennifer Hicks