Friday, January 05, 2007

World Protests the Lynching of Saddam and Reflections on the 'Left Boot of Imperialism'

U.S. lynching of Saddam Hussein

Protesters say ‘Execution = escalation’

By John Catalinotto
New York
Published Jan 4, 2007 12:29 AM

Within 16 hours of the news that U.S. occupation authorities had hanged Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, demonstrators in at least three U.S. cities—Detroit, Boston and New York—were on the streets to warn the public about this new war crime and new threat to escalate the war on Iraq. A few days later a similar protest took place in San Diego.

The first call arose from the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War in Iraq (MECAWI), on Dec. 29, and was quickly followed by a statement from the International Action Center urging such protests.

Placards and signs in Times Square read “Execution = Escalation, Bring the troops home” and “Who gave U.S. war criminals license to murder Saddam Hussein?” The demonstrations emphasized two main points: that President George W. Bush intends to escalate the war against the Iraqi people and that the murder of Saddam Hussein was another in a long list of U.S. war crimes against the Iraqi people.

In Detroit, Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, addressed the group gathered at the Federal Building on Michigan Avenue on behalf of MECAWI.

Another group protested in downtown Boston. Sara Flounders, co-director of the IAC, was the main spokesperson in Times Square, but the dozens of media present interviewed many of the 40 or so participants.

The demonstrations took the form of public news conferences. While they did not have the mass participation of protests in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Palestine and Jordan, not to mention in Iraq itself, the protests in the U.S. made an important point: Even in the center of world imperialism, where Saddam Hussein has been demonized for 16 years, people were angry about his lynching and about the U.S. role in Iraq.

Those interviewed were strong in bringing out the main messages of the demonstration, and no one retreated before hostile questions by the media. Everyone stuck to the position that the U.S. has no right to execute an Iraqi leader, that this is a war crime, and that Washington is filled with war criminals who are plotting the next escalation.

The demonstrations, especially in Times Square but also in Detroit and Boston, got much more than the usual media coverage. Local New York television news programs carried interviews with protesters, as did many radio stations. An Associated Press article went out to its subscribers all over the world.

Showing how skeptical the public is over Washington’s war in Iraq, there was much friendly response to the protests and hardly any hostile comments.

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World condemns lynching of Iraqi president

Published Jan 4, 2007 12:10 AM

With demonstrations and other forms of protest throughout the Middle East and South Asia, many expressed their anger and dismay over the lynch justice Washington meted out to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Below are small excerpts from statements both condemning the kangaroo-court injustices and the brutal assassination, from varied sources.


Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark: The great weight of international legal opinion has found the Iraqi Special Tribunal subject to political pressures, lacking independence and not impartial. “The trial” failed to provide due process of law and was unfair. ... Executions, if they occur in the midst of the present violence, are expected to cause a long term increase in the level of violence causing more U.S. and Iraqi casualties.

The BRussells Tribunal: The Iraqi Higher Criminal Court that passed a death sentence on President Saddam Hussein is grounded on illegality. Occupying powers under international law are expressly prohibited from changing the judicial structures of occupied states. Created by Paul Bremer, the Iraqi Higher Criminal Court was never anything but a U.S.-orchestrated puppet court.


Malcolm Smart, director of the Middle East and North Africa for Amnesty International: The independence and impartiality of the court was impugned. There was political interference. Three defense lawyers were murdered. Saddam himself had no access to legal advice for a year.

Human Rights Watch: The imposition of the death penalty—an inherently cruel and inhumane punishment—in the wake of an unfair trial is indefensible.


International Association of Peoples Lawyers Board of Directors: Whereas, the trial was meant to mislead the world and smokescreen reality because the main forces that put Mr. Hussein on trial, which are the U.S. and other states, were themselves his erstwhile supporters, encouragers and financiers and as a previous ally of Mr. Hussein during the period of the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity of which he was judged, culpable high officials of the U.S. and other governments like the UK must be included in any trial about these serious charges.

Campaign for the End of the Occupation and for Sovereignty of Iraq (CEOSI—Spanish state): The execution will not hold back the resistance of the Iraqi people to the foreign occupation, or against the collaborationist forces and all those who are trying to bring about a sectarian division of the country.


StopUSA (a Belgian anti-war movement): In November 1532, the Inca king Atahualpa stood trial before the Spanish conquistadores. He was sentenced to death and hanged in August 1533. Among the accusations against him: he would have been ‘cruel to his enemies,’ whatever that may have meant. In any case the execution of Atahualpa has gone down in history not so much because of the man’s supposed or real cruelty, but because of the grotesque nature of this parody of justice. It won’t be different with Saddam’s execution.”

The National Liberation Council of Bangladesh organized a protest meeting in the capital city Dhaka against the killing of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. At the meeting, Fiezul Hakim, secretary of the NLC, said, “By killing President Saddam Hussein, U.S. imperialism wanted to destroy Iraq. Now Saddam is the symbol of anti imperialism.” After the protest meeting a protest procession was held. Many other organizations held protest rallies.

The International Action Center (USA): This punishment has nothing to do with the alleged crimes of the Iraqi leader, nor is it part of an historical judgment of his role. It is the act of a conquering power against a nation that is occupied against the will not only of its 2003 legal government but also against the will of the vast majority of its people.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (ML) outright condemns the hanging of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein—who defiantly stood against U.S. imperialist design in the Middle East and jealously stood for independence and sovereignty of Iraq. Ignoring the world democratic opinion, Bush—the worst ever war criminal and number one international terrorist—has perpetrated this heinous crime the way this enemy of democracy did against Milosevic—the ex-president of Yugoslavia.

José Reinaldo Carvalho, secretary of International Relations of the Communist Party of Brazil: Saddam Hussein was executed as the result of an illegal sentence pronounced by an illegal court manipulated by the invading forces that have occupied Iraq since March of 2003. ... The conflicts already underway there [Middle East] will not have a proper ending, an ending consonant with the peoples’ yearning for peace, sovereignty and justice, as long as the interventionist and warmongering politics of U.S. imperialism holds sway in the region.

Bert De Belder, (Belgium): Officially, the former Iraqi president was convicted for the execution in 1982 of 148 villagers in Dujail. In fact, Saddam was eliminated by the United States because he didn’t want to surrender his country’s oil and sovereignty. His execution is one more entry in a long list of U.S. war crimes.

Anti-Imperialist Camp: They turned Saddam into a martyr of the Iraqi liberation struggle. He will serve as an example for all anti-imperialist fighters for his tenacity and steadfastness.
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Antiwar Movement

Saddam's Execution: The western anti war movement - the left boot of imperialism?

By Kola Odetola with Introduction by Les Blough
Dec 30, 2006, 05:15

Editor's Comment: The rhetorical question in the title of Kola Odetola's article below is profound and damning. As one who has been deeply involved in the anti-war movement in the United States since September 11, 2001 and before, I can attest to it's truth: The western anti-war movement is indeed the "left boot of imperialism". In one sense, Odetola may be painting with too wide a brush for there are many committed individuals, organizations and coalitions within the anti-war movement who sacrifice and fight every day against the U.S.-led empire. It must be understood that those who sacrifice so much to stop these imperial wars are fighting on multiple fronts. They are fighting against the empire in a very difficult theater. They are also fighting against large well-funded organizations and coalitions within the anti-war movement who are not "anti-war" at all. Thus, in the broad sense of Kola Odetola's statement, there can be no doubt that the force of the anti-war movement has been compromised, blunted and to a large extent rendered ineffective by the empire. But those who are committed to stop the advance of the Global Corporate Empire will fight on.

When a war like the so-called "war on terrorism" has been planned in Washington think-tanks for 25 years, you can bet that one of the pillars of that architecture was to prevent and destroy dissent in empire's back yard. Some in "the movement" say the government "infiltrates" the anti-war movement. I say they don't have to infiltrate it - large organizations and coalitions were already owned and operated by the empire before the war began. They are owned and managed because they come from imperial seed. They have been effective in sabotaging the efforts of solid organizations like Ramsey Clark's International Action Center and the Troops Out Now coalition. They have been effective in sucking many well-meaning people into their treachery. Go to their websites now and you will see no mention of the lynching of Saddam Hussein - which serves as a litmus test for the authenticity of any movement against the U.S. war on the people of Iraq. Even now, these "imperial left-wingers" are praising and supporting the Democratic Party in the United States while the Democrats continue to fund the war on Iraq. But really, what do we expect of them? At bottom, they are capitalists.

- Les Blough, Editor


Saddams Execution : The western anti war movement - the left boot of imperialism?

By Kola Odetola, Media Lens Message Board
December 29, 2006

The silence of the western antiwar movement on the lynching of Saddam Hussein is deafening and is increasingly beginning to prove what a lot of discerning people have suspected all along – that the mainstream anti-war movement (including large parts of its left wing) in the west is the well concealed left boot of western imperialism, the conscience of the conqueror.

The main reason given by western radicals – including many on this board for ignoring the assassination of the deposed Iraqi president is the crimes against humanity he has allegedly committed. How many of these 'left’ activists then would welcome a Chinese invasion of the British Isles, the sacking of British cities, the incarceration and torture of tens of thousands of English youths in concentration camps scattered along the Yorkshire Dales, the murder of a million British citizens (the equivalent of the Iraq dead) if the reason Beijing gave for the invasion was to arrest, try and execute Tony Blair for the limitless war crimes he has directly and indirectly carried out in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine over the last three years – killing in Iraq alone (in 3 years) more than Saddam killed in 35.

Saddam Hussein has not been tried; he has been executed by the west’s leaders, while their 'radical’ sons look the other way. If a serial killer was brought to trial in the UK and during the trial three of his defence lawyers were kidnapped, tortured and murdered, (clearly by state agents) the media lens message board for one will be heaving with anger and righteous fury, but now there is only silence.

Saddam Hussein was a tyrant, but as president of Iraq, he represented something which nobody ever talks about these days, the sovereignty of his nation, by his judicial murder by a foreign invader the sovereignty of every poor third world nation has just been executed. The reason why the left in the west cares so little about that is because the sovereignty of poor nations is as much a threat to them as it is to their ruling circles.

The multi billion pound human rights/NGO industry for one (the new missionaries) are as dominant in the third world as any multinational, and in many ways even more powerful, since they seduce the minds of the natives buying up activists by the barrel load, feeding them with inconsequential facetious drivel about 'democracy’ and 'human rights’ all the better to cement the west’s moral and ideological supremacy over the natives.

Trade unions from the west struggle to organise in the third world to ensure the starving do not go beyond the level of loyal opposition to the western banks and companies that impose the crucifix of hunger on their children. Even the far left get in on the act with an assortment of 'Mac’Trotskyist groups fighting for the 'world revolution’ creating so called internationals - a global franchise they dress up as fraternity. The headquarters of the 'world revolution’ sharing its capital with that of world finance.

The primary contradiction for the last 500 years has not been between classes but between nations, the poor and the rich ones. It has been a struggle by the west to dominate and control the rest of humanity. While the ordinary people in the west do not participate in the oppression willingly, many of them share the same patronising and superior attitudes of their leaders. Thus even when they support the struggles of the oppressed in the poor world it is with conditions and qualifications that are never applied to them when they face similar circumstances.

It is this ingrained and unconscious superiority that made then overlook the humiliation of saddam – checking his hair on camera for lice, something they would have baulked at if it had probably been done on the German Herman Goring – who was treated with great personal dignity – in full uniform and well groomed throughout the trial at Nuremberg as was Slobodan Milosevic another 'northern tyrant.

People fighting against imperialist enslavement in the poor world should accept the support of western radicals whenever it is forthcoming but should not subordinate the narrative of their struggle to the 'friends of the people’

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