Saturday, December 09, 2006


Free Saddam!! Stop the Humiliation!!

David Ignatius and Fareed Zakaria head up something called PostGlobal: A Conversation on Global Issues over at PostGlobal purports to bring in different views from around the world commenting on specific issues of the day. Mostly it just seems to inform us that poorly written Op-Eds are not just a US thing.

PostGlobal asks the following:

“If the American era in the Middle East is ending, as argued by some analysts, what is likely to replace it? Chaos? Self-determination? Iranian hegemony? A new caliphate?”

First responder is one Bashir Goth, described as "a veteran journalist, freelance writer, the first Somali blogger and editor of a leading news website." His response, The Apocalyptic Whistle, was as unserious a piece as I’ve read in years (with all due respects to Paul Krugman and the Baltimore Sun). It deserves to be ignored yet...I feel compelled to comment. One part in particular stood out:

“A release of Saddam Hussein, giving him an exile in Venezuala, Cuba, Zimbabwe, or North Korea may also help to calm down the Iraqi Sunnis who feel humiliated every day by the way their former leader is being treated. It will also show Bush's atonement for waging a domestically unpopular and internationally unjust war on the basis of lies and deceit.”

This is all about Sunni humiliation over Saddam’s treatment? Maybe we should be shipping over therapists to help these poor people work through such issues. I simply cannot take seriously such commentary. However, he may be coming at this from personal experience since Somalians tend to be of Sunni-orientation. Maybe he feels Hussein's pain.

Still, any humiliation Sunni’s are currently feeling (and honestly, I cannot remember reading of this as any kind of large scale reaction) would be instantly dwarfed by Shiite and Kurdish anger were Saddam to traipse away to Cuba to spend his final days commiserating with fellow wide-scale murderer, Fidel Castro during his, hopefully, final days.

More remarkable is the link he provides as a back up to his reference to the President’s “lies and deceit” as a basis for going to war. Here’s the gist of his smoking gun:

“Former US secretary of state Colin Powell has expressed his deep regret that much of the information he gave to the United Nations about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction was wrong. …

“'But at the time we had every reason to believe that it was true. I spent a lot of time with the CIA sourcing the information before I gave that speech,' he said.” Powell regrets WMD speech

The only lies and deceit referred to in the article are those of Saddam Hussein:

“'If Saddam Hussein had come forward with a full and complete declaration and he had not thrown the UN inspectors out, a war could have been avoided.'”

But apparently for Mr. Goth, no amount of lies and deceit – not to mention oil-for-food plundering and the systematic murder of many of your countrymen – should subject anyone to such mistreatment as has been experienced by Saddam.

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