Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam sentenced to death

Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq, has been found guilty for his part in the massacre in Dujail in 1982. The judge in the case then handed him a death sentence which may be carried out within two weeks [CNN]. However an automatic appeal may delay proceedings. As the judge read the verdict, Saddam shouted “down with the invaders, we are the people of this land, I curse the agents, God is Great, you are a mouthpiece of colonialism… “. After several minutes the judge ordered he be removed from the court. “Take him out” he said. The cameras did not show his removal, but Saddam was heard to shout “long live Iraq, long live the nation”. Then he left with a smile on his face [BBC]

Outside the court the US and Iraqi military are braced for any back-clash. But initial scenes on the streets of Baghdad were ones of jubilation. Saddam’s demise leaves little comfort for a country in turmoil since Operation Iraqi Freedom was initiated.
Nuri al Maliki, the new Iraqi Prime Minister said the “Saddam era is over” and continued by saying, “There will be no more mass graves”. However thousands lie in unmarked graves since Saddam was deposed. Militia on both sides have left thousands dead in kidnappings, executions, shootings, and suicide bombings. Others have been killed and maimed by coalition attacks. Others are said to be suffering effects of Depleted Uranium poisoning. D.U is used for armour piercing shells by some coalition forces [The MoD denies D.U has any health risks]. Security is almost non existence since the invasion and life for the average Iraqi is uncertain.
Over 2000 took to the streets in Tikrit, Saddam’s home town, firing guns in the air and carrying pictures in support of their former leader.

World reaction was general in full support of the verdict and sentence. Iran said it supported the judgement. The White House called the judgement “a good day for the Iraqi people” [Sky News / BBC]. But the country slides further and further towards civil war with no end in sight. Posted by Picasa

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