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Charlie Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:10 PM
Original message
Iraqi Government to probe filming of Saddam hanging
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/MAC171273.htm

BAGHDAD, Jan 1 (Reuters) - The Iraqi government launched an inquiry on Monday into how guards filmed and taunted Saddam Hussein on the gallows, turning his execution into a televised spectacle that has inflamed sectarian anger.

News of the ousted strongman's death on Saturday and of his treatment by officials of the Shi'ite-led government was blamed by one witness for sparking a prison riot among mainly Sunni Arab inmates at a jail near the northern city of Mosul.

An adviser to Maliki, Sami al-Askari, told Reuters: "There were a few guards who shouted slogans that were inappropriate and that's now the subject of a government investigation."

The government released video showing the hangman chatting to a composed Saddam as he placed the noose round his neck.

But mobile phone footage on the Web showed guards shouting "Go to hell!", chanting the name of a Shi'ite militia leader and exchanging insults with Saddam before he fell through the trap in mid-prayer and his body swung, broken-necked, on the rope.
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mirandapriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. The entire things was handled in a barbaric way
and it scares the hell out of me, because George Bush and Co are the ones who are behind it.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. yes, the WH footprints are all over it, even as they deny it.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yeah, like they really care! This is a Bush/Maliki spin.
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Gee.......I thought the Iraqi government carried out the hanging.
So now they will investigate themselves? Sounds like the US Congress!
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. sure they are
:eyes: Next thing they'll tell us is they had no idea people could take live shots of pic off a cell phone. Just another farce by the idiots in charge.
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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. Too little, too late.
The hanging shows that the Iraqi "government" is indistinguishable
from the Shi'ite militias that dominate it. I expect this probe
to end up like all the others concerning Shi'ite excesses.

Once again, the Bushies did not miss an opportunity to screw
things up. They've turned Saddam into a Sunni Arab martyr.
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Bluzmann57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The last sentence of your post is telling
Hussein was an evil guy and probably deserved what he got, although I don't believe in the death penalty. But this whole thing was nothing more than a circus. Yet another reason bush needs to go.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. They're the very definition of incompetence.
You'd think the one thing Bush would get right was an execution, but he's managed to f### that up as well.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. It looked like a lynching.
Perhaps it was a lynching.
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thecrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. That's what Riverbend has said about it...
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 06:34 PM by thecrow
riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

A Lynching...

It's official. Maliki and his people are psychopaths. This really is a new low. It's outrageous- an execution during Eid. Muslims all over the world (with the exception of Iran) are outraged. Eid is a time of peace, of putting aside quarrels and anger- at least for the duration of Eid.

This does not bode well for the coming year. No one imagined the madmen would actually do it during a religious holiday. It is religiously unacceptable and before, it was constitutionally illegal. We thought we'd at least get a few days of peace and some time to enjoy the Eid holiday, which coincides with the New Year this year. We've spent the first two days of a holy holiday watching bits and pieces of a sordid lynching.

America the savior After nearly four years and Bush's biggest achievement in Iraq has been a lynching. Bravo Americans.

Maliki has made the mistake of his life. His signature and unhidden glee at the whole execution, especially on the first day of Eid Al Adha (the Eid where millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca), will only do more to damage his already tattered reputation. He's like a vulture in a suit (or a balding weasel). It's almost embarrassing. I kept expecting Muwafaq Al Rubaii to run over and wipe the drool from the corner of his mouth as he signed for the execution. Are these the people who represent the New Iraq? We're in so much more trouble than I ever thought.

And no- not the celebrations BBC are claiming. With the exception of a few areas, the streets are empty.

Now we come to CNN. Shame on you CNN journalists- you're getting lazy. The least you can do is get the last words correct when you write a story about an execution. Your articles are read the world over and will go down in history as references. You people are the biggest news network in the world- the least you can do is spend some money on a decent translator. Saddam's last words were NOT "Muqtada Al Sadr" as Munir Haddad claimed, according to the article below. If anyone had seen at least part of the video they showed on TV, you'd know that.

"A witness, Iraqi Judge Munir Haddad, said that one of the executioners told Hussein that the former dictator had destroyed Iraq, which sparked an argument that was joined by several government officials in the room.

As a noose was tightened around Hussein's neck, one of the executioners yelled "long live Muqtada al-Sadr," Haddad said, referring to the powerful anti-American Shiite religious leader.

Hussein, a Sunni, uttered one last phrase before he died, saying "Muqtada al-Sadr" in a mocking tone, according to Haddad's account."

From the video that was leaked, it was not an executioner who yelled "long live Muqtada al-Sadr". See, this is another low the Maliki government sunk to- they had some hecklers conveniently standing by during the execution. Maliki claimed they were "some witnesses from the trial", but they were, very obviously, hecklers. The moment the noose was around Saddam's neck, they began chanting, in unison, "God's prayers be on Mohamed and on Mohamed's family" Something else I didn't quite catch (but it was very coordinated), and then "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada!" One of them called out to Saddam, "Go to hell" (in Arabic). Saddam looked down disdainfully and answered "Heya hay il marjala?" which is basically saying, "Is this your manhood?".

Someone half-heartedly called out to the hecklers, "I beg you, I beg you- the man is being executed!" They were slightly quieter and then Saddam stood and said, "Ashadu an la ilaha ila Allah, wa ashhadu ana Mohammedun rasool Allah" Which means, "I witness there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is His messenger." These are the words a Muslim (Sunnis and Shia alike) should say on their deathbed. He repeated this one more time, very clearly, but before he could finish it, he was lynched.

So, no, CNN, his last words were not "Muqtada Al Sadr" in a mocking tone- just thought someone should clear that up. (Really people, six of you contributed to that article!)

Then again, one could argue that it was a judge who gave them that false information. A judge on the Iraqi appeals court- one of the judges who ratified the execution order. Everyone knows Iraqi judges under American tutelage never lie- that explains CNN's confusion.

Muwafaq Al Rubai was said he was "weak and frightened". Apparently, Rubai saw a different lynching because according to the video they leaked, he didn't look frightened at all. His voice didn't shake and he refused to put on the black hood. He looked resigned to his fate, and during the heckling he looked as defiant as ever. (It's quite a contrast to Muhsin Abdul Hameed's public hysterics last year when the Americans raided his home.)

It's one thing to have militias participating in killings. This is allegedly the democracy the Americans flaunt. Is this how bloodthirsty and frightening we've become? Is this what Iraq stands for now? Executions? I'm sure the rest of the Arab countries will be impressed.

One of the most advanced countries in the world did not help to reconstruct Iraq, they didn't even help produce a decent constitution. They did, however, contribute nicely to a kangaroo court and a lynching. A lynching shall go down in history as America's biggest accomplishment in Iraq. So who's next? Who hangs for the hundreds of thousands who've died as a direct result of this war and occupation? Bush? Blair? Maliki? Jaffari? Allawi? Chalabi?

2006 has definitely been representative of Maliki and his government- killings like never before and a lynching to end it properly. Death and destruction everywhere. I'm so tired of all of this


- posted by river @ 10:12 PM
Friday, December 29, 2006

End of Another Year...

You know your country is in trouble when:
The UN has to open a special branch just to keep track of the chaos and bloodshed, UNAMI.
Abovementioned branch cannot be run from your country.
The politicians who worked to put your country in this sorry state can no longer be found inside of, or anywhere near, its borders.
The only thing the US and Iran can agree about is the deteriorating state of your nation.
An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country's 'Golden Years'.
Your country is purportedly 'selling' 2 million barrels of oil a day, but you are standing in line for 4 hours for black market gasoline for the generator.
For every 5 hours of no electricity, you get one hour of public electricity and then the government announces it's going to cut back on providing that hour.
Politicians who supported the war spend tv time debating whether it is 'sectarian bloodshed' or 'civil war'.
People consider themselves lucky if they can actually identify the corpse of the relative that's been missing for two weeks.

A day in the life of the average Iraqi has been reduced to identifying corpses, avoiding car bombs and attempting to keep track of which family members have been detained, which ones have been exiled and which ones have been abducted.

2006 has been, decidedly, the worst year yet. No- really. The magnitude of this war and occupation is only now hitting the country full force. It's like having a big piece of hard, dry earth you are determined to break apart. You drive in the first stake in the form of an infrastructure damaged with missiles and the newest in arms technology, the first cracks begin to form. Several smaller stakes come in the form of politicians like Chalabi, Al Hakim, Talbani, Pachachi, Allawi and Maliki. The cracks slowly begin to multiply and stretch across the once solid piece of earth, reaching out towards its edges like so many skeletal hands. And you apply pressure. You surround it from all sides and push and pull. Slowly, but surely, it begins coming apart- a chip here, a chunk there.

That is Iraq right now. The Americans have done a fine job of working to break it apart. This last year has nearly everyone convinced that that was the plan right from the start. There were too many blunders for them to actually have been, simply, blunders. The 'mistakes' were too catastrophic. The people the Bush administration chose to support and promote were openly and publicly terrible- from the conman and embezzler Chalabi, to the terrorist Jaffari, to the militia man Maliki. The decisions, like disbanding the Iraqi army, abolishing the original constitution, and allowing militias to take over Iraqi security were too damaging to be anything but intentional.

The question now is, but why? I really have been asking myself that these last few days. What does America possibly gain by damaging Iraq to this extent? I'm certain only raving idiots still believe this war and occupation were about WMD or an actual fear of Saddam.

Al Qaeda? That's laughable. Bush has effectively created more terrorists in Iraq these last 4 years than Osama could have created in 10 different terrorist camps in the distant hills of Afghanistan. Our children now play games of 'sniper' and 'jihadi', pretending that one hit an American soldier between the eyes and this one overturned a Humvee.

This last year especially has been a turning point. Nearly every Iraqi has lost so much. So much. There's no way to describe the loss we've experienced with this war and occupation. There are no words to relay the feelings that come with the knowledge that daily almost 40 corpses are found in different states of decay and mutilation. There is no compensation for the dense, black cloud of fear that hangs over the head of every Iraqi. Fear of things so out of ones hands, it borders on the ridiculous- like whether your name is 'too Sunni' or 'too Shia'. Fear of the larger things- like the Americans in the tank, the police patrolling your area in black bandanas and green banners, and the Iraqi soldiers wearing black masks at the checkpoint.

Again, I can't help but ask myself why this was all done? What was the point of breaking Iraq so that it was beyond repair? Iran seems to be the only gainer. Their presence in Iraq is so well-established, publicly criticizing a cleric or ayatollah verges on suicide. Has the situation gone so beyond America that it is now irretrievable? Or was this a part of the plan all along? My head aches just posing the questions.


What has me most puzzled right now is: why add fuel to the fire? Sunnis and moderate Shia are being chased out of the larger cities in the south and the capital. Baghdad is being torn apart with Shia leaving Sunni areas and Sunnis leaving Shia areas- some under threat and some in fear of attacks. People are being openly shot at check points or in drive by killings Many colleges have stopped classes. Thousands of Iraqis no longer send their children to school- it's just not safe.


Why make things worse by insisting on Saddam's execution now? Who gains if they hang Saddam? Iran, naturally, but who else? There is a real fear that this execution will be the final blow that will shatter Iraq. Some Sunni and Shia tribes have threatened to arm their members against the Americans if Saddam is executed. Iraqis in general are watching closely to see what happens next, and quietly preparing for the worst.

This is because now, Saddam no longer represents himself or his regime. Through the constant insistence of American war propaganda, Saddam is now representative of all Sunni Arabs (never mind most of his government were Shia). The Americans, through their speeches and news articles and Iraqi Puppets, have made it very clear that they consider him to personify Sunni Arab resistance to the occupation. Basically, with this execution, what the Americans are saying is "Look- Sunni Arabs- this is your man, we all know this. We're hanging him- he symbolizes you." And make no mistake about it, this trial and verdict and execution are 100% American. Some of the actors were Iraqi enough, but the production, direction and montage was pure Hollywood (though low-budget, if you ask me).

That is, of course, why Talbani doesn't want to sign his death penalty- not because the mob man suddenly grew a conscience, but because he doesn't want to be the one who does the hanging- he won't be able to travel far away enough if he does that.

Maliki's government couldn't contain their glee. They announced the ratification of the execution order before the actual court did. A few nights ago, some American news program interviewed Maliki's bureau chief, Basim Al-Hassani who was speaking in accented American English about the upcoming execution like it was a carnival he'd be attending. He sat, looking sleazy and not a little bit ridiculous, his dialogue interspersed with 'gonna', 'gotta' and 'wanna'... Which happens, I suppose, when the only people you mix with are American soldiers.


My only conclusion is that the Americans want to withdraw from Iraq, but would like to leave behind a full-fledged civil war because it wouldn't look good if they withdraw and things actually begin to improve, would it?

Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.

Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue.


Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman he's wanted to marry for the last six years? I don't think so.

Just because Americans die in smaller numbers, it doesn't make them more significant, does it?


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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
11. who do they think they are fooling???
the 'leak' was so very deliberate and orchestrated. yet one more calculated provocation in fact.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. Iraq PM orders probe into Saddam video

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070102/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

Iraq PM orders probe into Saddam video

By LAUREN FRAYER, Associated Press Writer 8 minutes ago

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The prime minister on Tuesday ordered an investigation into the conduct of
Saddam Hussein's execution in a bid to learn who among the witnesses taunted the former Iraqi leader in the last minutes of his life, then leaked a cell phone video.


The video contained audio of some witnesses taunting Saddam with chants of "Muqtada" and of the former leader responding that his tormentors were being unmanly. It surfaced on Al-Jazeera television and the Internet late Saturday, the day Saddam was hanged.

The taunts referred to Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who is a main backer of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite leader who pushed for a quick execution of Saddam.

Al-Jazeera said when it broadcast the video that it was exclusive to them. The pictures appeared on the Web at about the same time.

............
The video was particularly inflammatory not only because the disrespectful chanting was clearly audible, but also because it showed Saddam's death as he dropped through the gallows floor and then swung by his neck, his eyes open and neck twisted dramatically to his right.

...........
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ckramer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Yeah, as if that matters
Eye rolling
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shain from kane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-02-07 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Madame DeFarge.
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