Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saddam Hussein - A Life Less Ordinary!

First of all I don't agree with the broadcasting of the death video of Saddam Hussein and the timing of his hanging (Eid Al-Azha). I thought he already received a token of the same treatment he meted to his countrymen, friends, household and his neigbours. Even if he was not hanged he got all his punishment. He was humiliated (like he humiliated some Islamic scholars in his own country), his sons were killed while he was alive (recall Dujail and Halabja massacre, and the killing of his son-in-laws), he was a fugitive in his own country and his family had to flee Iraq (like those who opposed him during his reign of terror), and finally his own people deserted him in time of his crisis (that's how he was caught).

The sad truth
* Shortly after assuming presidency Saddam Hussein convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on July 22, 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped, Saddam claimed to have found spies and conspirators within the Ba'ath Party and read out the names of 68 members that he alleged to be such fifth columnists. These members were forcibly removed from the room one by one and taken into custody. They were later put on trial, and 22 were sentenced to execution for treason.

* He created a Western-style legal system, making Iraq the only country in the Persian Gulf region not ruled according to traditional Islamic law (Sharia). Saddam abolished the Sharia law courts, except for personal injury claims.

* Iraq invaded Iran on September 22, 1980. A war that saw some 1.7 million Muslims die on both sides. By 1982, Iraq was on the defensive and looking for ways to end the war. At this point, Saddam asked his ministers for candid advice. Health Minister Riyadh Ibrahim suggested that Saddam temporarily step down to promote peace negotiations. Ibrahim’s chopped up body was delivered to his wife the next day.

* He was involved in the 1982 killings of 148 Shia Muslims in the northern Iraqi town of Dujail following an assassination attempt on him the same year.

* Hussein married Samira Shahbandar (rumored to have been his favourite) in 1986 after forcing her husband to divorce her, and Nidal al-Hamdani, the general manager of the Solar Energy Research Center in the Council of Scientific Research, whose husband was apparently also persuaded to divorce his wife.

* On March 16, 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja was attacked with a mix of mustard gas and nerve agents, killing 5,000 civilians, and maiming, disfiguring, or seriously debilitating 10,000 more.

* Saddam borrowed a tremendous amount of money from other Arab states during the 1980s to fight Iran and was stuck with a war debt of roughly $75 billion. The $30 billion he owed to Kuwait saw Saddam invading his wealthy neighbour in 1990. Billions were lost in those blazing oil infernos - The loss was all Kuwait!

* In August 1995, Rana (Saddam's daughter) and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Raghad (Saddam's daughter) and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Majid brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors. Saddam had made it clear that although pardoned, they would lose all status and would not receive any protection.

He had more blood on his hand than any other leader in the Muslim world in recent memory.
"We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people."
-------------------------------------------Surah Al-Maeda (Chapter 5), Verse 32

Surely God knows best!

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