Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Execution of Saddam Hussein

In a Washington Post article (30 December 2006), on the death of Saddam Hussein, a concluding paragraph had this sentence: ‘Nevertheless, the year-long trial further deepened Iraq's sectarian divide, as Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds reacted to Hussein's case along the fault lines of sect and history.’

I congratulate the author of this sentence. Yes, Hussein was executed but this means he will not be brought to justice for the remainder of his crimes–namely the genocide of Kurds. Justice is done only when justice is seen to be done. And I fear that Hussein's death will prevent the full disclosure of other human rights abuses that occurred during his regime. Executing Hussein further occludes the blind eye that the Reagan, Carter, and both Bush governments turned toward these human rights abuses because it served their foreign policy objectives to do so.

Furthermore, we, as individuals, chose to ignore what our government was doing in our name. We did so because our government’s activities in that region satisfied our collective need for its supply of oil. Much injustice has been done and will continue to be done to maintain our energy-dependent lifestyle. Hussain’s death will not resolve this dilemma.

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