Monday, January 15, 2007

Saddam's Half-Brother, with Chief Ba'thist Judge Executed

Only weeks after the secretly filmed execution by hanging of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Husayn al-Tikriti, early reports suggest that his half-brother and former Iraqi Ba'thist intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti [RIGHT, with Saddam] and Awad Hamad al-Bandar, once the chief judge on the puppet Revolutionary Court, have also been executed. Both were convicted in the same trial as their former leader after being found to have been intimately complicit in carrying out the mass arrests, torture, and execution/murder of 148 Shi'i Iraqi civilians from the town of Dujayl in 1982. The executions come despite a request by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a major Kurdish political leader, last week to stay their executions for the time being.

Al-Tikriti and al-Bandar's execution comes despite severe condemnation of the alleged "unfairness" of the trial by international human rights groups and self-righteous Sunni Arab autocrats such as Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the corrupt Persian Gulf princes and "sultans" who are in truth more concerned about the possible precedent set by Saddam's execution. The Sunni Arab response, which has included the elevation of the thoroughly secular Saddam to a "religious" martyr are ridiculous and mind-boggling. Despite the fact that he ordered the murders of hundreds of thousands of people including Sunni Arabs and Kurds, many of the region's Sunni Arabs have held him up as a hero.
Although I share concerns about the timing and method of Saddam's execution [LEFT], the elevation of such a man by many Sunni Arabs is absolutely mind boggling and strongly hints of an increasing desperation among their community at the rising political fortunes of Shi'i Arabs in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf and the continued presence of an increasingly powerful Shi'i-majority Iran to the east. Sunni Arabs who are now so concerned about Iraqi Sunni Arab rights, which are importantly, did not seem to care when Shi'i Muslim Arabs and Sunni Muslim Kurds and Turkmen were being murdered by Saddam....A word for that, HYPOCRISY.

Saddam should not have been executed until after the current trial for the brutal suppression his security forces and military carried out against the Kurds in the late 1980s (the Anfal Campaign). His execution was also carried out in an extremely unprofessional manner. However, in my view he deserved to be executed for the horrific crimes that he unleashed for over a quarter-century on the Iraqi people. Al-Bandar [RIGHT], as chief revolutionary court judge, was a rubber stamp for Ba'thist crimes. Both Barzan al-Tikriti and al-Bandar were closely involved in the executions in Dujayl, though they were also complicit in a laundry list of other Iraqi Ba'thist crimes against humanity including mass arrests, torture, and murder.
None of my tears will be shed for these men.

To read a report of the executions, see:

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