Death of One Tyrant a Coverup of Crime by AnotherBy Wm. Terry Leichner
Jan. 01, 2007
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Once again the barbarians have succeeded in professing human dignity while ignoring human life's sanctity. My thoughts are filled with disgust as the so called civilized world revels in the hanging of Saddam Hussein yesterday.
Don't mistake my total distaste of the execution of Hussein for any alliance or sympathy for the tyrant killer. I just tire of the "morally superior" position of this nation (U.S.) when it comes to the administration's posturing around the capture, trial and execution of the man our government installed in the first place.
We did the same thing with Noriega in Panama and Diem in Vietnam. This names only a couple of many tyrants our nation has been responsible for bringing to power and maintaining in power at the expense of their own citizens.
Let's not forget the now infamous photo of Donald Rumsfeld warmly greeting Saddam back in the 1980's when it was ever so convenient to have a dictator in charge of a country with the second largest oil reserve in the world.
Let's not forget how we encouraged an uprising against Saddam after Gulf War I and then abandoned the rebels to be killed and tortured by his ruthless police.
Let's not forget when sanctions were in place, blocking even humanitarian aid such as medical supplies and water purification, Dick Cheney went around the rules that made it a crime to provide any supplies. By using the European branch of Halliburton (he was CEO at the time) Cheney helped supply Saddam with pipe for the oil fields. No doubt the costs were marked up and Halliburton made a tidy profit.
Meanwhile, let's not forget the hundreds of thousands of children who died as result of sanctions. The deaths could have been easily prevented had medical supplies and water treatment supplies been allowed.
Obviously the American government put more value on oil than the lives of a million Iraqi children. When people in groups like Voices in the Wilderness requested permission to enter Iraq to bring supplies they were denied. When Madeline Albright was informed of the dying children she dismissed it as the cost that had to be paid.
When Kathy Kelly of Voices went to Iraq independently the American government made threats of imprisoning her and handing out large monetary fines. Dick Cheney as Vice President of the United States is exempt from prosecution for his ventures into Iraq with Halliburton-Europe.
Let's also not forget the furor leading up to the war in Iraq about weapons of mass destruction. The American people were bombarded with the danger Saddam presented because of his WMD. As proof of this danger the Bush administration constantly pointed out Saddam gassed the Kurds in Northern Iraq.
What George W. Bush didn't tell the American people was how Saddam came to have any WMD's. Bush and his cronies failed to tell the American people what the American government knew of Saddam gassing the Kurds. They failed to admit the government knew in advance of the gassing and failed to intervene.
Time after time the government of the United States failed to intervene against the ruthless actions of Saddam. Saddam remained in power as long as he did because the American government viewed him as a stable opponent of the Iranian government that we feared was gaining too much influence in the oil rich Middle East.
The timing of Saddam's execution is classic Bush/Rove tactics. And let's not think the U.S. authorities didn't have some great influence on when the execution took place in the "Green Zone."
Bush, under tremendous pressure from almost seventy per cent of Americans disapproving of his Iraq policy, is scheduled to produce a "new" plan on Iraq once the holidays are over. He had his chief crony, Donald Rumsfeld, resign the position of Defense Secretary to calm the growing discontent of the masses.
Shortly after the approval of the new Secretary of Defense, reports emerged that Rumsfeld is now a chief "advisor" on the new Iraq policy. It's also become clear the criminal of the Vietnam/Cambodia fiasco, Henry Kissinger, is a chief "advisor" for Bush also.
So, once again diversion from the continued illegal and immoral acts of the Bush administration has been created. The hanging of Saddam Hussein has taken center stage. If violence has been fomented because of the execution it makes the diversion all that much better.
When the new plan for Iraq is announced following the holidays the major factor is going to be a call for increasing the number of American troops to "train" Iraqi forces. The "surge" of troop deployments will be only "short term" the "leaked" reports are saying. "Déjà vu, all over again….we've heard this before."
It is quite possible the number of American troops killed in Iraq will reach 3,000 before 2006 ends. Iraqis are dying at a rate of nearly 100 each day. The wounds of American troops continue and the devastation of Iraqi communities continues. It's clear the American occupation is the major reason for the escalated violence.
One has to question and object to the "new plan" that is simply an escalation of the "old plan". As an American combat veteran, I object to the continued slaughter of young American men and women. I object to the continued slaughter and disrespect of Iraqi citizens.
The execution of Saddam is convenient for George W. Bush and all the previous administrations during Saddam's rule. Killing him adds to the cover up of the truth about what has really taken place in Iraq over the past few decades.
American foreign policy in the Middle East has once again eliminated a tyrant imposed upon a nation by the American government to continue the hegemony of the American military-industrial complex.
The execution of Saddam is "mission accomplished" for George Bush in covering up ever increasing evidence of his illegal actions to usurp Iraqi rights to their own natural resources.
The execution is his continued message to the American people that we have the inalienable right to do what we want by any means necessary.
So, let us not pat ourselves on the back in congratulations for the hanging of the tyrant, Saddam. We haven't proved our morality or our great respect for life. We've proved just the opposite. We've proved our continued immoral foreign policy is designed to further our greed and power in the world. We've proved the lives of our own young and the innocent citizens of any nation are expendable to support lies, illegality and immorality. And we've proved our disdain and disrespect for human lives.
In today's news, parents of American troops killed are quoted as pleased with the execution because it gives meaning to the deaths of their children. Sadly, the death of Saddam only provides further proof of the tragic loss of their children to an illegal and unnecessary war.
As the song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" intones, "…when will they ever learn?"
Wm. Terry Leichner, RN
Wm. Terry Leichner is a founding member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War(VVAW)'s Denver chapter (1971). He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a combat infantryman in Vietnam (1967-1969). For more information, please visit www.combatvetsvisionsofpeace.com