Saddam Hanging and Arab Culpability
Yushau A. Shuaib
The news came as a shocker as I was just reflecting on memorable incidence on Christmas day concerning a live hausa programme on a local radio station in Abuja, Vision FM, where Muslims were calling in to congratulate Nigerian Christians on the Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ in quit emotional tribute. The programme was anchored by Madina Dauda, a VOA correspondent in Abuja with Pastor Ayo Adeola, as the guest. The unedited interaction was so lively and exciting that gives hope of Nigeria of my dream where Christians and Muslims respect and love one another in act and deed. I was expecting a similar broadcast programme on this day when Muslims celebrate the Eid-Kabir when the news came that Saddam Husseini was hanged by his people.
The former Iraqi leader, Saddam Al-Majid Hussein was hanged on a day so special to Muslim world. The day of Eid-Adha or Kabir where Muslims are enjoined to sacrifice animals for the celebration but yet an Arab leader was sacrifice, hanged to death probably for global celebration, by no other than Iraqi leaders since America has washed her hand from the timing and hanging. So who do we blame for this?
It would be recalled that Saddam Hussein was charged to court, after his arrest in 2004, on the allegation of crimes against humanity. The tribunal concentrated its trial on the last regime’s military campaigns and the suppression of revolts by Kurds and Shias after the Gulf war. The jury also interrogated him on crimes committed during the war with Islamic Republic of Iran and the invasion of Kuwait.
The trial was predetermined by the way and manner American government has staged managed some of the unfolding events with the imposition of surrogate rulers and judges. As it was argued before, the legitimacy of the interim and subsequent governments of Iraq after the conquer by Americans, just like the established court were questionable as there were no clear-cut basis on which constitution were to be used for the trial. The illegitimacy of the court is similar to the invasion and occupation of Iraq without any sanction by any rational international law. If justice must be done the America’s claim of Weapon of Mass Destruction as the genesis of the invasion must also be proved.
Before it handed over power to Iraqis, the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority had suspended the death penalty, which was immediately reinstated by the new regime. It shouldn’t be forgetting that President George Bush immediately after the capture of Saddam publicly declared that “He (Saddam) is a torturer, a murderer, they raped rooms. This is a disgusting tyrant who deserves justice, the ULTIMATE JUSTICE.” It is easy to conclude on the fate of their victim since technically Saddam was in the custody of the Coalition troop, while legally (I wonder what it means) he was within the jurisdiction of Iraqi government.
His first appearance in court, Saddam described the arraignment as confused theatrical performance and charged that President Bush is the real Criminal. But the irony of it all was that American government, Arab leaders and some European nations who supported him financially and equipped him militarily to fight his old war and executed those so-called atrocities, turned their back at him up to the period of his hanging. We call that in Nigeria USED and DUMPED.
If anything, fairness dictates that all parties in the latest atrocities in Iraq before the capture of its former leader must be arraigned. How many innocent Iraqis were killed through the Coalition Force aerial and ground bombardment; how many innocent souls were mauled after the invasion in the name of house-to-house search, how many children have broken and amputated limps; how many Iraqi prisoners in the detention camp of the Coalition forces were humiliated and shamed nakedly; how many resistant fighters and followers of Shiite Cleric Muqtada Sadr, were mercilessly bombarded even in the mosque? In fact how many atrocities committed against defenceless Iraqis can be listed against the superpower after the successful invasion and neocolonialism in the new millennium as Iraqis died in hundreds from sectarian violence daily.
The humiliation of Iraqis started when their former leaders was caught and his remorseful pictures were flashed by the western media who categorized his sins and using wicked nomenclatures such as dictator, tyrant to describe him even when a competent court of law was yet to prove him guilty in a fair trial. Following that were pictures of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and other shameful acts.
While one can list the ills also perpetrated by the so-called liberators, the Arab leaders should be blame for the indignity, humiliation and shame Iraq has gone through in the hand of their colonizers. It should be recalled that Arab leaders collaborated with some developed countries in encouraging the then Saddam Hussein, in the 80’s, to provoke, harass and attack non-Arab Muslim neighbors in the region. The Arab world supported Iraq against Iran, a non-Arab nation (Persian) in eight-year senseless war in their attempts to tame further Islamic revolution by Ayatollah Khomeini into monarchical kingdoms. The Arabs also ignored Iraq attacks in the 1980s on Kurds (non-Arab) who have strong base in Turkey.
It is incredible that Arabs with their ancestral creativity, celebrated bravery and legendary empires, are presently playing second fiddle in the global arena. While other nations were busy inventing new technologies and equipping themselves militarily and politically, Arab countries allowed their oil discovery to becloud their sense of reasoning as they engaged in importing flimsy items such as caned food, movies and clothes. Just imagine that Israel that annexed their cities in Palestine and the Golan Height in Syria is undisputable power to reckon with within the Middle East with latest technology in armaments and weaponry. Yet Israel’s population is as small as one of Arab capitals. That is why the Arab leaders are cowards to challenge Israel on the need for the liberation of the Palestinians.
The Arab world may unconsciously start to dig their own grave by giving tacit support for the invasion of their region, where foreign troops are fully armed and stationed. It is now easier for their nations to be forced and fall into the so-called western liberalization and democratization, probably like that of Iraqis as we have witnessed so far. Afterall, apart from Egypt, most Arab nations in the region are ruled by kings who own the assets and properties in their kingdoms.
Unfortunately when confronted by near defeat, Arab leaders who hobnobbed with the so-called infidels, employ religious sentiments to win sympathy of the large followers of Islamic faith. The word Arab-Sheik, which means a scholar or elderly person, has become synonymous with a wealthy Arab who spends extravagantly on women, expensive alcoholic wine, entertainment, automobile and delightedly waste huge fortunes on idle pastime and gambling.
Where are the Arabian nobility and bravery we read in the holy books and literature? The present generation has sold out their birthright. Even when others including non-Muslim nations were staging peaceful rallies and protests against the attack on Iraq sovereignty, most Arab countries kept mute, with some arresting potential demonstrators. When some of the Saddam’s family and aides sought asylum, their brotherly Arab nations, we were told, refused to grant them the offer before Syria came to their rescue. In fact it was Arabian elite within the Iraqis that exposed the location and hideout of Saddam and his children just for pecuniary inducement that is sourced from their lands by their colonizers. What a life of utter disgrace and moral turpitude will betrayers and traitors live even in the midst of opulence and artificial security?
Any Muslim who thinks supporting an Arab is protecting Islam must have a rethink. Islam is not a religion based on ethnicity, tribal marks, geographical location and colour of skin but a faith that promotes compassion, good conduct, and faithfulness to the truth, shared love, and mutual coexistence with others. If Republic of Germany, France and even the Vatican could condemn the attack on a Muslim nation and even some going extra length to condemn the death verdict on Saddam, while other Arab nations are cautious not to annoy the Super Liberators, one wonders who is more Islamic.
Yushau A. Shuaib
Wuye Estate, Abuja