Saddam, a Sacrificial Lamb


Umar Bello



"It will not increase our moral authority in the world. ... Saddam's heinous crimes against humanity can never be diminished, but he was our ally while he was doing it. ... Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth will make us blind and disfigured. ... Saddam as a war trophy only deepens the catastrophe to which we are indelibly linked."  The Rev. Jesse Jackson.


The firebrand Reverend father has hit the point. Saddam's murder which was seen as a war booty in a battle America is desperately seeking for victory has failed again as others in this line of infantile decisions right from the occupation of Iraq. This one as others only deepens the crisis and exposes the naive gumption of the 'Bushes' behind this war which has been nothing but phyrric for America. The impetuous calculations that hare-brained 'Bushes' thought would land profit on America's moral balance Sheet only turned in bankruptcy and made the object that they had sought to sacrifice, a hero and a martyr.


Saddam at the gallows was victorious to even his detractors. He stood confident and unwavering just as he did throughout his kangaroo trials. He was not cowed by the taunts and heckles of the lily-livered 'executioners' whose voices were only raised while hooded and while about to take the life of a trussed up 70-year old man. Saddam stole another victory by asking them ''Is this bravery?" He mounted the trapdoor erect and tall refusing to wear the death mask as if wanting to behold death itself then said the Kalimatus shahada in a voice that was strong and unshaken and that did not betray at all any lachrymal remorse about his death. He left the world a cleansed man having sought forgiveness for his wrongdoings and having affirmed his faith in his religion!


However, killing him on the first day of the Eid-el Adha was not only a literal suggestion that he was a sacrificial lamb but a figurative one. Saddam's quick extra judicial murder was meant, as maintained by Robert Fisk, to quickly hide the star witness in America's complicity in nearly all the crises in Iraq during his reign. The almalki's assertion that his death has closed a dark chapter in the past is clearly a clincher! Yes it does, for he has taken with him to the grave all the atrocities of the past as not only the sacrificial lamb but the scapegoat. No question again would arise about the Halabja massacre or the Iranian attacks or the massacre of Iraqi communists which America spearheaded using him as a pair of gloves.  


All Injustices have been redressed and addressed is the fact that they wanted rammed on our throat. The Dujail case on which he was murdered was the only case in which America had no hand thereby avoiding any attempt at unruffling the 'well-preened' feathers of Uncle-Tom to the world theatre. But the manner of the trial and the execution of sentence has raised more questions than it has sought to suppress. Those issues that they are eagar to bury deep have gotten fertile grounds from which to sprout fresh and ripe because what the world saw clearly was both a revenge murder and a quick ploy to zip up the ugly past in which his santimnious executioners were great actors not an execution of a judicial sentence. They saw a lynch-mob in the unchoreographed video shouting political statements not professional hangmen carrying out a judicial sentence which is also to drive home the fact that that 'execution' is a travesty of justice.


Moreover, in a world not of upturned values, the gallows best fits the Olmerts and Bushes of this world. Lives lost in the Middle East as a result of American policies run into millions. In Iraq alone, about 650000 lives have so far been lost since the American occupation. Losing lives in dozens daily in Iraq is just as normal as having a dinner.  This is not to talk of the lives lost since the occupation of Palestine. Nemesis is not too far.