Justice is impossible under occupation
Published Nov 6, 2006 11:05 AM
Workers World statement on the verdict against
The U.S.-machinated “trial” and the Nov. 5 guilty
verdict and death sentence against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
and two of his colleagues are nothing more nor less than a
continued attack on the people of Iraq and all the peoples of the
region threatened by U.S. imperialism. No good for the people can
come from a U.S.-dictated punishment of the Iraqi president. The
“trial” is a frontal attack by the conquering power
on Iraqi sovereignty at a time when the 2003 U.S. conquest of
Iraq is collapsing under the determined assault of Iraqi
The whole conduct of the Baghdad kangaroo court was intended
to justify the completely illegal and aggressive U.S.-British
assault on Iraq in 2003 and their subsequent seizure of the Iraqi
people’s resources, especially Iraq's oil and natural
gas reserves. No one should be deceived that it has anything to
do with the charges in the indictment against the Ba’athist
leaders. With Washington responsible for the deaths of over 2
million Iraqis during 16 years of wars and sanctions, it should
be apparent to all that the verdict has nothing to do with U.S.
concern for the Iraqi people.
Even if the trial had been conducted in an impeccably fair
manner in all its details, the court and the charges could not
stand up as legitimate. But its conduct was far from fair. There
is no legal basis for such a trial under the Geneva Conventions.
The acts the prisoners were charged with did not take place as
acts of war.
Three defense lawyers were among nine people associated with
the trial who were assassinated. Another defense lawyer was
wounded. A judge was replaced when others decided he was too soft
on Saddam Hussein and gave him too much opportunity to speak in
Even Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International’s
Middle East and North Africa Program and no friend of Hussein,
said of the verdict, “We don't consider it was a fair
process. The court was not impartial. There were not adequate
steps taken to protect the security of defense lawyers and
Given the obvious bias of the court, the verdict was no
surprise. Nor was its timing, as the administration of President
George W. Bush is presenting this news as a victory for the
occupation forces and for his Iraq policy.
The timing of the verdict shows the utter subservience of the
court to the most minute demands of imperialism. The timing alone
should disqualify the verdict, inasmuch as it is prima facie
evidence that the proceeding was closely coordinated with Bush,
showing the dominant political role of Washington. It
demonstrates the impossibility of there being any judicial
validity behind the sentence. If Bush dictated the timing, it
must be presumed that he also had a hand in the verdict.
Bush has already welcomed the verdict as a “milestone in
the Iraqi people’s efforts.” He says this when the
disastrous Iraq war and occupation has become a millstone around
the neck of the Republican Party in its attempt to maintain
control of the Congress in the midterm elections.
It should also be clear that this verdict has nothing to do
with evaluating Saddam Hussein’s historic role. An
extensive Workers World Party statement at the time of
Hussein’s capture in December 2003 evaluated his often
contradictory historic role and especially the negative impact of
his government’s decision to “wage a reactionary
bourgeois war of conquest against Iran.”
(workers.org/ww/2004/hussein1225.php) The U.S. took advantage of
that war in the 1980s to the detriment of both Iran and Iraq. At
this time, too, none of the forces struggling against imperialism
for sovereignty and self-determination in the Gulf region can
gain from the U.S.-imposed verdict against Saddam Hussein.
While the verdict’s impact on the Iraq occupation and on
the U.S. elections is still a question, there is no doubt that
anyone who opposes the U.S. war on the people of the Middle East
should also stand up and protest Washington’s criminal
attempt to impose an illegal verdict against an individual who
represented the sovereign state that U.S. imperialism is
attempting to conquer.
The verdict will bring no justice to Iraq. As Workers World
said in its Dec. 25, 2003, statement, “Justice for the
Iraqi people will begin on the day that the war criminals in
Washington are put on trial.”
Workers World, Nov. 5, 2006
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