Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another lapse of consciousness: "Saddam's Cousin, 14 Others On Trial For Crimes Against Humanity"

That they did it is probably not in doubt. The people on trial are those responsible for the suppression of a Shiite uprising in Iraq after the Gulf War, more on which will be said later. But what's ironic, and what signals a lapse of consciousness on the part of the AP, is that a trial for "Crimes against humanity" is taking place in Iraq. Not because of the Iraq war but because if they had been apprehended by anyone else this would be taking place in the Hague, where Slobodan Milosevich was tried. However, we in the U.S., or at least are government, don't believe in international tribunals set up under UN auspices, and we've in fact signed bilateral agreements with many countries to prevent U.S. citizens from ever going to the International Criminal Court if they commit crimes there.

So we have the scene of a country that's spurned international cooperation for the prosecution of crimes against humanity running it's own little court in Iraq, trying former Hussein government figures that are both likely guilty and whose crimes fit the U.S. propaganda spread in the run up to the Iraq war, with people like the AP writer (whose article is available through the title link) piously talking about what a solemn day this is, where these people are actually being brought to justice in a court of law. It's kind of like the taking down of the Saddam statue: it looks dramatic up front but if you move the camera back and get a wider view you see the scam and obfuscation of it.

And about the Shiite uprising? Well, there's a little something that the reporter failed to mention, which is that the U.S. encouraged the Shi'ia to rise up after the Gulf War but at the crucial moment withdrew support, leaving the people who rose up to be butchered.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How quickly people forget history….a few people manage to pay attention and learn some of its lessons and then a new generation of young people comes along and thinks they know everything… and it starts all over again.

What is forgotten, however, is tremendous.

Yes, we encouraged the shiites to rise up against sadaam after the first gulf war … and then we withdrew suppport and they were massacred.

But very few remember.