Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/467/1931

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 December 2007

Saddam's execution

Frankenstein kills out of control monster

The rushed execution of Saddam Hussein has all the hallmarks of desperation. Bush needed some "good" news out of Iraq, particularly as any day now there will be the announcement of the 3,000th US military fatality in Iraq.

Robert Bechert, CWI

A key Shia faction in the Iraqi government, the Dawaa, wanted to show some "decisive" action in the midst of the chaos and death that today constitutes "normal" life in Iraq. Thus the execution did not wait for the end of Saddam's second trial for the 1988 gassing of thousands of Kurds in Halabja. The fact that Saddam was executed before the Halabja trial finished alienated many Kurds who feel that their oppression is being downplayed.

But it is obvious that Saddam's demise will not end the escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq. In the absence of a non-sectarian and multi-ethnic workers' movement Iraq is falling apart. On the scaffold Saddam's very last words, condemning the "Persians" while crying "long live Islam", were calculated to enflame the Shia-Sunni sectarian divisions.

Bush may hope to gain some kudos from Saddam's execution. But, while a majority of Iraqis will shed no tears for the former dictator, his death will probably mean increased Shia demands for the withdrawal of the US and British occupying forces.

Both Bush and Blair, given the obvious disastrous outcome of their "war of choice" in Iraq, have chosen not to overplay Saddam's execution. But secretly they are relieved that he is dead. As many have already commentated, so long as Saddam was alive Washington, London and many other governments faced the danger that far more details would emerge of how they backed Saddam up until his 1990 invasion of Kuwait. This is why Saddam was not charged with anything in relation to the 1980-88 war with Iran.

It is important that this imperialist support for Saddam is not forgotten because the nature of his overthrow, trial and execution has already led to him been seen, especially by Sunni Arabs, as an anti-imperialist fighter and now martyr.

The CWI was unflinching and active in its opposition to the US and British invasion of Iraq. We stated that this was an imperialist war aimed at giving a demonstration of US power and securing control over the Middle East and its oil supplies. All of Washington and London's propaganda about "democracy", "human rights" and "ending oppression" were cheap words.

Bush and Blair's craven attitude to the reactionary feudal dictatorship in Saudi Arabia demonstrates their hypocrisy. The British government talks about Saddam being made subject to the "rule of law", but only a few weeks ago Blair stopped a criminal investigation that would have exposed exact details of how the corrupt Saudi elite loot their own country. Bush and Blair sometimes speak about the "struggle for peace", but were silent, refusing to even call for a ceasefire, when their ally, the Israeli government, unleashed its onslaught against Lebanon earlier this year.

But the CWI's opposition to imperialism and its invasion did not mean support for Saddam's rule. We opposed the war, but did not support the continuation of Saddam's dictatorship. We argued that the only way forward for the Iraqi people would have been if they themselves overthrow Saddam and begun to build an Iraq ruled by workers and poor peasants. Today this remains the only option that can offer a way out of the horrors facing Iraqis today.

Saddam deserved to face trial, but a real trial organised by the Iraqi working people themselves that would have exposed not only all his crimes but also all those who supported him. Much is being said about a precedent being set as Saddam was the first leader to be convicted of "crimes against humanity". Yes, a precedent has been set and one of the tasks of the socialist movement when it is able to overthrow capitalism will be to put on public trial all the rotten, corrupt and brutal leaders from around the world. And prominent in the dock will be Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair and all the others who plunged the Iraqi people into a dark night of chaos and terror.

Two articles, although written by non-socialists, published in the Independent on Sunday (London) on 31 December 2006 give useful summaries of how Washington, London and other governments backed Saddam up until August 1990.

One is by Robert Fisk, "He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him" (http://news.independent.co.uk/ world/fisk/article2114403.ece), and the other is by Rupert Cornwell, "How Washington and London helped to create the monster they went to war to destroy" (http://news.independent.co.uk/ world/americas/article2114494.ece).

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 31 December 2007:

NHS Crisis: Turn anger into action

Teachers support day of action against health cuts

QEH Hospital - a victim of privatisation

NHS news


War and terrorism

Frankenstein kills out of control monster


Violence against women

Ipswich murders lifts lid on violent world


Workplace news and analysis

PCS: Vote 'Yes' against job cuts and low pay

Heroic struggle scores victory for Visteon workers

Victory for Glasgow's Council Workers in the Fight for Protection


Special feature

Privatisation, but not as we know it


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

The wealth gap widens


International socialist news and analysis

Good riddance to the 'butcher of Chile'


Obituary

JOHN HAMILTON Blairites re-write history


Socialist Party news and analysis

Private companies rule - and ruin

BNP fiasco but vigilance essential


Workplace analysis

TWGU merger: Build a fighting union

Mass meeting prepares for action

Protesting against fare increases

Leeds workers on strike to defend pensions


The Socialist Xmas quiz

The Socialist quiz


 

Home   |   The Socialist 31 December 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Iraq:

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

Imperialism:

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/10/17

Cleaners

Justice for Tube cleaners demo

11/10/17

Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

11/10/17

Carlisle

Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

11/10/17

Green

Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

11/10/17

Fire

No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

11/10/17

Cardiff

Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

11/10/17

John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation

11/10/17

Orgreave

Join the Orgreave Halloween rally

11/10/17

Union

Workplace news in brief

11/10/17

Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

11/10/17

Salford

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts

6/10/17

Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

5/10/17

Runcorn

Too much to cross the Mersey

4/10/17

Royal Mail

Set for national strike action

4/10/17

London

Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2