The Man Who Knew Too Much: Richard Seymour Reports on the Relief Felt by Many in the West as They Celebrated the End of Saddam Hussein

By Seymour, Richard | The Middle East, February 2007 | Go to article overview

The Man Who Knew Too Much: Richard Seymour Reports on the Relief Felt by Many in the West as They Celebrated the End of Saddam Hussein


Seymour, Richard, The Middle East


SADDAM HUSSEIN, FOUND guilty of crimes against humanity, was hanged amid chaotic and undignified scenes and is now lying buried in his home village of Ouja. The trial itself, hoped by some to serve as a healing catharsis for a nation still emerging, blinking, into the sunlight from the shadows of the past and also as an important landmark in the rebuilding of a post-Saddam era, had been controversial.

Accusations that it was no more than a show trial abounded; and independent observers have criticised the legality of the proceedings and the claim that the process really did represent a brave new world of justice and democracy.

But the verdict was delivered, the sentenced passed and the hangman's noose tightened. Saddam Hussein, his regime and their actions are now a matter of history. The fact that a man has been found guilty of the crimes of the past does not necessarily put them to rest, as the role of foreign governments in the rise of Saddam and the atrocities he hanged for still need addressing.

Then there are those atrocities he was not hanged for. The crimes against humanity that were not brought up at his trial; the acts of barbarism that he was not even permitted to speak of when in court. The reason for this censorship might be that had he been tried for those crimes, too, details embarrassing to the West, mostly Britain and the United States, would have been dragged out into the open.

Take the Shi'a uprising that Saddam so brutally put down with gas, leaving thousands to die long and painful deaths and many 'lucky' survivors to live with hideous disfigurements.

This was not brought up by the prosecution lawyers. The fact it was not is just as well for Mr Bush and Mr Blair as the world would have been reminded that the uprising was encouraged by their predecessors. When the uprising failed to remove Saddam Hussein on behalf of Washington and London, these great spreaders of western values abandoned the protagonists to face the former president's wrath on their own. A British pre-war intelligence dossier refers to the uprising as a 'riot', which goes some way to smudge the facts and Britain's central role in the massacre.

Nor was there any mention of Halabja where thousands of Kurds met their end in the same way the rebellious Shi'as would later: by gas. This might be because this appalling crime was committed, inconveniently for the West, at a time when Saddam Hussein was regarded as a friend and ally. Not only did the West turn a blind eye to this mass murder, there was even an attempt by the CIA to use it to blame Iran, a lie which served its purpose nicely at the time--as it would now.

And when almost 200,000 Kurds were ethically cleansed in the latter part of the 1980s, the West stood by and did nothing except increase its support for the regime. Saddam Hussein was the West's ally and so long as he proved useful he could do what he liked.

Little consideration is given either to the war crimes committed by the Iraqi regime during its war with Iran, where it deployed nerve agent and mustard gas to unimaginable effect.

The above is not part of history as the West likes to recall it and the genocide of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children has been allowed to go unaccounted for.

Instead, despite the horrifying scale of his crimes over many years, Saddam Hussein was convicted of the murders of just 148 people in 1982. The Kurds did not get their chance to hold him to account for what he did to them; nor did the Iranians.

In 1994, a report to the US senate, entitled US Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Gulf War, revealed the sale to Iraq, by companies in the United States, of substances that are used in the production of weapons of mass destruction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Man Who Knew Too Much: Richard Seymour Reports on the Relief Felt by Many in the West as They Celebrated the End of Saddam Hussein
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.