No doubt when the Americans decided to put Saddam Hussein on trial, rather than simply kill him or let the government kill him, their minds were full of a blend of the Nuremberg Trials and those “Truth and Reconciliation” businesses that are all the rage these days. No doubt, too, they thought that “the Iraqis,” suffused with eternal gratitude toward their “liberators” (“The liberation of Baghdad will make the liberation of Kabul seem like a funeral procession” — also sprach Bernard Lewis, and so many others after him), would all be able to unite around their indignation and fury at mass-murdering Saddam Hussein.
But Saddam Hussein’s mass murder of Kurds never did elicit a single syllable of protest from the Arab League, or any Arab government, or any significant Arab body — or, indeed, from any Arab at all, save for Kanan Makiya and one or two others. And Saddam Hussein’s mass murder of Shi’a, similarly, was never a cause for indignation among Sunni Arabs inside or outside Iraq.
It should have been expected that once Saddam Hussein was permitted to live and stand trial, that he would become a symbol of a Sunni put on trial by a Shi’a-dominated government. And hence, for many Sunnis (even for those who suffered under him) Saddam Hussein became a symbol of their former status and supposed well-being, and of their new and unjustly humbled condition — unjust to them, in their refusal to recognize their real numbers or to acquiesce in the loss of power.
For they do not care what happened to them under Saddam Hussein. Their memories are fluid, picking out what they wish to remember, forgetting what they don’t. Why would it be otherwise among people raised in societies suffused with a belief-system where what happened in the seventh century, or eighth, or ninth, or eleventh, the battles, the men, the deeds of valor and of treachery are kept fresh, and mean far more than what happened, say, a year or so ago when the Infidels sent aid to Pakistan or to Aceh, or a few years before that when they rescued Muslims in Kosovo and Bosnia.
Yes, Saddam Hussein, having been captured alive, and allowed to live and stand trial, did not become a rallying point, based on shared hatred of him, for “Iraqis,” but rather a would-be martyr for almost all (except the most morally aware) Sunnis. And so now he is on the verge of no longer being a would-be martyr, but the very thing. The Shi’a and the Kurds remember him as murderer rather than as martyr. And so his trial, his sentence, and his execution will not serve, as dreamy and endlessly ignorant and obstinate policy-makers in Washington and their confused and besieged claque once thought, to unite and rally “Iraqis” to “Iraq.”
How silly those Americans were, how uncomprehending, how little able to think or plan ahead.
So much nonsense. So much vzdor. So many stupidaggini. So much crap.
The execution of Saddam Hussein will exacerbate matters wonderfully. For he who has recently been adopting a magnanimous tone, addressing himself to all “Iraqis” and not only to his Sunni supporters. He has even repeatedly called on “Iraqis” not to “hate” the Infidels but only their governments. He may also, in his wild calculations, have thought that there was a chance that the Americans would see him as a possible savior-of-their-bacon in Iraq, and free him. Still, he will in death be a Sunni martyr, a figure of myth and poetry, the Sunni Arab put to death by those Rafidite dogs and Persians.
And as a bonus, Nouri al-Maliki has decided to have him executed forthwith, before he can be tried for the Anfal campaign against the Kurds, or for any of his attacks on fellow Sunnis. And in ignoring any of the non-Shi’a victims of Saddam Hussein, al-Maliki and the Shi’a supporting this hastened execution are ensuring that resentments among the Kurds will grow: they will now not get those months in court to state their case against him, and to let facts be presented to a not-very-candid world about the Arab persecution of the Kurds. The execution itself will further separate Sunni from Shi’a Arabs. But the timing of the execution, taking place after a single trial in which the victims were 148 Shi’a, and only Shi’a, at Dejail, and without any attempt to hold a trial about his killing of 182,000 Kurds in all of Kurdistan, or 300,000 Marsh Arabs in the south, will alienate the Kurds from the Shi’a. They are already angry at the Sunni Arabs, for it was the Sunni Arabs who eagerly supported the man who mass-murdered them, and it is Sunni Arabs who have moved in, or been moved in, to formerly Kurdish villages and even cities. In contested Kirkuk, it is largely Kurds against Sunni, not Shi’a, Arabs.
If one understands that the right goal is not to bring “democracy” to people who, because of the belief-system of Islam, cannot conceivably locate legitimacy in the expressed will of the people, but rather will always re-locate it in the will expressed by Allah in the canonical texts, and as glossed by the sayings and acts of his Prophet, Muhammad, then one will see the folly of Bush’s enterprise. He doesn’t. But never mind. The Muslim Arabs in Iraq are behaving as one would wish them to behave. Nouri al-Maliki, in putting Saddam Hussein to death tonight, will be ensuring the Sunni martyrdom of Saddam Hussein (even among Sunnis who suffered during his regime), and the Kurdish resentment at the (Shi’a) Arab indifference, as the Kurds will see it, to their own much greater (as the Kurds see it) suffering from Saddam Hussein.
If what one believes that the best way to defend the imperilled Camp of Infidels is by weakening the Camp of Islam, by exploiting its own natural divisions, the execution of Saddam Hussein tonight will be something to welcome. For leaving aside the matter of justice, it will help promote our ends, our goals. Not in the way Bush or many others assume it will, by “showing Iraqis that they can have justice through the judicial process.” But in another way, a way visitors to JW by now understand perfectly.
And so, too, will Infidel interests be promoted by such things as the Saudi cleric’s judgment expressed in this article. Here are his words:
“The rejectionists (Shi’ites) in their entirety are the worst of the Islamic nation’s sects. They bear all the characteristics of infidels,” Sheikh Abdel-Rahman al-Barrak said in the fatwa, or ruling, distributed on Islamist Web sites. “They are in truth polytheist infidels, though they hide this,” it said, citing theological differences 14 centuries after the death of the Prophet Mohammad, such as reverence of shrines which followers of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi school consider abhorrent.”
Reading such words puts a bounce in my step and a smile on my face. Many Infidels no doubt have experienced something similar.