In the (16-23/6/2005) edition of the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram , the newspaper carried an article “Debates and Dilemmas” by one Baghdad correspondent Nermin Al-Mufty, who has described the trial of former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussain as a “diversionary tactic” by both the US and Baghdad administrations.
The reasons why Ms. Al-Mufty has drawn these conclusions are as she states: “The Iraqi government needs to draw attention away from its failure to provide security to the Iraqi people.”
This belief has been backed up by further information that was published in the British newspaper the Independent, which on 23/6/2005 published a report called the “state of the nation” and revealed that inside of Iraq only “78 percent of households in the country have an unreliable electricity supply: in Baghdad the figure rises to 92 per cent.”
Other points that were raised in the report included the fact that “more young people today are illiterate in Iraq than in previous generations,” and that “Almost a quarter of children between the ages of six months and five years suffer from malnutrition.”
Whilst any trial of Saddam Hussain will of course create a media frenzy around the globe, with the Iraqi government claiming that Saddam “could face up to 500 charges, but prosecutors will focus on 12 well-documented cases.” The fact that only “61 per cent of Iraqi households have access to a safe and stable drinking water supply”, with 28 per cent of this total experiencing daily problems with that supply, will undoubtedly go a miss among the frenzy.
Ms. Al-Mufty goes on to quote one human rights lawyer, who claims that: “The judges, investigators and their families were transferred to the Green Zone after one of the judges was killed.” The lawyer also claims that those involved in the trial are isolated and the newly established Iraqi Ministry of Justice, “has no relationship” with those prosecuting the former Iraqi dictator.
The Iraqi Women’s League, an organisation which was outlawed and persecuted under Saddam and who in the 1950’s had elected the first female cabinet minister in Iraqi history, once described the situation that women alone once faced at the hands of an occupying power - the British. “women suffered from the consequences of backwardness and dependency, and the cruelty of the mediaeval traditions that the “civilised” colonialists strove to maintain.”
The “new democracy” that appears to have been established and is being maintained by the USA, seems to include many of those same “mediaeval traditions” , which many do believe the trial will be used to help erase from peoples minds.
The most famous of those old traditions include the massacre and total humiliation of the people of Falluja, the distruction of ancient sites, the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib and those of Saddam in his under pants along with the physical, economic and emotional abyss that the Iraqi people have been thrown into at the hands of their “liberators”.
This is not even including the fact that “31 per cent of males over 15 are unemployed” and that only “37 per cent of urban households and only 4 per cent of rural ones have a sewage connection.”
At the end of the article by Nermin Al-Mufty, she demonstrates how opinion is divided upon the fate of the former Iraqi president but people are seeking justice for what occurred under the regime of Saddam Hussain. Though quite clearly, Iraq is in a situation where the welfare of its people needs to be made a higher priority, than a trial that could ultimately appear to be nothing more than a “diversionary tactic”.
By Hussein Al-alak
The Iraq Solidarity Campaign
Iraq Solidarity Campaign