Key Documents

Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

July 4, 2004

Who tried whom?Why,unlike Milosovic, was Saddam chained and humiliated?

Abdul-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of al-Quds al-Arabi daily of London, in an editorial on the first hearing of Saddam Hussein's trial, entitled 'Saddam Hussein tries his judges' said:

"Saddam Hussein was not addressing the court, but the Iraqi, Arab and Islamic public opinion. He did not recognize the judges nor the government that appointed them, insisting he was still the legitimate President of Iraq.

"What we watched on TV shows a bad and clumsy start for a 'new democratic' Iraq promised by the Bush administration. The judge was young and inexperienced, lawyers were absent and fear reigned in the whole session. The judges and those behind them were the ones who were frightened and worried, not the man in the box.

"The Americans who have 160 thousand soldiers in Iraq, had deliberately curtailed the proceedings of the trial and the voice of the defendant, thus. in fact acting in a terrified manner. We didn't see the face of the judge, nor the faces of the guards or any one in the ridiculous court. It's the fear of assassination not anything else.

"President Saddam Hussein has won the first round in his trial and scored several points and appeared as a hero. We can feel an implied admittance of defeat, or at least non-victory by the Americans and British. To present the trial in this shameful way not only reveals clumsiness but also a desire to run away from Iraq quickly.

"Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will remain a time bomb and a curse chasing American and Kuwaiti rulers. A public trial will give him a forum to condemn his enemies. His execution will make him a martyr, according to many inside and outside Iraq. And keeping him alive will anger his Iraqi enemies and give his supporters a hope of a possible return. It's the curse of Iraq and the curse of Saddam Hussein." In another article Mr. Atwan commented on the legality of the court and trial saying:

"If the new government cannot provide security and protection for President Saddam and his aides, or rather it's not trusted by the real ruler of Iraq, that's the occupation forces, it will not be able to claim that it enjoys sovereignty and can provide a fair trial to them.

"Trying Saddam and his aides is necessary, but is not a first priority for a government which has been in office only two days. It first has to provide security, rebuild the military, establish security, political and economic organs and try to win Iraqis' hearts and minds.

"According to which will law this court try President Saddam, Iraqi law which gives him immunity or American law? And how will this trial be fair while the judges are themselves the enemies, since the judge has lived most of his life with his uncle, Ahmad Chalabi in exile and can hardly know Iraq?

"We didn't see Milosovic chained. Rather he appeared handsome, without any chains, and facing a group of efficient judges. Why wasn't President Saddam Hussein similarly treated? Is it because he is an Arab leader that he was exposed to humiliation and shown on TV with chains? Why, even in trials, are we Arabs treated along racist lines?"

Arab League for Pullout time-table

Amro Mousa,Secretary general of League of Arab States called on the United States to establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq by agreement with the Iraqi side. He also called for holding a national conference of all Iraqi political groups so that Iraqis themselves decide their own destiny and future. He warned against ignoring the role of the Arab League and its member states in an Iraq that's an integral part of the Arab Nation.

Moqtada to resume resistance

Moslem religious leader Moqtada al-Sadr asserted that he would go back to resisting the occupation and injustice. Islammemo said Sheikh Moqtada accused the present government of being illegal and appointed by the occupation. In a statement in the holy city of Najaf, he said:

"We promise Iraqi people and the world that we shall continue to resist occupation until the last drop of our blood, because resistance is a legal right, not a crime. "There is no intention of hold a truce with the occupier or with its tails (i.e., stooges). We declare hereby that the present government is illegal because it's subservient to the occupation. We call for full sovereignty and full independence through real elections."

How US tricked Minister of Defense into surrendering

Dawood al-Baghistani, head of the Iraqi League for Human Rights said the judges are not independent. To have President Saddam and aides under American protection is proof that there is no independent law and that it is impossible to hold a fair trial. He was quoted by al-Jazeera TV as saying the trial should be postponed until the election of a legal government so that the court will be credible and transparent. He added that this superficial court cannot be fair, straightforward, or legal.

Al-Baghistani expressed surprise at the inclusion of former Minister of Defense, General Sultan Hashim Ahmad in the trial saying: "The American occupation forces had earlier promised that if General Hashim surrendered to them they would never treat him in the same manner as they treat with the rest of officials on the wanted list. The American commander in Mosul told me and other intermediaries that the inclusion of Hashim's name in the list does not mean that he had committed any crime against the Iraqi people or 'coalition' forces. Rather his name was included, the Commander asserted, just because he bore the highest military rank in Iraqi army. Now the Americans have included him in the trial--which is yet further evidence of the fact that the United states has lost it's credibility and does not honor it's pledges."

Complied by Stephen Soldz

Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446

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