Iraq: Brutality, electoral frauds and show trials cannot save Anglo-American imperialism from defeat
On 15 October, the Anglo-American occupation in Iraq staged a sham referendum on a sham constitutional document to pave the way for the elections, to be held on 15 December, to elect a new parliament and install yet another puppet government, the sole function of which will be to invite the imperialist occupation forces to stay in Iraq and thus confer some sort of legitimacy on the imperialist predatory enterprise which began with the unprovoked and illegal invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and its subsequent brutal occupation. Far from legitimising the occupation, this electoral farce has merely served to expose it for the cruel hoax that it is.
The referendum on the Constitution is illegal under international law, according to which no occupying power is allowed to change the institutional framework of the occupied territory. The Constitution, supposedly ratified on 15 October, does precisely that; it seeks to split Iraq into three easily digestible parts under the garb of federalism.
The results of this alleged referendum were decided well in advance by the occupation regime. Under Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) – the US-imposed interim constitution – a ‘No’ vote with a two-thirds majority in any 3 Iraqi provinces would suffice to nullify the constitution submitted to a referendum. Not only the provinces of Anbar and Salah-al-Din, but also Nineveh, voted by a two-thirds majority against this document on 15 October. The occupation regime, transfixed by the turn of events, did not dare to declare the result for 10 whole days during which time it decided to cook the results. Initially it was announced that Nineveh had voted by a majority in favour of the Constitution. This announcement sat so incongruously with the truth that the US military had to intervene in the interests of preserving a modicum of credibility with regard to the entire electoral fraud. Eventually it was declared that Nineveh had rejected the proposed Constitution but only by a majority of 55% – not sufficient to nullify the document submitted to the referendum.
19 September Basra incident
Nothing – no constitutional referendum, no election, held under the shadow of the guns of the occupation forces, can legitimise the Anglo-American imperialist predatory war for domination. The war against Iraq was based on a pack of lies, which have been mercilessly exposed one after the other by damaging revelations emanating from the imperialist camp itself. The continued savage occupation of Iraq is also based on a lie, namely, that the Iraqi people want the imperialist forces to stay in Iraq. Nothing has served to expose this lie more than the dramatic events which took place on 19 September in Basra. Just when the British prime minister, Blair, was hoping that the coming December elections would help to distract attention from the daily diet of unwelcome news from Iraq, the events of Basra exploded in his face, destroying the many cosy myths carefully fostered by the ruling clique about relations between the British forces and their Iraqi ‘hosts’!
The British establishment had hitherto boasted that ‘our’ experience of ‘peacekeeping’ in Northern Ireland and other colonies had enabled ‘us’ to establish better relations with the Iraqis in the south than the Americans occupying northern Iraq. The British experience of ‘peace-keeping’ in Northern Ireland and other colonies is itself a carefully cultivated myth which conveniently ignores the truly bloodthirsty and genocidal record of the British army in all British colonies, including Northern Ireland. Be that as it may, the Basra events smashed this myth to smithereens. This is how the events of 19 September unfolded.
Two British soldiers dressed as Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army men and driving a civilian car attracted the attention of the Iraqi police at a checkpoint. Refusing to stop, they fired at the Iraqi officers, killing one and injuring another. After a chase, the British soldiers were caught. On declining to reveal their mission, they were arrested and taken to the main Basra police station. The British demanded that the men be handed back, a demand which the Iraqi authorities in Basra turned down, whereupon the British occupation troops surrounded the police station. At this moment of time, a large crowd of Iraqi demonstrators began to gather around, demanding that the British soldiers be kept in detention and sent to jail. Violent clashes erupted and the British troops were pelted with stones and petrol bombs, attacked with rockets and their armoured vehicles were set alight, forcing them to withdraw. Meanwhile British tanks bulldozed the police station and managed to spirit the two SAS men away, in the course provoking a riot resulting in the destruction of a British tank and an armoured car.
Of all the images that have come from Iraq since the invasion, the one that is likely to haunt the British government and the British ruling class for a very long time to come is that of a British soldier, with his uniform in flames, trying to jump out of his burning tank after it had been torched by an angry Iraqi crowd on 19 September.
For days following 19 September, tension rose to fever pitch, with large numbers of Iraqis, including local police, demonstrating in front of the main police HQ demanding an end to the occupation and the return of the two British soldiers to the Iraqi authorities to face justice. For the first time, the British and Iraqi authorities engaged in a public slanging match, with London accusing the Basra police of colluding with its enemies, and the Iraqis returning the compliment without pulling punches, charging the British military with attempts to instigate a sectarian civil war along confessional lines.
The truth is on the Iraqi side. The British authorities, and their flunkeys in the media, including the BBC, refuse to ask the question: what were the two SAS men doing “…cruising around Basra in Arab dress with itsy-bitsy moustaches and guns” (Robert Fisk, The Independent, 24 September), how many of the SAS are in southern Iraq, why are they there, what are their duties and what weapons do they carry? Muqtada al-Sadr provided the answer which, it goes without saying, went unreported in the British news media. His spokesman, Sheikh Hassan al-Zarqani, stated that the SAS men, disguised as al-Sadr’s followers, were planning an attack on a market or other civilian targets ahead of an important religious festival:
“When the police tried to stop them”, he said, “[they] opened fire on the police and passers-by. After a car chase, they were arrested. What our police found in the car was very disturbing – weapons, explosives and a remote control detonator. There are the weapons of terrorists.”
He added: “We believe these soldiers were planning an attack on a market or other civilian targets, and thanks be to God, they were stopped and countless lives saved.”
Even if the British government’s charge of the Iraqi police colluding with the resistance be correct, it merely proves, by their own version of the incident, that after two-and-a-half years of the occupation, the occupying forces have failed miserably to win the trust of the Iraqi police – let alone the winning of the hears and minds of the Iraqi people. “There is no point in making light of the Basra attacks,” wrote the foreign editor of The Times, Bronwen Maddox, adding: “One reason Britain says it is still keeping troops in the south of Iraq is to help train local police and security forces. When those police seize British military personnel, when requests to get the men back are futile, and when British forces have to ram open a jail to grab them, then that justification has gone.”
The Governor of Basra, Mohammed al-Wali, characterising the conduct of the British army as “barbaric, savage and irresponsible”, demanded an apology, in the absence of which, he said, there would be no cooperation with the British authorities. While a spokesman for the puppet Iraqi prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, described the British action as a “very unfortunate development”, a Basra judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the two SAS men at the centre of the dispute. The Basra authorities also demanded compensation, which in fact has been paid by the British authorities on the quiet, while they have refused to hand over the two men to the Iraqi authorities, claiming immunity, carefully avoiding to say that this immunity is fake and a pure invention of the imperialist occupiers of Iraq.
The Basra events have driven a coach and horses into the British imperialist strategy. The predatory war in Iraq was based on a big lie, as has been the occupation of that country. The forceful actions of the Iraqis, their violent anti-occupation demonstrations and demands for the imperialist forces to leave Iraq, have unravelled that strategy and exposed the big lie, namely that the occupation forces are in Iraq because the Iraqi people want them to stay. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people, including the Shias in the south of the country, are opposed to the occupation and long to see the back of it. Only this can explain the fact that 90% of the Basra police force now follow the Sadrist movement, the Shia religious faction headed by Muqtada al-Sadr. This in turn is only possible because of the close connection between the police and the Shia masses, who hate the occupation and are doing their best to end it. In doing so, they are pitted not only against the occupying powers, but also their despicable stooges – the al-Jaafaris, Talabanis and Sistanis.
Rising tide of resistance
Meanwhile the resistance continues to strike deadly blows against the occupation forces and their puppets. All US-led attacks have come to naught. Since 7 May this year (2005), the US has unleashed 10 major offensives in western Iraq in an attempt to control and extinguish the fires of revolt, but each time their claimed victories have turned out to be hollow. The pattern of these offensives has been all too familiar. The US amasses large forces around towns controlled by the resistance. The resistance make a tactical withdrawal, melting with the fleeing citizens, to spare the inhabitants the death and destruction that would otherwise most certainly ensue. The Americans go in, kill a few dozen innocent civilians, whom they dub insurgents, and declare victory. As soon as the Americans leave, the citizens, as also the liberation fighters, return and reassume control. Thus, no sooner has the American military ‘liberated’ a town than it is occupied by the resistance.
The latest American offensive, launched on the eve of the constitutional referendum with the aim of frightening the population in western Iraq, was no exception. During this operation, named ‘River Gate’, the US military, assisted by some puppet units, moved into several towns in the Euphrates Valley, only to find that the resistance had retreated from Hadithah and resorted to hit-and-run attacks elsewhere, while further to south it stormed through Ramadi, obliging the US forces and Iraqi puppets to take to their heels following heavy fighting on 3 October. The US was forced to abandon this offensive, thanks to the fierce resistance of Iraqi patriots. Speaking for the puppet army in Al-Anber province, Colonel Ahmad Salman had the candour to admit that the Euphrates valley offensive had been a “colossal failure”, which achieved nothing and had to be abandoned after three days in the face of tough resistance and heavy US casualties.
The number of attacks by the resistance continues its inexorable rise. According to Michael Eisenstadt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-war think tank, the resistance are presently mounting about 90 attacks a day, compared with 50-70 a year ago. He added that, while it would take years to defeat such resistance, the US administration is expected to start pulling troops out of Iraq in 2006 for its own political and electoral considerations. He concluded by expressing doubts as to the winnability of the war by the US.
Of course, the US administration is fully aware of the disastrous consequences of a defeat in Iraq for US imperialism. That is why Bush has argued against what he calls premature pull-out, for that, he says, would mean not just an end to the democratic aspirations of Iraq, but also a defeat for the entire “freedom agenda” in the Middle East. In other words, such a pull-out would spell the beginning of the end of US domination in the Middle East and beyond.
“If we quit now”, said Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, in a speech at Princeton University last month, “we will embolden every enemy of liberty and democracy across the Middle East.
“We will destroy any chance that the people of the region have of building a future of hope and opportunity. And we will make America more vulnerable.” (See Financial Times, 12 October 2005 for information contained in the preceding 4 paragraphs).
On the contrary, the US exit from Iraq will embolden every friend of liberty and democracy throughout the world and create the basis for the people of the Middle East and elsewhere to construct a future of hope and opportunity. Into the bargain, it will make the people of the US less vulnerable to hostile actions, although it will undoubtedly put an end to the mad delusions entertained by US imperialism concerning the project for a New American Century.
Green zone under attack
The occupation forces are powerless to control even the heavily fortified ‘green zone’, which the resistance attacks regularly. The attacks on this military compound in which are located the US military and administrative command, as well as the US and British embassies, have become so frequent as to be almost not newsworthy. During September and October alone, there have been 3 major attacks on the ‘green zone’, the latest of which took place on 24 October. In an audacious attack, the resistance bombed its way through to the Fardous Square, punching a hole through the concrete wall surrounding the ‘green zone’ with a car bomb. The Iraqi patriots drove at high speed to the square and exploded several bombs close to the Palestine, Sheraton and al-Sadin Hotels, frequented by US troops, Iraqi quislings and journalists from imperialist news agencies. As a result of this attack, two dozen members of the puppet police and mercenary ‘contractors’ were killed, while at least 40 others were wounded.
On the same day, heavy fighting continued in several parts of the country between the resistance and the occupation forces, while 3 bombs destroyed the headquarters of the puppet president in Salamaniyah.
Nothing to boast
The US and British spokesmen have been boasting about the ‘success’ of the 15 October constitutional referendum. As a matter of fact, in view of the rising tide of resistance, and with it the rising US death toll (which even according to official statistics now stands at more than 2,000), serious interruption to Iraqi oil exports, and plummeting support for the war in the US (as well as Britain), there is very little for the leading war criminals, headed by Bush and Blair, in these two countries to celebrate.
For the second time in 4 days, on Monday 24 October, the resistance attacked pipelines in northern Iraq, setting ablaze at least 16 oil pipelines. According to experts, it will take at least a month to repair the damage; only then can oil begin to flow again and feed the main export pipeline to Ceyhan in Turkey. The attacks on pipelines and other oil installations are an integral part of the strategy of the resistance aimed at toppling the US-installed puppet government, which is highly dependent on oil revenues; these attacks have frustrated the US aim of increasing oil production to 3 million barrels per day (bpd) and an appreciable increase is not expected in the near future thanks to the sabotage by the resistance.
Inciting sectarian conflict
Unable to overwhelm the resistance, Anglo-American imperialism is resorting to the familiar weapons of the doomed, that is, inciting a sectarian civil war in Iraq and blaming all the troubles on Iraq’s neighbours – Iran and Syria. This agenda of civil war is being pursued by the occupation forces and some of the Iraqi puppet police detonating massive deadly explosives in centres of Shia population and blaming it on the Iraqi resistance or the mythological hate figure of the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The capture of the two SAS men red handed, with their car packed with weapons, explosives and remote control detonators, furnished proof, if such proof were ever needed, of the depths to which the occupation forces, and their masters in Washington and London, are prepared to plumb to save their doomed imperialist project from shipwreck. In the light of the Basra events, we can look at the bombings of 14 September, which claimed the lives of 160 innocent people and wounded over 500 others around Baghdad, as the dirty genocidal act of the occupation army. In this attack, we were told, a suicide bomber pulled up to a crowd of day labourers waiting for work by a public square, called them over to his pick-up with offers of employment, then detonated the vehicle with 220 kg of explosives. This was undoubtedly the work of the US military, whose interests it served. For what interest can the resistance have in targeting innocent people?
The bombing came within 2 weeks of a stampede at a Shia religious commemoration provoked by fears of a suicide bomber, in which over 1,000 were killed in the same area. A highly placed person in the puppet ‘Iraqi’ regime has since confirmed the claims of the resistance that this Baghdad Bridge massacre was entirely the fault of the puppet police, 14 members of whose ‘shock force’ have been detained following claims by witnesses that the police caused the crowd crossing the bridge over the Tigris to panic by falsely shouting that suicide bombers were on the verge of detonating a bomb.
As to Zarqawi, he is simply an invention of the US military strategists, furnishing in equal measure a scapegoat and a pretext for US saturation bombing of the centres of population in Iraq, as well as justification for the occupation. Last year, during the wholesale destruction of Fallujah, and the mass slaughter of its citizens, the US justified its fascistic acts by claiming that the US military was engaged in “getting those guys loyal to al-Zarqawi”, while the city’s civil and religious authorities denied that Zarqawi was ever there or had any connection with the resistance.
“It is simply an invention of the occupiers to divide the people”, said Sheikh Jawad al Kalesi, the Shia Imam of al Kazemiya Mosque in Baghdad in an interview with the French daily, Le Monde. He added that:
“Al Zarqawi was killed in the beginning of the war in the Kurdish north. His family has even held a ceremony after his death.
“Abu Musab al Zarqawi is therefore a ploy used by the Americans, an excuse to continue the occupation. It’s a pretext so they don’t leave Iraq.”
Whether this is so or not, the alleged ‘foreign invasion’ by the followers of Zarqawi serves Bush and Blair as a pretext for their ‘war on terror’ and their desperate attempt to control the second biggest repository of oil in the world and thus dominate the Middle East. The myth of foreign fighters is essential in view of the fact that the Iraqi resistance is homegrown. For the Anglo-American imperialists to admit this simple fact would expose their lie to be fighting on behalf of the Iraqi people against foreigners with evil designs on Iraq. In other words, it would remove the last remaining excuse for the continued occupation of Iraq.
In the words of one Aljazeera commentator:
“At present much of the rationale for maintaining the occupation depends on this elusive and, perhaps, illusory figure. It’s odd how Al-Zarqawi appears at the precise coordinates of America’s bombing raids, and then, miraculously vanishes unscathed from the scene of the wreckage. This would be a remarkable feat for anyone, but especially for someone who only has one leg.”
There is yet another explanation for the threat allegedly presented by Zarqawi. Professor Jinan Ali of Baghdad University told the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, that the so-called “war against Shias began after Muqtada al Sadr announced his opposition to drafting the constitution. Most of the Shias targeted are Muqtada’s followers with the intention of forcing them to cast a ‘yes’ vote in the coming referendum.”
Splits within the ruling class
The combination of the rising casualties and costs of the war, combined with ever new revelations exposing the blatant lies of Messrs Bush and Blair prior to, during, and in the aftermath of the war against Iraq and the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the support for the filthy imperialist venture, and for its leading protagonists, is in free fall. The latest CBS poll reveals that only 32% of Americans approve of Bush’s handling of the situation in Iraq, and 59% want US troops out “as soon as possible, even if Iraq is not completely stable.” (see Financial Times 12 October 2005).
In its leading article of 8 October, the Financial Times observes that “public support for the war is collapsing. Even prominent neo-conservatives who did so much to furnish the philosophical justification for invading Iraq are starting to distance themselves from the messy results”.
In a sign that the rats are beginning to desert a sinking ship, the Washington Post of 2 November reported that the CIA had been running secret prisons in 8 foreign countries in Asia and eastern Europe for the interrogation of suspected al-Qaeda prisoners. These prisons, in addition to the facility at Guantanamo, are simply torture chambers for the maltreatment of the victims of US imperialism in violation of international law and the conduct befitting civilised nations alike. On 5 October, the US Senate voted 90-9 to outlaw military maltreatment of detainees and to place beyond the pale the worst practices of Guantanamo. On 28 October, Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, hitherto the powerful Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was indicted on perjury charges, arising out of the investigation into whether White House officials broke US laws in an effort to intimidate a critic of the war.
The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, went as far as to claim that the Libby indictment “provides a window into what this is really about: the administration manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to sell the war in Iraq and attempted to destroy those who had dared to challenge its actions.” This is an amazing charge from a leader of one of the two leading bourgeois parties in the US, considering the two earlier investigations into the events and circumstances leading up to the war. Both the report of the Senate intelligence committee last year and the report by the White House-appointed team led by Laurence Silberman and Charles Robb this year, reached near identical conclusions. Both of them were a whitewash, declaring President Bush to be a blameless victim of faulty intelligence, the latter being skewed by poor tradecraft and weak analysis – not by political pressure from the administration to fix facts and manufacture a case for war.
Everyone knew that these reports were a whitewash for they sat uneasily with the testimony of a number of former officials concerning the decision to go to war. Richard Clarke, the former anti-terrorism chief, Paul O’Neill, former Treasury Secretary, Richard Haass, former State Department director of policy planning, and Lawrence Wilkerson, for 16 years the top aide to Colin Powell, former Secretary of State – have all asserted that from September 11, if not from the beginning of his presidency, Bush was obsessed with Iraq, that he had made up his mind to go to war and then decided to look for reasons to do so, that a ‘Cabal’ round Cheney and Rumsfeld steamrollered everyone else in the administration to wage war against Iraq.
To those in the anti-imperialist and proletarian camp, it was always clear that Anglo-American imperialism went to war for the sole purpose of grabbing Iraqi oil as a means to the domination of the Middle East as well as of Central Asia. As the ruling classes of these two countries could not openly proclaim such an aim for the obvious reason that such admission would get no support whatsoever from the working class of the two countries, their governments were obliged to wrap up the decision to wage war in a deceptive package stuffed with blatant lies. This, however, is not the point. The point is that the war is going badly for imperialism, and the course of the war has brought splits within imperialist ruling circles and is beginning to erode the authority of their chief executives, Bush and Blair.
Such a crisis can, and should, be used by the proletariat and the entire anti-imperialist camp to expose the very nature of imperialism, to emphasise the inextricable connection between war and imperialism in an attempt to galvanise the proletariat in the struggle to undermine the very foundations of imperialism by forging a close alliance with the hundreds upon hundreds of millions of oppressed people at the worst receiving end of imperialist exploitation in the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
The Pentagon authorisation bill for 2006 stands at $442 billion, putting enormous financial burdens on US fiscal balances already under heavy strain. In July, 800 Iraqi puppet soldiers fled or deserted – the highest rate of desertion thus far. The constitution, which was intended by the US as an exercise in co-opting Iraq’s Sunnis and thus undermining a most important source of support for the resistance, has received ‘approval’ in a rigged election in the teeth of Sunni opposition, as well as opposition from a significant portion of the Shia population. Instead of paving the way to a new stable puppet government after the coming 15 December elections, it has only prepared the ground for sectarian divisions and partition of Iraq through the device of ‘federalism’ enshrined in the constitution. This is well understood by Iraqi patriots of differing political views and from differing traditions. They are fighting against this evil plan of US imperialism. This is what explains the tentative alliance between the supporters of President Saddam Hussein and the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr.
US Arab allies in the Middle East – from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait – are under attack. The US has 25,000 troops in Kuwait and another 12,000 civilian employees, all of whom have been warned to take precautions against possible attacks. In Iraq, incompetence, corruption, poverty, misery and savage brutality are rampant, while the resistance to occupation, which has grown by 40% over the past year, continues to gain strength by the day.
Faced with this hopeless situation, it is not beyond belief that US imperialism, like a wild wounded beast, may strike against Syria or Iran, whom it has been blaming for the misfortunes of its own making in Iraq and the wider Middle East. If it does that, it will only be lifting a rock to drop on its own feet and find itself sucked into a conflict of even more horrendous proportions than that in Iraq. In the words of the Syrian prime minister, Naji Otari, “all the gates of hell will open on the US if it attempts to attack Syria”.
Saddam show trial
Having run out of all other ammunition, the occupation regime, led by the US, is determined to subject president Saddam Hussein to a show trial before a kangaroo court (set up and paid for by those who waged an illegal war against, and who continue to be in illegal occupation of, Iraq), resulting in a conviction, a death sentence and execution in quick succession. The Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) lacks all legitimacy. It is set up by an occupying power which as no right to be in the country; its founding statute was approved by the US-appointed puppet Iraqi Governing Council (ICG) in 2003; and its procedures are opaque. The IST denies the accused adequate representation – Saddam Hussein’s first meeting with his lawyers took place as recently as December 2004, that is, nearly a year after his capture and five whole months after his arraignment in a widely televised session in July 2004.
The IST is characterised by its total disregard for human rights and its cavalier attitude towards standards of proof. The prosecution is not required, under the IST statute, to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt but only to the ‘satisfaction’ of the judge, handpicked by US imperialism. There is no adequate provision for the accused to mount a defence. Khalil al Dulaimi, Saddam Hussein’s main lawyer, received the 800-page prosecution case literally a few days before Saddam Hussein’s most recent appearance on 19 October; his meetings with his client (Saddam Hussein) are disrupted by “severe American monitoring”; prosecution witnesses give anonymous testimony, so that the defence has no opportunity to question them. There is no protection against self-incrimination. One of the defence lawyers, Sadoun al-Janabi, has been murdered by the Interior Ministry’s Commando Unit known as the Wolf Brigade. The motive behind this murder was obviously to intimidate the defence team assembled to defend Saddam Hussein and some of his comrades. Mr al-Janabi was taken from his office in the Sha’ab area and his tortured and bullet-ridden body found in a sidewalk by the Fardous Mosque in nearby Ur neighbourhood. Last, though not least, is the requirement that any death penalty must be carried out within 30 says of the final verdict.
It is thus clear that US imperialism is engaged in a show trial which is in flagrant violation of all norms of justice. Even the Financial Times, in its leading article of 22 October, was obliged to lay bare the motivation behind this travesty of a judicial trial, saying that the “US and UK hope that a conviction will lend legitimacy to their dubious justifications for war”. In addition, it is the hope of the occupation regime that Saddam Hussein’s conviction would put an end to the resistance by depriving the latter of a figurehead. But these hopes are certain to be belied. Nothing can lend legitimacy to this imperialist war. If indeed Saddam Hussein is guilty of wrong-doing against his people, he ought to be judged by the latter and not by the imperialist invaders of Iraq, who have wreaked wholesale destruction on that country and killed 150,000 of its innocent citizens over the past two and a half years alone, let alone the 1.5 million massacred, through war and cruel sanctions, since 1991. In fact, it is the leaders, political and military, of the US and Britain, who ought to stand trial for war crimes and arraigned before an international court on the lines of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.
It is cruel delusion if the leaders of Anglo-American imperialism believe that the physical elimination of Saddam Hussein will put an end to the resistance, for this resistance is born out of the burning hatred of the Iraqi people for the occupation of their country and their equally burning desire to get rid, by armed struggle, of the imperialist aggressors occupying Iraq. It is impossible to get rid of Iraqi resistance without putting an end to the cause that fuels it, namely, the foreign occupation of Iraq. The conviction, and execution, of Saddam Hussein and his comrades would merely intensify the fire of resistance and engulf the imperialist occupation forces in an all-consuming volcanic eruption.
The Ba’athis resistance has already warned of fearful retribution against those threatening the life of Saddam or any of his family and comrades at the US-staged show trial. It warned that the puppet regime, the “sectarian and backward government of shame, filth and treason”, ought to remember that their own and their families’ lives are as short as that of the occupation “which is about to end”! The resistance called upon the judges and officials concerned with the trial to take the honourable course, drop the proceedings, and either join the resistance or leave the country.
The occupation regime finds itself between a rock and a hard place. It can either stage a show trial and have Saddam Hussein convicted in proceedings which lack all legitimacy – and thus find itself even more discredited in Iraq and the world over; or it can allow a proper trial to take place in which Saddam Hussein turns the tables on his accusers and makes the courtroom an arena for exposing the crimes of Anglo-American imperialism. Saddam Hussein’s appearance before this mockery of a tribunal on 19 October does not augur well for Anglo-American imperialism and their Iraqi puppets. Instead of grovelling for mercy as hoped for by the US, Saddam, in a defiant and dignified performance, challenged the legitimacy of the court and maintained correctly that he was still the legal president of Iraq. His trial is set to resume on 28 November to provide a distraction from the ‘election’ due to be held on 15 December.
However, no show trials and electoral frauds, any more than brutal occupation, wanton destruction, and untold death and savagery, can rescue Anglo-American imperialism from the just wrath of the Iraqi people. The latter’s victory is as certain as is the utter humiliation and defeat of the former.