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Saddam's Conviction: One War Criminal Down, Three to Go (Bush, Cheney and Blair)

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Regardless of whether the "fix" was in - both in its predetermined outcome or its timing (just two days before Americans go to the polls) -- justice prevailed today in, of all places, Iraq, when a court convicted Saddam Hussein of crimes against humanity for the revenge killings of 148 people in the Shiite city of Dujail in 1982.

As reported by Hamza Hendawi of the Associated Press, "The trial brought Saddam and his co-defendants before their accusers in what was one of the most highly publicized and heavily reported trials of its kind since the Nuremberg tribunals for members of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime and its slaughter of 6 million Jews in the World War II Holocaust."

Yet, few Americas probably know that Article 6 of the Nuremberg Tribunal's Charter listed "Crimes against Peace; namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging war of aggression" as its first and foremost crime. Count Two indicted the Nazis for actual crimes against peace. Count Three indicted them for "War Crimes," including the ill treatment of civilians and the mistreatment of prisoners of war (such as have occurred at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo in our recent past). "Crimes Against Humanity" was relegated to Count Four.

Thus, notwithstanding the justice meted out to Saddam today, Americans have at least two reasons to reflect while celebrating the outcome: (1) Saddam now has been convicted for crimes that occurred in 1982, just a year before Donald Rumsfeld, acting as an envoy for President Reagan, met and shook hands with him on December 20, 1983. Thus, Americans might ponder how it was that the Reagan administration found it suitable to offer military assistance to such an "evil" criminal.

(2) Much available evidence suggests that the Bush administration planned and prepared the initiation and waging of a war of aggression - the first and foremost crime spelled out in Article 6 of the Nuremberg Charter - while "fixing" the intelligence about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda's terrorists, in order to deceive both the American people and the U.S. Congress into supporting its illegal, immoral war.

Thus, if justice can be done in war-torn Iraq, it certainly must be done in the great United States of America (and perhaps in lapdog Tony Blair's Great Britain as well). But justice certainly won't be done, so long as Republicans remain in control of Congress.
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Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San (more...)
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