By Kenneth J. Theisen, 11/6/06
An Iraqi court delivered a death sentence verdict to Saddam Hussein on Sunday, November 5. The trial, which took place in occupied Iraq and was paid for by the U.S., “just by coincidence” rendered its verdict two days before U.S. midterm elections. President Bush hailed the verdict as showing the success of his policy in Iraq by stating, “Saddam Hussein’s trial is a milestone in the Iraqi people’s efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law. Iraq has a lot of work ahead”[but] history will record today’s judgment as an important achievement.”
White House spokesman, Tony Snow denied that the timing of the verdict had anything to do with the elections on Tuesday. (It is not true that he then offered to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to the assembled reporters.)
Check out the following articles on the Saddam Hussein verdict:
Saddam’s Unindicted Co-Conspirator: Donald Rumsfeld by Norman Solomon
A Guilty Verdict on America, as Well by Robert Fisk
The Banana Election by Marjorie Cohn
And while Bush is hailing the verdict as a milestone, we should look at some other milestones a day before the elections. As of November 6, 2006 a new study has shown that around 655,000 Iraqi civilians have died due to the war. This is about 15,000 per month. 2,836 U.S. military personnel have died. 44,779 U.S. military personnel have been wounded, many maimed for life. The war has cost U.S. taxpayers $340 billion so far. Most Iraqis do not have access to potable water or a working sewage system. Electricity is off more than it is on. Going out on the street is a deadly enterprise in most parts of the country. The country is engaged in a civil war with no end in sight.
But Bush remains steadfast. He said yesterday in Nebraska, “Saddam was a threat. My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision and the world is better off for it.” He is clearly proud of his decision to wage war against Iraq. I wonder how many of the 655,000 dead Iraqis agreed with the President?