No Justice for Kurds
Kurds Cheated Again over Saddam Execution
by Bilal Wahab
Today is Eid al-Adha, although Shiites will celebrate tomorrow. Culturally and religiously, Eid is a day of reconciliation and feasting. This day often has been a day in which Iraqi governments offer amnesties to prisoners, or allow them to visit their families. Saddam’s execution today breaks that norm, rendering the execution out of place. The date will fulfill Saddam’s wish that he will be a “sacrifice” of the day, in reference to the Eid sheep sacrificing ritual.
Such an end for the former dictator will help his decade-long legacy of appealing to the peoples of Muslim countries. Following the first Gulf War, in which he lost the Western favor, Saddam proclaimed himself “the faithful servant of God.” He handwrote “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) into the Iraqi flag, had the Iraqi TV show him in solemn prayers, and donated money to Palestinian families. Facing death, he exploited the court and used it as a platform for his propaganda to incite violence. The court behaved as if Saddam himself was advising it. The execution verdict came few days before US midterm elections, and the execution is carried out as the Muslims celebrate their biggest holiday. These are blows against a court already being accused of illegitimacy in the Arab media.
Moreover, being Eid, the scene is set for demonstrations throughout the Muslim countries, which Saddam managed to throw dust in their eyes. They will be protesting against putting a president to death for killing less than two hundred citizens. With atrocities against Kurds untold, that makes Saddam seem the least brutal among other nominally Muslim leaders. Thanks to the Americans and the Shiite government, and to a premature execution, Saddam will be considered a hero in many parts of the world.
Above all, the Kurds are cheated. Kurds were Saddam Hussein’s primary victims. He gassed the town of
But Saddam Hussein was put to death for the killing of comparatively few in retaliation for an assassination attempt while his major crimes are dismissed. After his death, the case of Anfal is automatically closed, and with it the unknown fate of thousands of Kurds. It is a lost case for the Kurds, which exerted time and effort ever since the uprising in 1991 to be ready for this day. The Kurds were instrumental in the establishment and work of the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which conducted the trial. Thousands of Kurdish widows and orphans will spend this Eid with a lost long-sought justice and no hope for knowing the fate of their lost ones. History seems to have once again wronged the Kurds. It is easy to blame history.
With Saddam’s death are buried many secrets. Rather than being a case of a brutal dictator whose trial sets an example for the rest of
This year-end came with many disappointments for the Kurds. Despite prior assurances, the Kurds came out disillusioned with the Baker-Hamilton report and its recommendations for not recognizing the region’s achievements. Kurd’s Shiite allies in the central government got their revenge as soon as they could without heeding to the ongoing Anfal genocide proceeding. Kurds seem to be running thin of friends. This is not a good sign, especially as the Turkish army lays bare its fangs against the only safe part of