America: Society Iraq War Journal

Hussein’s Capture

I just find this whole thing disgusting: the American government and media gloating (and purposefully portraying him unkempt and looking like a criminal) over the capture of Saddam Hussein.

I just find this whole thing disgusting: the American government and media gloating (and purposefully portraying him unkempt and looking like a criminal) over the capture of Saddam Hussein. While the Iraqis have every right to hate him and bring him to trial, the Americans have no right whatsoever to judge him or try him. To this day Hussein has done nothing to the Americans and is not guilty of any of the crimes that the Americans excused themselves into going to war over. Things being the way they are, the American government is going to drag him around like some ragged dishtowel and declare their “victory”, but still not address the central issue of the illegality of their being in Iraq in the first place.

What stirs my ire most is this recent establishment of an “international tribunal” within Iraq, to “try war criminals”. Naturally the war criminals are going to be Iraqis and other Arabs and Muslims, not the Americans themselves. Of course, the Americans ignore the fact that an International Court has already been established, precisely for the purpose of trying war criminals.

Seeing Hussein’s countenance shown in such a mean-spirited and childish manner, painting him as guilty even before given a fair trial, listening to the glee in the American speeches, not to say having to watch as they stick their fingers into something that is none of their business make me immeasurably sad. I believe deeply in “innocent before guilty” and in the establishment of a fair court. The Americans are making a sham of these principles and will probably get away with it.

It is hard not to sink into cynicism and fury.

Although I did see a Daurian Redstart singing atop the magnolia tree outside my apartment this morning. “Tee-eet, tee-eet..tac, tac!”. Birds have such wonderful names…

9 replies on “Hussein’s Capture”

I disagree that the Americans will get away with this Butuki. Too many people see the dreadful way the Bush adminstration has been acting, and these kind of things are not forgotten easily. I may be being over-enthusiastic, but I think weblogs have an important role to play in making sure the madness of 2003 is never forgotten.


Just a quick note before I have to run. Yours is the most humane of blog entries that I have read regarding Sadaam Hussein.

You have a beautiful balance of intellect and compassion. Don’t lose that and thank you for sharing. I couldn’t agree more. PR is everything to Bush and he will exploit this for all that it’s worth.


As a human being, I believe I do have the right to judge and condemn Saddam Hussein for the massacres, torture and atrocities he has committed on other human beings. And I happen to be American. You almost sound as though you tolerate what he is and what he has done to his people. Do you pity him? There’s an article about this kind of surreal reaction to his capture. Also, it’s likely the Iraqi people will judge him, not the Americans.


LM, yes you do have the right to judge and condemn him, as I do and all other people do, but I’m not talkng about you and me, am I? I am talking about Bush and the American government creating what I believe will be a sham, biased trial, conducted by a tribunal of Iraqis picked and chosen by the American government. This whole thing should be taken before the International Court in Belgium, and the US should have no hand in it. As it is, Hussein will not be given a fair trial.

Do I condone what Hussein did? What, are you kidding? You are kidding,right? Why in the world would I talk about his needing to be tried if I condoned what he did?

Do I pity him? OF COURSE! Buddha and Christ tell us to have compassion, to turn the other cheek, to love thy enemy. This is what they mean. What I saw when I saw those pictures was a frightened old man, dirty, unkempt, being treated by a soldier as if he was an animal. Is it too much to ask to understand that this old man will now live out the rest of his days punished, possibly killed, all his power, arrogance, and cruelty gone? Are you so heartless that you cannot recognize the utter futility and waste of this man’s life? Or are you a monster yourself, wishing to inflict pain and cruelty on another? That makes you no different from him.


Butuki: we first saw the images of Hussein being poked and prodded like an animal in a restaurant in a square in Madrid. Over and over. The worldwide public humiliation could not possibly have been greater.

I am afraid, now. Afraid of the bloodlust that has been unleashed by those images, by the speeches. Afraid that this will give Bush the right to do what he wants. Afraid he will get re-elected by the un-, or mis-, informed. Afraid of what this means for the world.

Yet the memory of the sound of grazing horses sloshing through a flooded marsh at 6:00 am in a tiny unpaved hamlet on the Guadalquivir estuary gives me unreasonable hope. Hang on to the Daurian redstart. We HAVE to do that.


The medical officer was checking Saddam over for lice and other possible medical problems. Saddam himself was cooperating – he is known to have an aversion to germs and disease – doesn’t like to be make direct contact with people for fear of catching something. So he was probably concerned about his health and wanted the doctor to check him over carefully. And YOU see a frightened old man being treated like an animal. I think maybe your perceptions are being distorted by your extreme dislike of Bush and his policies. And probably you haven’t learned much about Saddam’s history and evil deeds. No, he will never lose his arrogance and cruelty. He will never feel remorse. Even now, he claims that he was a just ruler. He will be using every trick in the book to vindicate himself and somehow escape the consequences of his actions. As I said before, the Iraqi people will judge him, and who are we to take that away from them. They know the truth of what Saddam has done to them better than all us. And they’ll know what kind of justice to serve him.


Well, Saddam was evil. And those who support evil tyrants likewise.

Who was it that propped him up 15 years ago during the Iraq war with Iran?

Oh, some Americans have such a conveniently short freakin’ memory.

Great accomplishment. Finally caught the man who was one of America’s best friends two decades ago. Congratuf*ckinlations!


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