Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Execution Begins to Deepen Divisions

*Inter Press Service*
Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

*BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 (IPS) - New divisions appear to be opening up between
Iraqi political and religious leaders following the execution of Saddam
Hussein Saturday.*

Former president Saddam Hussein was hanged at an army base in the
predominantly Shia district of Khadamiya in northern Baghdad outside of
Baghdad's Green Zone just before 6am local time.

The execution of the 69-year-old former dictator was witnessed by a
representative of Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki and a Muslim cleric
among others.

The execution appears already to be generating more sectarianism, which
has already claimed tens of thousands of lives in the war-torn country.
Sectarian divisions have opened up primarily between Shias and Sunnis,
who follow different belief systems within Islam.

Several Shia leaders, particularly those of Iranian origin, say the
execution would be a blow to resistance against the Iraqi government by
Saddam loyalists. In Baghdad's sprawling Shia slum, the Sadr City, where
most of the three million inhabitants are loyal to the Shia cleric
Muqtada al-Sadr, people danced in the streets while others fired in the
air to celebrate the execution.

National security advisor Mouaffaq al-Rubaii, a Shia, declared that "we
wanted him to be executed on a special day."

Celebrations in Kurdish areas were no expression of unmixed joy, even
though Kurds were persecuted more than any other group under Saddam's

"The world ignored Saddam's crimes when he committed them," Azad Bakir,
a 35-year-old engineer in the northern Kurdish city Arbil told IPS on
phone. "But we are committing the same crime again by executing him like

And few Sunnis were cheering Saddam's death. A senior member of the
Islamic Party who asked not to be named said the timing of the execution
at the start of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha would prove a grave
mistake. The festival marks the end of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

Muhammad Ayash, a spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars, a
leading Sunni group, said Saddam had served his country well, and had
been punished for the wrong reasons.

"He was executed for the good things he did such as fighting the U.S.
aggression against the Arab nation," Ayash told IPS. "He stopped the
dark Iranian plans in the area, and helped Palestinians survive the
continuous Israeli crimes."

In predominantly Sunni cities like Beji, Ramadi and Saddam's hometown
Tikrit, people fired shots in protest and swore to avenge the execution
of the "legitimate president" of Iraq.

The execution may not bring the end to violence across Iraq that some
Iraqi government leaders expect. At least 68 people were killed in
bombings after the execution Saturday.

So far 2,998 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, including 109 just
this month, according to the website Iraq Coalition Casualty Count.

The resistance to occupation is expected to continue. A spokesman for
the Al-Mujahideen Army resistance group in Ramadi told IPS that his
group saw Saddam Hussein simply as the leader of the Ba'ath Party who
was "a helpless man in jail when we conducted our heroic operations
against invaders."

The spokesman, who refused to give his name, added: "We praise his
bravery in facing death, but his death will not increase or decrease our
carefully planned actions until the U.S. invaders and their allies leave
our country."

Across Iraq, Saddam seems to have won respect for the calm with which he
went to his execution. And that could increase sympathy for him and his

A close friend of Saddam Hussein's daughters in Amman in Jordan spoke
with IPS on condition of anonymity. She said that when the daughters got
news of the execution, "they cried of course, but then they praised God
for having such a great father who faced death with such courage and faith."

A friend of Saddam's oldest daughter Raghad told IPS: "The family's only
concern now is to receive the body for burial in a dignified way
suitable for a martyr and a national hero."

(c)2006 Dahr Jamail.


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