I’ll start this article out with a quote from this very selfsame weblog, two months back. It might seem pretty presumptuous to quote myself, but there’s a good reason for that which we will go into in depth after the quote:
“…I think that the war in Iraq was a hypocritical undertaking of global proportions. Here’s why: I (the U.S.) think you (Iraq) might have a gun (WMDs). Not only do I think you might have a gun, I think you might give that gun to someone (Usama bin Laden and Al Quaeda) who has already shot me (9/11). So, I’m going to shoot you first! If I do that here on the streets of America, it’s called “assault with a deadly weapon,” and I go to jail. If the U.S. does it to Iraq, it’s called “Preemptive Action” and is somehow justified. Again, this seems like hypocrisy to me.”(1)
Our hypocrisy in Iraq is eventually going to bite us in the arses, you mark my words. We may have unseated a despot, but in his place we have allowed another ridiculous situation to entrench itself. I’m talking about Nouri Al-Maliki, the new Iraqi Prime Minister. Oh yes, my fine young readers. Al-Maliki is not in a screwed up situation, he is a screwed up situation. Here’s why;
A few days ago Saad Yousif al-Muttalib, an advisor to the Iraqi Prime Minister, went on television and stated that Iraq would execute former foreign minister Tariq Aziz. He was quoted as stating, “It will definitely take place, and it will take place after the Americans leave Iraq.” Now, another key mouthpiece from the Prime Minister’s office, Ali al-Dabbagh is countering al-Muttalib’s statement. Fox News reported today regarding the situation, the following is an excerpt from that news item:
“Al-Maliki’s chief spokesman told Fox News that there has been “no decision to carry out the death sentence” due to disagreements between the president’s office, which signs death warrants, and the prime minister’s office.
“The warrant has not been signed because the presidency disagrees with some of the findings in the verdict against Aziz,” Ali al-Dabbagh said. “The execution cannot happen until these legal complications are resolved.”
He added: “The decision has nothing to do with the U.S. withdrawal, as he was sentenced to death some years ago.””(2)
Let me give you all some background on this. Shortly after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Tariq Aziz surrendered himself to coalition forces and was subsequently tried by an Iraqi court and sentenced to 15 years for crimes against humanity, but then a separate tribunal imposed a death sentence for “persecution of Islamic parties,” including one Nouri Al-Maliki who eventually became the Prime Minister. Hmm…
So let’s sum that up, shall we? Supposedly, Aziz somehow persecuted Al-Maliki, and now Al-Maliki is in a position to not only make Aziz pay, but pay with his life. Now, Tariq Aziz is in his seventies, and has definitely seen better days healthwise, and Saad Yousif al-Muttalib seems to have a definite “hard-on” for seeing Aziz executed as a part of Al-Maliki’s crackdown on the remainder of the old Hussein regime and its Baathist supporters, most of whom are Sunni Muslims. (Nouri Al-Maliki is a Shia Muslim, and Aziz a Chaldean Catholic by the way.)
Let alone the idea of Nouri Al-Maliki and his regime bullying a man who will probably be dead in a few years anyway, the whole “We’re gonna kill him…no wait, we’re not gonna kill him!” thing is reminiscent of good ol’ Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf back in 2003, telling the world that, “The Americans will not set foot in Baghdad,” while at the same time our troop transports and tanks were rolling past the palm trees on the way into the capital city. Statements such as “We will roast their stomachs in hell,” which would actually make for a really good ad campaign for hot wings or habañero poppers. It’s ridiculousness, and only plays into the much wider issue of increasing sectarian divisions inside of Iraq.
For Nouri Al-Maliki or anyone in his office to be involved in any decision to put Tariq Aziz to death is a clear conflict of interests, and only portrays Al-Maliki as just another thug; just like the despot that came before him.