The CPGB-ML absolutely and unequivocally condemns the judicial murder of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s elected and legitimate president, perpetrated early on the morning of 30 December 2006.
Make no mistake: this murder, like the hundreds of thousands of murders of Iraqis since the start of the war, was not the will of the Iraqi people. It took place under the watchful eye, and at the demand, of the US/British invaders – occupation forces that have no right to be in Iraq.
Saddam was not arrested by the people of Iraq; he was arrested by US soldiers. Saddam was not detained by any Iraqi authority; he was detained (and tortured) by US soldiers. The occupying forces provided the finance, practical arrangements and political instructions for the farcical show trial at which Saddam was convicted. This trial was widely condemned as illegitimate by legal experts all over the world.
The murder of Saddam has been hailed by Bush and his cronies as one of the first ‘solid achievements’ of the Iraqi stooge government. You would think that these half-wits would at least have the sense to keep quiet, bearing in mind the level of ‘solid achievement’ that has been made in the areas of education, healthcare, social equality, employment, security, provision of electricity to homes, provision of emergency food supplies, and tackling poverty.
The western press has portrayed Saddam Hussein as a tyrant and a thief – a paranoid dictator with a steady flow from the treasury to his personal bank account. And yet Iraqis will not forget that life under Saddam was incomparably better than life under imperialist occupation. The living standard was among the highest in the Middle East (with especially high standards in education, health care and women’s rights – contrast this with present-day Iraq). Even with crippling sanctions, life was very much better than it is now.
Iraq under occupation is characterised by murder, raids, fear, trauma, an almost non-existent education system, a collapsing healthcare system, massive steps backward in terms of women’s rights and social equality in general, widespread disease and malnutrition, and extreme poverty. Furthermore, a sovereign national government has been replaced by an imperialist occupation, armed to the teeth, asserting its will through its guns, with the feeble assistance of a handful of Iraqi stooges (mainly rich Iraqi emigrants who were shipped back to Iraq in 2003 to be the Arab face of Anglo-American policy) and the inert Iraqi police and army.
The masses of the world will remember Saddam as a man who refused to bow down to imperialist pressure and who stood up for the right of Iraq to freedom and self-determination. The easiest route for Saddam, in terms of his personal enrichment, would have been to continue acting in concert with the US (in the fashion of the majority of the Arab leaders). Instead, he chose to stand up for the Iraqi people and the wider Arab masses, for independence, for national sovereignty. The imperialists never forgave him; the masses of the world applauded, and applaud, him.
As Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief Al-Quds al-Arabi pointed out: “The Arab people will remember President Saddam Hussein as the sole Arab leader who fired 40 missiles into Tel Aviv and stood with the Palestinian resistance”. (Cited in ‘Saddam death sparks media storm’, BBC News Online, 30 December 2006)
The real criminals are not Saddam and his co-defendants; the real criminals are the perpetrators of the vicious, brutal, inhuman war on Iraq. Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Rice et al are directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents. It is they, not Saddam, who deserve the ultimate punishment for their horrendous crimes. They must be tried for war crimes in an international trial of the Nuremburg type.
The judicial murder of Iraq’s legitimate president by colonial occupiers will lessen the will of the resistance not one bit; on the contrary, it will further inflame the resistance forces – forces that have already proven to be more than a match for the imperialist occupiers and their hapless Iraqi stooges.
The US and Britain are obviously hoping that, by getting their cat’s-paws in government (predominantly shia) to kill Saddam, they will be able to incite further tension between shia and sunni in Iraq and thereby promote the civil war that they have been trying to whip up for so long.
They will be sorely disappointed. Certainly, the murder of Saddam will be greeted by an increase in violence, but the shots will be directed firmly at the occupation.
The struggle against the occupation is unshakeable!
Victory to the Iraqi resistance!
Down with the occupation of Iraq!
Saddam’s fight for an independent Iraq lives on!