“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Early World Reaction to the Saddam Verdict

As the verdict was read and Saddam Hussein was sentenced to Death , Iraq predictably erupted into gunfire from celebration as well as protests. What's not so predictable is the reaction from the various corners of the world. For example, these two statements from The BBC:


Does this not mean that someone wants to cover up their tracks, that someone wants to eliminate the main witness of what went on in Iraq over the past decades?

It is absolutely clear that all those plans that the Americans had made before the invasion have turned out to be unrealistic and have led to this situation, where today Iraq is on the brink of territorial disintegration.
This is very interesting and who is this Mikhail Margelov? He is a Russian Senator and the former head of the Russian Information Center. Here's a brief biography. He has a heavy background in media and publicity and is an Arabic teacher. Here, he warns that Georgia should not invite other "forces" in as Russia leaves. Here he seems to curry Muslim favor in the Cairo press. During a visit to Israel, he was quoted in Haaretz as saying that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear capability. In this 2002 Reuter's article, he says that Iraq owes a debt to Russia and makes a claim on future Iraqi oil revenues.

Obviously, the man is a politician as the following quote demonstrates:
"We have come to an understanding with the US that we can agree to disagree without falling out. This means we must learn to collaborate together in a new way. The results of our cooperation can be seen in Iraq and Afghanistan,' he said. He said 'Russia's eastern policy' should be concerned with preventing the spread of WMD, fighting international terrorism, preventing the export of arms and stopping the spread of AIDS. 'Our relations with Indonesia are very important as it is one of the most powerful Islamic countries and a leading producer of information technology. We should also try to maintain good relations with other developed countries in the east which have space programmes, aircraft production and which are active on the world oil market such as Malaysia,' he stressed."
The man could be a successor to Putin and like Putin and indeed all of Russia, he is still an enigma that bears watching.

This reaction, was altogether predictable:

Obviously we deplore the verdict of the death penalty against Saddam and one of his co-accused.

We don't consider it was a fair process. The court was not impartial. There were not adequate steps taken to protect the security of defence lawyers and witnesses...

Every individual has a right to a fair trial, even people accused of the crimes of the magnitude that Saddam Hussein faced, and this has not been a fair trial.
What else could we expect from Amnesty International? I understand their principled opposition to the death penalty, but to say that this hasn't been a fair trial betrays their true leftist ideology. Of course, we have known for some time now that Amnesty is actually a danger to the west and no friend to conservative values.

At the BBC - Have Your Say website many of the comments were of the usual anti-American, anti-capital punishment variety, while others were in the pro-coalition, "justice was served" vein, there were the usual and inscrutable Muslim pro-Saddam reactions, and Al in Oxford, sounding like some at the EB, offered this mixed message:
3.0 To Iran vs US
1st goal getting rid of Saddam and neutralising Arab enemy no 1.
2nd Goal getting passed the enrichment redline
3rd Goal the guy who has been instrumental in death of more Iraninans then any other to face the hangman.
Who needs best friends if you have enemies like US!!!!


  1. He doesn't have it yet. Isn't Maliki against the death penalty?

  2. Hope ya'll won't mind if I save my celebration for the presentation of the corpse.

    Only thing we have now is a verdict.

  3. Truth is, closely examined, those in Iraq not deserving a good whipping for some behavior or other are in the distinct minority, mostly women and kids.

    But generally it's just the women and kids who get the shit end of the stick over there.

  4. No, habu, we celebrate intent, not performance, ah I mean execution.

  5. There is no deadline or timetable on the appeal. Given the politics, six months would be more likely.

    Could drag on even further if one of the three signatories to the Execution Order does not sign off.

    A pocket veto, as it were, of the Courts decision. Wierd Law we allowed them to write, but that's the Deal.

  6. OOOPs
    It takes two of the three to not sign off, to pocket veto the Courts

    The only member of Iraq's government to publicly oppose executing Hussein is President Jalal Talabani, a longtime opponent of capital punishment. He told the BBC in April that he would "go on a holiday" rather than sign an order authorizing Hussein's execution. Because the signatures of his two deputies would suffice, his opposition would not prevent the order from being carried out.

  7. They still have to sign the Execution Order. Perhaps just a formality, perhaps not. That comes after the Appeal.
    Either Mr Talibani or both VPs.
    Mr Talabani says he won't sign, take him at his word. The other two, no guarentees.

    One of the two may decide it is not in Iraq's best interest, to execute Saddam.

    Then it's off to jail. Staving off the "Civil War".

  8. Mr Talabani says he will not sign
    Mr Adil (Adel) Abdul-Mahdi (Arabic: عادل عبد المهدى ) (born 1942 in Baghdad, Iraq) is an Iraqi Shiite politician, economist, and is one of the two current Vice Presidents of Iraq.

    I'll bet he signs off

    Mr Tariq al-Hashimi is an Iraqi politician and the general secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party. Along with Adil Abdul Mahdi, he is a Vice President of Iraq in the government formed after the December 2005 elections. As a Sunni, he took the place of fellow Sunni politician Ghazi al-Yawar.

    Three of his siblings (two brothers and one sister) were killed by Shiite gunmen throughout 2006.

    He is the "Wild Card"

  9. Kill my brothers and sister, I'd not sign, just to spite those that killed my family members.

    But that's me. Perhaps Mr Tariq al-Hashimi thinks differetly.

  10. Rufus, buddy, pal, Republican Stalwart and Charter member of the Elephant Bar , please go to the next post. Seems our Friend Barackinmanomomanobamo may have a problem with integrity.