Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More on the possible Saddam snuff-film filmer

Found several posts about the unseemliness and insensitivity of hanging Saddam on al-Eid, a high Holy Day in Iraq. A veteran Iraq journalist, Nir Rosen, has writtenwhat others in the know such as Juan Cole (and yours truly, by some happy accident) wrote. Namely, that choosing the Sunday rather than the Saturday to hang Saddam endorsed the legitimacy of Shi'a Islam over Sunni Islam. It is bad enough that a holy weekend was selected during which the man was supposed to hang, but to do it when Sunnis (of which Saddam was one) were celebrating a very holy day is the sort of unprincipled, cynical, heinous thing that will do nothing but further polarize the situation in Iraq, as even a prominent Conservative commentator has noted. No doubt other informed commentators on Iraq have weighed in on the inappropriateness of hanging Saddam on a holy weekend. This is quite apart from the very notion that his execution was wrong on simple human rights or even strategic military grounds.

Anyway, now comes the not-at-all-surprising-news that the man who possibly filmed Saddam's hanging was Mowaffak al-Rubbaie, a former spokesman for the Dawa party, the strict Shi'a group which is fueling some of the violence in Iraq and seventeen of whose members went to prison for the murder of 17 people at the French and US embassies in Beirut in 1983. This gave way to a whole new round of terrorism including the hijacking of a plane on which two Americans died two years later. But of course al-Rubaie isn't anyone important right? Oh no...just.....the Defense Secretary.....uh huh.

Well, the man who initially accused al-Rubaie of filming the execution-Munkith al-Faroun, one of the prosecutor's at Saddam's trial, has backed off the accusation some, saying that he did not believe al-Rubaie filmed the execution once the scrutiny and outrage over the filming of the death raised. But as is typical for Bush's, oops, I mean al-Maliki's Iraq, al-Maliki will not disclose the identity of the guard. That doesn't necessarily mean that a guard did not film it, but it does leave open the option that an innocent schlub is set-up to be the hangman (no pun intended) to protect al-Faroun. He had said that he believed he had and that he had noted that the guards had not done it. But he seems to have backpedalled some. Regardless, whether a shrill possible terrorist endorser filmed him or not, perhaps more importantly, he's now the Defense Secretary. Do you think he's pursuing helpful, sensible policies designed to aid all Iraqis?


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