chapter  2
22 Pages

Arabization as ethnic cleansing

It was on 30 December 2006 that the ex-dictator was executed. Saddam was wearing a black coat and civilian clothes like every detainee who has been held illegally, which gave the impression that he was a victim and not a defendant. The official verdict was that he was condemned for the killing in Dujail of 148 of his own citizens who Saddam believed were guilty of plotting against him. In the wake of the video recorded and uploaded by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior on the Internet for everybody to see, a routine that reminded one too closely of the obsession of the security forces for recording the torture of political detainees during the regime, President George W. Bush released the following statement: “Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people’s resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial.”1 In reality, from the Shia point of view, this was a way of dealing with a figure who, according to misleading intelligence information, was going to be brought back to power by an American complot or was going to be freed from prison by Ba’athist insurgents. According to Judge Mohammed Al Uraibi,2 a member of the IHT, and other observers, this was an act of revenge and, on the American side, a quick way of dealing with him.