December 30, 2006
The Independent (UK)

A Dictator Created Then Destroyed by America

by Robert Fisk

Saddam to the gallows. It was an easy equation. Who could be more deserving of that last walk to the scaffold - that crack of the neck at the end of a rope - than the Beast of Baghdad, the Hitler of the Tigris, the man who murdered untold hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis while spraying chemical weapons over his enemies? Our masters will tell us in a few hours that it is a "great day" for Iraqis and will hope that the Muslim world will forget that his death sentence was signed - by the Iraqi "government", but on behalf of the Americans - on the very eve of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the moment of greatest forgiveness in the Arab world.

But history will record that the Arabs and other Muslims and, indeed, many millions in the West, will ask another question this weekend, a question that will not be posed in other Western newspapers because it is not the narrative laid down for us by our presidents and prime ministers - what about the other guilty men?

No, Tony Blair is not Saddam. We don't gas our enemies. George W Bush is not Saddam. He didn't invade Iran or Kuwait. He only invaded Iraq. But hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead - and thousands of Western troops are dead - because Messrs Bush and Blair and the Spanish Prime Minister and the Italian Prime Minister and the Australian Prime Minister went to war in 2003 on a potage of lies and mendacity and, given the weapons we used, with great brutality.

In the aftermath of the international crimes against humanity of 2001 we have tortured, we have murdered, we have brutalised and killed the innocent - we have even added our shame at Abu Ghraib to Saddam's shame at Abu Ghraib - and yet we are supposed to forget these terrible crimes as we applaud the swinging corpse of the dictator we created. . . .


Robert Fisk is the author of 'The Great War for Civilisation'

Stephen C. Pelletiere, "Did Saddam Gas His Own People?," New York Times, January 31, 2003

Edited by Joyce Battle, "Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984," National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 82, February 25, 2003

Robert Fisk, "'The Court in Charge of Trying Saddam Has No Legal Standing'," Independent, July 1, 2004

George Friedman, "America's Secret War," Strategic Forecasting, Inc., October 11, 2005

Robert Parry, "Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness,", December 30, 2006

Robert Fisk, "He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him," Independent, December 31, 2006

Rupert Cornwell, "How Washington and London helped to create the monster they went to war to destroy," Independent, December 31, 2006

"Iraqis Say They Were Better Off Under Hussein," Angus Reid Global Monitor, January 3, 2007

Shawn Doherty, "Former Abu Ghraib guard says prisoners were treated even worse than was reported," Capital Times, October 1, 2008

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