Highlights

 
Quotable
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
November 23, 2007

Executions Not Leading to Iraqi Reconciliation


by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail

BAGHDAD - The executions of former regime officials are creating greater division, rather than reconciliation, among Iraqis.

Special courts formed by the American occupation authorities in Iraq are issuing death sentences – like that carried out on former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, on 30 December 2006 – on what many Iraqis are interpreting as a political basis.

"Executing Saddam cost Iraqis a lot of hatred and more division between the sects, " Walid al-Ubaidi, postgraduate law student at Baghdad University told IPS.

"Now they [U.S.-backed Iraqi Government] are executing the Ex-Minister of Defense, Sultan Hashim Ahmed, who was very well known for being a professional general who led the Iraqi army against Iran," al-Ubaidi said, stressing that, "This man represents a symbol for the Iraqi army that defended Iraq."

On 24 June 2007 the Iraqi High Tribunal found Ahmed guilty of presiding over the killing of thousands of Kurds during the Anfal campaign in the 1980s.

Several legal delays, and more recently a delay for a religious holiday, have postponed the execution.

A clerk in the court where Ahmed and a number of his generals were sentenced spoke with IPS on condition of anonymity. He asked to be referred to as Hassan.

"We were surprised by the sentence," Hassan told IPS in Baghdad, "This general was no more than a government official who carried out orders with notable skill and proficiency."

"What makes us better than any of those we called dictators and war criminals?" Hassan asked.

"These generals were the ones who defeated Iran in the war and so [Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri] al-Maliki and his American masters want to punish them in order to please the Iranian Ayatollahs," former Iraqi army colonel Saad Abbas told IPS in Baghdad.

Anger against the U.S. occupation for the sentences has also been aroused because of the promise for asylum the general was given before he surrendered to U.S. military forces.

"They promised him asylum and that was why he surrendered to them in peace," a relative of the general, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS.

"They even asked him to take a post in the new system, but he refused, and maybe that is why they sold him to his enemies," the relative said.

An Iraqi resistance fighter spoke with IPS on condition of strict anonymity.

"We are not happy for this man’s execution, but we believe it was his fault to trust the Americans," he said. "He should have known, as a general who negotiated with them more than once, how bad they were. Moreover, he should have joined the resistance against occupation rather than surrender to his dirty enemies."

"This man and his colleagues represent the army that terrified those Arab tyrants in an Arab neighboring country," Thuraya Shamil, an engineer from Baghdad Municipality told IPS.

"They cannot forget the day that they ran out of their palaces like rats," Shamil emphasized.

Others view the situation differently, but still agree that the generals do not deserve to be sentenced to death.

"At the moment we are looking for solutions to the dilemma of internal divisions, comes these sentences to widen the gaps between sects and groups," Malik Nazar, a member of the Iraqi Dialogue Front that has nine MPs in the Iraqi Parliament, told IPS.

"We must stop sacrificing our men for the sake of sending messages of compassion to Iran and others who have feuds with our heroic army men," Nazar stressed.

"They are killing any Sunni Arab who might one day lead Iraqis, or at least a group of Iraqis, when this dirty occupation leaves the country," Ali Salman, a teacher in Baghdad, told IPS, "As long as Iranians and Kurds are our real rulers, all our good men will always be targeted."

(Inter Press Service)

comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Police Bombings Raise New Fears
    8/1/2008

  • Most NGOs in Iraq Losing Face
    7/24/2008

  • Fallujah Braces for Another Assault
    7/22/2008

  • Unrest Surfaces in Fallujah Again
    7/17/2008

  • Iraq: The Love Stories Are Gone
    6/15/2008

  • 'Special Weapons' Have a Fallout on Babies in Fallujah
    6/13/2008

  • Corruption Eats Into Iraqis' Food Rations
    5/3/2008

  • Five Years On, Fallujah in Tatters
    4/15/2008

  • Iraq: From One Dictator to Another?
    4/14/2008

  • Iraqis: 'Surge' Is a Catastrophe
    2/23/2008

  • More Bombing Creates New Enemies
    2/9/2008

  • Iraqi Police and Army Sidelined by Sunni Fighters
    1/22/2008

  • Iraqis 'Awake' to a New Danger
    1/15/2008

  • Iraq Less Violent and Hellish Only in Numbers
    1/12/2008

  • Killer of US Soldiers Becomes Hero for Iraqis
    1/8/2008

  • US-Backed 'Awakening' Forces Arouse New Conflicts
    12/27/2007

  • Looking to Security from Paper Police
    12/20/2007

  • 'Bad' Women Raped and Killed in Southern Iraq
    12/19/2007

  • In Iraq, Not Even the Hajj is Free of Corruption
    12/14/2007

  • Iraqi Widows Become the Silent Tragedy
    12/8/2007

  • Refugees Caught Between Deportation and Death Threats
    12/7/2007

  • A Tenuous 'Peace' in Anbar
    11/30/2007

  • Detentions Escalate in Diwaniyah
    11/28/2007

  • Executions Not Leading to Iraqi Reconciliation
    11/23/2007

  • Shi'ite Infighting Increases Instability
    11/22/2007

  • Fallujah Now Under a Different Kind of Siege
    11/21/2007

  • Baghdad: A Tale of One City, Now Two
    11/13/2007

  • Fewer Deaths in Iraq Bring No Reassurance
    11/10/2007

  • When Blackwater Kills,
    No Questions Asked
    10/31/2007

  • Assassination of Sheikh Shakes US Claims
    10/20/2007

  • Back to School, Back to Horror
    9/15/2007

  • No Refuge Within or Outside the Country
    9/14/2007

  • Fighting Among Shi'ites Adds to Violence
    9/12/2007

  • Clerics Begin to Take Over Iraq
    9/11/2007

  • Samarra Under US Attack
    9/7/2007

  • With Donkeys for Transport, All Is Well
    9/6/2007

  • Families of Iraqi Detainees Losing Hope
    8/31/2007

  • Fallujah Finds a False Peace
    8/29/2007

  • Another US Military Operation, More Unrest
    8/23/2007

  • Between the Two Rivers, Lack of Water Kills
    8/18/2007

  • Iran Ties Weaken Iraqi Government Further
    8/14/2007

  • A Nail in Maliki Government's Coffin?
    8/4/2007

  • Iraq a Little Easier to Occupy From the Air
    8/1/2007

  • In Iraq, Soccer Succeeds Where Politics Fails
    7/28/2007

  • In Iraq, Partition Fears
    Begin to Rise
    7/17/2007

  • Operation Arrowhead Becomes Fountainhead of Anger
    7/11/2007

  • Curfew-Bound Fallujah
    On the Boil Again
    6/28/2007

  • Iraqis Skeptical After Second Shrine Attack
    6/21/2007

  • Iraqis Suffer Through Summer Without Electricity
    6/19/2007

  • US Losing Ground Through Tribal Allies
    6/16/2007

  • Iraqi Lawmaker Confirms Kurd-Shia Clashes in Baghdad
    6/10/2007

  • In Iraq, Broken Lives and Broken Hearts
    6/7/2007

  • Anger Builds in Fallujah Over Security Crackdown
    6/5/2007

  • Sick of Iraq's Government
    6/2/2007

  • Kurds and Shia Fight for Power in Baghdad
    5/30/2007

  • Curfew Begins to Choke Samarra
    5/23/2007

  • Iraqis Blame US Occupation for Bloody Week
    4/24/2007

  • Basra Splits Between Warring Shi'ites
    4/21/2007

  • Now the South Erupts
    4/12/2007

  • Iraqis Search for Political Leadership
    3/16/2007
  • Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail write for Inter Press Service.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com