The last moments of Saddam Hussein

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The last moments of Saddam Hussein

Post by Tidodo » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:16 pm

I am not a great believer in “capital punishment.” It seems to me that men who can only speculate as to what is life purpose, least of which what it is and how it comes about, should have no business messing around ending it. That's for another debate in another time. But, I tend to accept that those who take great liberties with the lives of others, to satisfy only the insatiable appetite of their inflated egos, lose respect for their own lives. I think Saddam Hussein, and all the dictators like him, fall into that group of people whose life to me has become of a lesser value than that of the rest of us who respect others' human rights and lives. Although I have reservations on the process that led to the stopping of his violating others' human rights, I shed no tears for the loss of his life, and humanity is probably better off without his future contribution.

As a human being, I don't understand - although I accept it as a reality of life - how other dictators like Saddam end up dying in their sleep and not paying for their crimes. It is a big disappointment to me that things like that happen in a world that should have been protective of our dignity as human beings. The day François Duvalier died in his sleep, I stopped believing in the fairness of this world and in a lot of naive things I learned in my childhood. My wishes for 2007 are for a more just and peaceful world.


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Post by jafrikayiti » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:13 pm

Ti dodo,

First let me wish you Happy January 1 (Haitian Independence Day !).

The murder of Saddam Hussein by his former masters is illustrative of the mess in which our world is today. Beyond issues of death penalty, justice and retribution, this murder of a criminal by other criminals of equal calibre as he...should, in my opinion, be a warning sign to us all about what lays ahead for our world.

If I follow your argument, Saddam was a bloody dictator, and he got what was coming to him. No tears for the butcher of Bagdad. I am with you on that one.

You also wrote: "As a human being, I don't understand - although I accept it as a reality of life - how other dictators like Saddam end up dying in their sleep and not paying for their crimes".

Myself, I would say that I (and I dare assume that most people do also including you Tidodo, when you are not being too diplomatic) understand exactly why things are the way they are.

Rather than putting forth more elaboration, let me offer a question and share a related article to support my point.

!) The Question: WASN'T P.W. BOTHA (who passed away at 90, the other day) A DESPICABLE DICTATOR WHO KILLED LIKELY MORE PEOPLE THAN SADDAM?

2) The Article:

[quote]African furore at Mandela condolences for Botha
Thu 9 November 2006

Nelson Mandela and President Mbeki are facing criticism from Africans worldwide after offering public expressions of condolence to the family of the vehemently racist apartheid advocate, P.W. Botha following his death.

The UK's BBC news website led the apologist reporting slant after Pieter Willem Botha, former Azanian (South African) prime minister from 1978 to 1984, died of a heart attack at his home, Die Anker, in the Western Cape, Azania aged 90. The Corporation, which published an article called “Mandela hails apartheid defender” determined its title by distorting a statement made by former Azanian (South African) President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in which he claimed Botha “pave[d] the way towards the eventual peacefully negotiated settlement in our country”.

Across the world, Mandela is revered and promoted by europeans as a universal icon for peace. He is principally applauded for his decision to seek reconciliation without justice for the atrocities carried out by the racist european regime that imprisoned him for almost three decades in the notorious Robben Island Prison and forcibly imposed the system of apartheid on the African people of Azania. Western media institutions fail to reveal that whilst imprisoned, his political resolve had been eroded after two decades of torture and abuse at the hands of his racist captors.

In contrast, Mandela was respected by African people worldwide for his uncompromising approach to African liberation the exemplary and astute manner in which he, along with other noted activitsts, devised successful strategies for effective freedom fighting. Mandela entered politics by joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1942. Together with a small group of young Africans under the leadership of Anton Lembede and with members including William Nkomo, Walter Sisulu, Oliver R. Tambo, Ashby P. Mda and Nelson Mandela, they set themselves the formidable task of transforming the ANC into a mass movement. They drew strength, motivation and support from the diverse pool of African people working in the towns and countryside eventually transforming the ANC into a movement of millions. Mandela spoke out against the introduction of the restrictive eurocentric Bantu education programme and urged community activists to "make every home, every shack or rickety structure a centre of learning".

During this period of African resistance, the Nazi sympathizer, P.W. Botha infamously established the ‘Total Onslaught' and ‘Total Strategy' phrases to justify campaigns which utilised ever increasing force to attack irrepressible African resistance to the Boers european-only rule. He was also responsible for ‘Operation Savannah', a neo-colonial attack waged against Angola from 1975-1989 following the collapse of Portuguese colonial rule. The objective was to overthrow the communist MPLA-Cuban regime by working with the covert assistance of the United States CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), to provide weapons and reinforcements to both Jonas Malheiro Savimbi, the leader of the Movement for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) and the FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola). Some Africans claim that UNITA, based its ideology on Savimbi's African concept of liberation and socialism, rather than the "Western" FNLA and the "Soviet" MPLA who were both opposed to African nationalism. Botha continued to support UNITA as it did not want the aggressive anti-apartheid SWAPO (South West African People's Organisation) to establish any bases in southern Angola.

Under Botha's direct rule, over twenty thousand Africans were killed or imprisoned. The security forces instigated a policy of so-called “black-on-black” violence by supplying arms to rival factions, blowing up church property where freedom fighters met and bombing countries that harboured the African National Congress. The ANC was officially banned by the Boer regime in 1960, after which Mandela argued for establishing an ANC military wing. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela's campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of the military division of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) who subsequently carried out hundreds of acts of sabotage against the then racist government. In 1961, Mandela organised a three day national strike against Botha's dictatorship. He and several other ANC members were eventually caught and sentenced to life imprisonment for plotting to overthrow the government by violence.

The British and American governments supported the apartheid regime and despite the overwhelming majority of African people universally considering Mandela a heroic freedom fighter, western politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan branded him a terrorist whilst Amnesty International refused to recognise him as a prisoner of conscious because he refused to renounce violence.

Eventually, and after 27 years of imprisonment, Mandela was released on Sunday 11 February 1990. He and his delegation agreed to the suspension of armed struggle and he was subsequently offered the Nobel Peace Prize. He was inaugurated as the first democratically elected State President of South Africa on 10 May 1994 a role he served until June 1999 when he retired from public life. Later that year, Mandela was reported to have unexpectedly paid tribute to Botha during a SABC television programme. He claimed that Botha, as well as De Klerk, had played a "critical role" in the peaceful transition of South Africa to a ‘non-racial democracy'.

On 5 November 2006, a heated debate enthused on BBC Radio London after it was suggested that African people ‘forgive racism' and ‘move on'. The show, which was produced by the African British producer Helen Bart and hosted by the African British presenters Dotun Adebayo and his wife Carol Thompson called for listeners to recommend an ‘unsung white hero of black people/history'. The BBC Radio London team named “Lord” Scarman, “Lord” MacPherson, footballer David Beckham and Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records, as heroes of African history before introducing a ‘life coach' who advocated that African people should emulate Mandela's example of blanket forgiveness for the on-going systems of racism and that historically and presently manifest in the violation of human rights. The focus of the discussion was on ‘reconciliation' devoid of any sense of justice.

Mandela's expression of condolence following Botha's death contradicts that of his people. The Azanian newspaper, Pretoria News, writes; “PW deserves only crocodile tears - Ultimately history will show that Botha, despite having the opportunity, did little to bring South Africa into the modern democratic world”.

Speaking to the BBC, the British MP Peter Hain, said “To give him his credit he actually spoke to Nelson Mandela, [although] it came to nothing…”. The African British politicians, David Lammy, Dianne Abbott and Dawn Butler have failed to pass comment.

Botha was an unrepentant racist and his illegal Boer regime was supported by the governments of Britain and America. Israel also gave the regime the technology for its nuclear weapons program. In 2006, the UK's Guardian newspaper came under fire after publishing an article that exposed “the clandestine alliance between Israel and the apartheid regime, cemented with the ultimate gift of friendship - A-bomb technology”. Jewish commentators reject this and cite the fact that F.W. de Klerk, (former ‘President' of Azania) who admitted to possessing nuclear weapons, also asserted that they had never cooperated with others on its development.

This is utterly untrue.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists provides a detailed history of Azania's nuclear programs from 1949 to 1975, which was also supported by France, North America and Germany. The reactors were supplied by France, the US supplied a research reactor in 1965 (SAFARI-1) and weapons grade Uranium until 1975. Technical training at the Nuclear Research Center in Karlsruhe and critical enrichment technology was transferred to the regime by Germany. In addition, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) lists details of the nations who supplied arms for the suppression of African resistance;

UK: 14 Westland Wasp helicopters supplied in 1973 and 1974
France: 38 Mirage fighter aircraft supplied in 1974 and 1975
Jordan: 717 Tigercat missiles suppplied in 1974
Italy: 80 Military aircraft supplied in 1974
UK: 41 Centurian tanks supplied in 1974
France: 48 AS-12 air to surface missiles supplied in 1975
France: 2 Submarines supplied in 1975
France: 2040 Air to surface missiles supplied between 1976-1983
Italy: 96 Impala counter insurgency equipment supplied between 1976-1983
Spain: 60 Centurion tanks supplied in 1979

In September 1990, Botha agreed to sign the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) but only "in the context of an equal commitment by other states in the Southern African region” referring to Tanzania and Zambia. After much pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union they agreed and Azania signed the NPT on 10 July 1991. In March 1993, de Klerk declared that Azania had previously developed nuclear capability which had been dismantled and destroyed before the country acceded to the NPT. Soon afterwards, on 10 May 1994, de Klerk led Mandela into the chamber of Parliament. They embraced to the rapturous applause of newly elected MPs and guests in the public gallery. Mandela then addressed a crowd of 60,000 attending his inauguration at the Union Buildings and told them that South Africans should forget the past and work together to build a great country. Both de Klerk and Mandela received the 1993 Nobel Peace prizes. On 27 April 1994, de Klerk was appointed as Executive Deputy President in Azania's Government of National Unity.

Botha was a war criminal

The National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) said that the late Botha would have qualified as a war criminal in Namibia for the disappearance and deaths of many Namibians, crimes against humanity and other gross violations of human rights. However in an interview to mark his 90th birthday, Botha made it clear that he had no regrets about the actions of his regime.

Following his death and as required by protocol, the governing African National Congress (ANC) extended “its sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of former President PW Botha”. However President Thabo Mbeki joined Mandela in facing global African ire after saying "On behalf of the government and people of South Africa we express our heartfelt condolences to his wife and the rest of the family”.

The ANC's actions have disgusted and infuriated Africans worldwide who were mortified by the decision to order flags across the country be flown at half-mast and the setting out of public condolence books at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. There was further anger from Africans across the Continent and in the Diaspora after President Mbeki, whose son Kwanda, is believed to have been murdered by agents of the apartheid government under Botha, initially offered Botha's family a state funeral as is required under Azania's post-apartheid constitution and later attended his private funeral. Botha's widow declined the offer when it became clear the country's leading trade union group and the Pan Africanist Congress rejected claims that the Government had made these gestures in a desire for reconciliation. Pan Africanist Congress leader Motsoko Pheko called the state funeral offer "naked appeasement to the forces of apartheid."

Azania's Mail and Guardian online publication questions President Mbeki's actions asking “What was it all for? After all the misery, waste and broken lives the ANC was unbanned and now rules South Africa. President Thabo Mbeki was wrong to say, in his message of condolence, that Botha understood “in his own way” that resistance to change was futile. One of the worst features of this arrogant and truculent man was his utter lack of contrition for the pointless suffering he caused so many innocent people.”

Patrick Craven of The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) said; “It's very hard to understand [why our government seems to be honoring Botha]… Presumably it's for reasons of protocol. We believe these are far outweighed by an assessment of the role which he played, which means he deserves no kind of public recognition… We're in favour of attempting to reconcile people, but never at the expense of distorting and falsifying history. That's the big danger — this is giving him a role in history which he did not play."

Botha refused to participate in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was convicted in 1998, at age 82, of holding the commission in contempt, fined and given a suspended five-year jail term for ignoring the summons. To the anger of many Africans he successfully appealed both conviction and sentence in the Cape High Court.

The TRC later revealed Boer plans to release Nelson Mandela after he became too physically weak to pose a political threat to the apartheid regime and gave details of projects carried out under Botha's regime in which toxins, bacteria and lethal chemicals were used to kill countless African freedom fighters.

The TRC hearings lasted for eight years and heard the testimony of some 21,000 victims and perpetrators. Some 1,200 perpetrators were granted amnesty. Vusi Pikoli, a spokesperson for the National Prosecutions Authority at the time, said the cases involved gross human rights violations, including torture and killings. He continued; "This is invoking existing legal mechanisms that we hope will lay this matter to rest so that we close this chapter of our history".

The TRC was applauded by Britain, America and various european nations as a testament to the power of Christian “forgiveness”. They opposed criticism by the majority African population which included representatives from support groups of victims of apartheid violence who revealed that the process was too lenient. Tokyo Sexwale, former premier of the Gauteng Province and Robben Island prisoner was reported as saying "We should not forget the kind of regime he represented, he was ruthless, he was brutal, he was a leader of apartheid during the harshest years of that regime, the sad truth is that he is leaving with many secrets which he should have revealed perhaps during the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission".

The African Christian Democratic Party have released a statement stating that President Mbeki's decision to fly the national flag at half mast in recognition of Botha's death was a sign of "political maturity”.

Craven continues "The overwhelming majority of South Africans and the people of the world will remember PW Botha only with hatred and disgust". COSATU says Botha will be remembered as a brutal dictator whose “hands were stained with the blood of hundreds who were murdered during the struggle for democracy and liberation under his presidency and who presided over a system that denied the majority all their basic human rights”.

During the recent BBC London debate presenter Dotun Adebayo and his wife introduced an established grass roots reporter from Azania. He was invited to present opinion on “forgiveness for racism in particular Botha”. He responded by revealing that “Mandela's comments did not reflect the majority view of South Africa”. The singer-presenter Carol Thompson asked if it was not time to “move on” and queried why he had “nothing good to say about him [Botha]”.

The African journalist responded by replying; “In my culture we speak no ill of the dead, but when it is of someone of such evil we find it hard not to say... rot in hell”.

As you can see the term "dictator" which is so carelessly applied to any Black leader in this world is seldom applied to P.W. Botha and other white criminals who have presided over the assassination of millions of human beings. And, you have Mandela and Mbeki going out of their way to please the backers of Botha.

I understand why folks like Botha and Pinochet die of old age. I think most of us actually understand this all too well.


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Post by jafrikayiti » Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:17 pm

Sorry, I forgot to add the link to the article and this comment from the readers:

[quote]LIGALI Comment

There is a price African people have to pay in order to gain their high positions of authority in european structures. The price which affects these people, whether President or Presenter, almost always invariably involves a moral compromise maintaining the socio-political inequality afflicting African communities in return for unparalleled freedom, either it political, economic or both. Amongst other crimes, Botha was part of the regime responsible for the murder of over five hundred innocent Africans protesting his Bantu Education reforms during the Soweto Uprising 16 June 1976. Over half of the murdered Africans were children under the age of sixteen.

Those Africans who seek to “forgive and forget”, those who show no remorse, have faced no justice and continue to benefit from the current and historic oppression and exploitation of African people disgrace themselves and dishonour our ancestors.

While we will never forget Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela for his revolutionary work before his unjust incarceration, it is important to note that there is no exception to this rule, no African is immune from criticism.

As such we honour Mandela the African freedom fighter, but we are simultaneously shamed by the actions of Mandela the great european apologist who not only failed to seek justice against Botha and all the members and supporters of his odious regime but who, in 2007, will be coming to the UK in order to promote and celebrate the antics of William Wilberforce for the British 2007 Wilberforce commemorations.

Brothers in arms - Israel's secret pact with Pretoria - Guardian online

Blog Archive - End of an Era - The Death of PW Botha

Bbc London - Doton Adebayo - Carol Thompson - Forgiving Botha[/quote]


Post by Zanfanginen » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:35 pm

I agree with both of you on this. No doubt that Saddam Hussein was a bloody dictator and got what he deserves. However, it is so sad to see other dictator such as Pinochet and Botha dead without paying for their crimes. It is very shameful to see Mandela and Mbeki paying their "respect" to that criminal of Botha. It is beyond misunderstanding.

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Post by Tidodo » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:26 am

Jaf and Zanf,

I understand where both of you are coming from. When I was younger, I have thought the same way you did. But, we all know how Mandela had not only talked the talk but he also walked the walk. His credentials are not questionable. We all also know that he is a very wise leader, deeply concerned about the wellbeing of his people. If so, is it possible that he knows something that we don't know? By that, I mean information on the transition to democracy in South Africa (S.A.) that was not reported in the press. Let me remind you that most of what we learn from the news is reported to us in a very partial manner, depending on which side the reporter is.

Although the apartheid government was under a lot of pressure from both inside and outside S.A., the end of its rule was negotiated. It could have done like Saddam Hussein, and many others, and stuck to its guns until the regime got violently uprooted, creating chaos in the country. Would S.A. have been better off than it is today? I don't know. Perhaps, Mandela is grateful for that! But, he has been where I have not. I will defer to his wisdom before I try to substitute mine to his.

Real leaders should put their countrymen and country first, then their egos! Haitian leaders should have learned from Mandela. The Truth and Reconciliation plan was a recent historic event that Haitian leaders should have emulated. Perhaps, and I don't really know, we would have averted the chaos we have in Haiti today. I was very disappointed when our leaders of recent past chose a path unlike S.A., after the Duvalier dictatorship. It was a missed opportunity. My question to both of you and to others on this forum: "Wouldn't you rather have negotiated a peace with the leftover Duvalier supporters - the elite, the tonton macoutes and the military - like S.A., to the chaos we have now in Haiti?" While this would have required that some crimes go unpunished, it would have avoided the continued punishing of the innocent population. The choice is really: punishing the guilty while punishing the innocent population or not punishing the guilty to avoid punishing the innocent population!

Let me add one more thing on "diplomacy." Respecting others' point of view, even when we disagree with them, is diplomacy. In math, we would say it is also equal to respecting human rights. That's what allows us to function in society when there are so many competing interests. To ignore diplomacy is to abdicate your responsibility as a leader capable of solving social problems. It took courage from Mandela to acknowledge the good side of P.W. Botha and the role it played in S.A.'s future. It does not mean he ignored his bad side and past. Maybe, by paying respect to Botha, he is trying to teach, not only to current leaders in South Africa, but also to those in countries with social reconciliation problems, to put their country first before their egos and emotions. I may be speculating here, but I have great respect for the great Nelson Mandela. Before I question him, I would want to make sure of his intent.

P.S. I want to make it clear again that I consider P.W. Botha, like you all do, a criminal dictator. My comments above in no way intend to absolve him or the apartheid regime, of the suffering they imposed on the South African people during their reign.

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Re: The last moments of Saddam Hussein

Post by Gelin » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:06 pm

[quote]...The day François Duvalier died in his sleep, I stopped believing in the fairness of this world and in a lot of naive things I learned in my childhood. My wishes for 2007 are for a more just and peaceful world...[/quote]
Life is not fair. Period. Unless you can fight to bring about a drop of justice in your environment, the law of the jungle will prevail at all times. In Haiti, for example, one would be very naive to expect the traditional parasites to give a break to the population - just out of the goodness of their heart ?!!?!?. It won't happen.


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