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Robert Scheer: Silencing Saddam

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Posted on Dec 29, 2006
Hussein Hanging
Iraqi state television

Iraqi state television broadcasted footage of Saddam’s hanging.

By Robert Scheer

It is a very frightening precedent that the United States can invade a country on false pretenses, depose its leader and summarily execute him without an international trial or appeals process. This is about vengeance, not justice, for if it were the latter the existing international norms would have been observed. The trial should have been overseen by the World Court, in a country that could have guaranteed the safety of defense lawyers, who, in this case, were killed or otherwise intimidated.

The irony here is that the crimes for which Saddam Hussein was convicted occurred before the United States, in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, embraced him.  Those crimes were well known to have occurred 15 months before Rumsfeld visited Iraq to usher in an alliance between the United States and Saddam to defeat Iran.

 

The fact is that Saddam Hussein knew a great deal about the United States’ role in Iraq, including deals made with Bush’s father. This rush to execute him had the feel of a gangster silencing the key witness to a crime.

At Nuremberg in the wake of World War II the U.S. set the bar very high by declaring that even the Nazis, who had committed the most heinous of crimes, should have a fair trial. The U.S. and allies insisted on this not to serve those charged, but to educate the public through a believable accounting. In the case of Saddam, the bar was lowered to the mud, with the proceedings turned into a political circus reminiscent of Stalin’s show trials.

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By Adolar Vantalinor, January 25, 2008 at 5:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would only like to know:
Je voudrais seulement connaître:

1. Who precisely saw the ghost (specter) of Saddam Hussein (identity, age, intellectuel level (psychotic, psychiatric, psy, channel, etc), address,...)
1. Qui précisement a vu le fantôme (spectre) de Saddam Hussein (identité, âge, niveau intellectuel (psychotic, psychiatric, psy, channel, etc), adresse, ...)

2. How did he look alike (as an ordinary person, a ghost, ectoplasm…)
2. Comment se présentait-il (comme un homme ordinaire, comme un fantôme, ectoplasme…)

3. Was he standing or floating ?
3. Se tenait-il debout ou floattait-il ?

4. What was he doing (eating, flaning…)
4. Que faisait-il (manger, flaner…)

5. Could any one touch him?
5. Pouvait qui le voulait le toucher?

6. Why did not they catch him to question him ?
6. Pour quoi ne l’a-t-on pas interpéler pour l’interroger ?

7. How did he disappeared (walking, vanishing, suddenly…)
7. Comment est-il parti (en marchant, se désintégrant, disparaissant spontanément…)

8. Is the silence of irakiis autorities (and USA’s) another conspiration of the same type than the ultra-secret site ‘S4’ located inside the Area 51 near the Papoose lake of the huge Nevada desert related to UFOs or are they confused of their heinously ignominic act face to the world ?
8. Le silence des autorités irakiennes (et des USA) ne serait-il pas une autre conspiration du genre du site ultra-secret ‘S4’ situé à l’intérieur de la Zone 51 près du lac Papoose de l’immense désert du Nevada concernant les OVNIS ou seraient ces autorités confuses devant le monde de leur acte odieusement ignominique?

9. What about his murderers / killers ?
9. Qu’est-ce qu’il en est avec ses bourreaux ?

9a. One naive question: What have the murderer of Saddam Hussein become ?
=
9a. Une naïve question: Que sont devenus les bourreaux de Saddam Hussein?

10. Has anybody filmed the ghost of SH?
10. Quelqu’un a-t-il filmé ce fantôme de SH?

11. Is the ghost od SH still haunting Irak ?
11. Le fantôme de SH continue-t-il de hanter l’Irak ?

12. What indicated ghostometers?
12. Qu’ont indiqué les spectromètres?

13. Do paranormal phenomenon occur in the local in which SH was hanged ?
13. Se produisent-ils des phénomènes paranormaux dans le local où SH a été pendu ?

14. By definition, Ghosts are post-mortem representations of persons who are seen where a murder has been done. Contrarily from green ladies, ghosts are whitish or transparent, but also their identity and the reason for their beeing there are usually less known. Hence, what people are seeing from SH: his ghost or his spirit?
=
14. Par définition, les Fantômes sont des représentations post-mortem de personnes que l’on aperçoit là où il s’est passé une tragédie ou un meurtre. A la différence des dames vertes, les fantômes sont de couleur blanchâtre ou transparente, mais aussi leur identité et leur raison d’être là sont moins souvent connues. Dès lors, ce que les gens ont semblé voir, est-ce le fantôme ou l’esprit de SH?

15. Generally speaking, what to do face to (in the street, at home inside or outdoor, in a cemetery, at hospital or a morgue, at an isolated place…?):
=
15. Généralement parlant, que faut-il faire devant (dans la rue, à la maison à l’intérieur ou à l’extérieur, dans un cimétière, dans un hôpital ou dans une morgue, dans un endroit isolé...?):
  - a ghost (un fantôme)
  - a spirit (un esprit)
  - a demon (un démon)
  - an orb (un orb)
  - any other paranormal manifestation (n’importe quelle autre manifestation paranormal)

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By Mescalero, January 6, 2007 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marlow—

It’s really too bad that you’re not up on your history.  If you were you would not have made the following statements:

1).  “The Soviet Union lost twenty million people to Hitler…”

Tell me, have you ever asked yourself why?  And just who are included in those twenty million?  Do you include the deported Crimean Tatars, the Volga Germans, the Chechnyans and other assorted peoples of the Caucus region?  These innocent peoples had nothing to do with Hitler.  What about the twenty million plus Soviets that were butchered by the Stalin regime prior to 1 September 1939?  What about the notorious purges that continued after the Nazi attack in June, 1941?  After that ask yourself why Stalin wiped out the Soviet military leadership in the late 1930s if he was so fearful of Hitler, a person that the Comintern worked hard to install in 1930s Germany.

2).  “Made the Civil War here look like a piss-as bar fight”.

Tell me Marlow, how many American soldiers died in one day of fighting at Antietam, Gettysburg, and Shiloh? 

3).  “...most historians agree that without that fight Hitler would quite possibly have won the war…”

At best a questionable statement.  Tell me Marlow just who kicked the crap out of the Luftwaffe over the skies of Great Britain in 1940-1941?  Isn’t it interesting that Soviet Migs and Yaks don’t show up in that battle, and isn’t it interesting that Spitfires and American-made P-39 Airacobras showed up in great numbers in the Soviet Union after the Nazi invasion? I will not minimize the herculanian efforts of the Soviets to repel the Nazi invasion, and I certainly will not minimize the tremendous achievements of the Soviets in the developement of aircraft that, in the end, were superior to almost anything the Naziis could throw at them.  That being said, most Russians and Ukrainians I have met since the fall of the Berlin Wall strongly question Stalin’s alliance with Hitler in 1939.  All Stalin had to do is assure Hitler that he would do nothing if Hitler attacked France, Britain and the Low Countries.  But no, Stalin actively engaged in the invasion of Poland, namely the province of Galicia as well as parts of eastern Poland. In fact, Hitler and Stalin agreed to the division of Poland prior to the invasion of 1939.  As a result, anywhere from 350,000 to 500,000 Polish (in today’s politico-speak Western Ukrainian and Byelorussian)civilians were butchered by Stalin’s goons goose-stepping in cadence to the Internationale. Add to that the fact that the Soviets shut off escape routes to thousands of frightened Polish Jews, and, in many cases, actually arrested and turned these helpless souls over to the Nazi SS.  Tell me friend, do you consider these situations to be criminal acts or do you not?? Your silence on this matter is deafening!

3).  “Hitler started WWII on the false accusation that Poland was planning an attack on Germany.  Sound familiar?..”

Yeah, that sounds real familiar—I heard that same sort of BS from the Soviets in 1956 as Soviet tanks roared into Budapest and just prior to the Soviet invasion of Czechoslavia in 1968.  I also heard it when Soviet Polish puppet Jaruselzki suppressed the Solidarity trade union in Gdansk.  Again I ask you was it Hitler that started WWII, or was it Hitler in alliance with Stalin? 

So you say Nuremberg established that “preemptive wars, wars of choice are the highest of crimes”.  Well, Marlow, before you go off the deep again I suggest you seriously reconsider Soviet history, including the Doctors’ Plot, the Slansky trials, etc. After that, consider Kim Il Sung’s invasion of South Korea as well as the Chinese invasion (and continued suppression) of Tibet.  After that, how do you explain the North Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia that toppled the Khmer Rouge?  After that maybe you can explain the Syrian presence in Lebanon and the mysterious murders of Lebanese politicians.

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By Bobby Baxter ~ Veteran & Marijuana Felon, January 6, 2007 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

(continued from previous post)

I ‘maxed’ out of the GULAG about three months before the so called 2000 election.. and then wrote over 160 letters to the major political party offices, editors, newspapers, printed media, tv feeds, and columnists across the country. I warned them that the coming election, such as they are, was about to be stolen. Again, glowing on, and in the envelopes.. JUST SAY NO TO THE TEXECUTIONER.

What happened in 2000 is history. Bad History. A good thing though.. finally the beginning of our ‘wake up’. Imagine my delight in the spring when I saw on one of the Big TV ‘crawls’ at the bottom of the news that JUST SAY NO TO THE TEXECUTIONER was getting buzz in DC. Didn’t stop chimpo & co unfortunately.. not that I thought it had any chance whatsoever. Just getting in my punches.

Chimpo’s murderous reign in Texas is a nasty legend. Signed about 250 souls into the death house there. No real consideration as to their possible innocence. The Bush Monster. His reign as usaInc emperor in DC has been no different. Whatsoever. Now he kills by the million!! There is evidence that chimpo was in collusion with the Israelis to poison Arafat and that is not the least surprising. That’s chimpo’s ‘style’. Now it’s called ‘Executive Action’ when he does it. Or if by the thousand.. Foreign Policy. Or killing our own children serving in what was our National Defense Forces.. patriotism…

Bloodthirsty Monsters.. no question. Seems time again to restart that old ‘campaign’ of mine..

JUST SAY NO TO THE TEXECUTIONER

DENY HIM HIS DRUG OF CHOICE

yep.. chimpo.. that was me.  bon appetit

Bobby Baxter ~ Veteran & Marijuana Felon

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By Bobby Baxter ~ Veteran & Marijuana Felon, January 6, 2007 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JUST SAY NO TO THE TEXECUTIONER
   
“In the case of Saddam, the bar was lowered to the mud, with the proceedings turned into a political circus reminiscent of Stalin’s show trials.”
   
    If we would but ‘wake up’ to reality, that’s about all any trial in Amerika had been for a long, long time. JUSTICE UNDONE

    I note this following in the http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16034.htm, with some ‘sordid amusement’.

“Based on his record during his tenure as Texas governor, when he authorized more death row inmate executions than any US governor in history (and was called by some the Texecutioner), this revelation should come as no surprise.”

I smuggled my survival three years in the Pa Big House for what amounts to a ‘thought crime’.. Sweet Mary Jane. My only ‘crime’ in life except perhaps a speeding ticket or two. I didn’t waste my time there.. lots of Law Library.. trying to learn that filth and help others. Among other efforts, I ran mail campaigns from prison to many activist groups and ‘government’ officials. Spent plenty of ‘hole time’ and worse for it. No matter. It was the right thing to do. The neo con PNAC and chimpo were running up their 2000 ‘campaign’. I knew it was big trouble and thought it through very carefully. I came up with JUST SAY NO TO THE TEXECUTIONER. I then wrote over 150 letters to major state and DC ‘jurists’ and ‘lawmakers’ on the need to end the Hate Crime known as the Death Penalty.. explaining to them that there is no such thing as an ‘infallible system’.. so without question the innocent were being murdered by the ‘state’. Also, I now brutally ‘familiar’ with the Tom Ridge ‘machine’.. warning them about what was just ahead. On the contents and envelope’s exteriors.. a brazen thing to do from Amerika’s prisons.. writing the characters about an inch tall in red ink with yellow highlighting.. resources in the GULAG being very limited and simple.. JUST SAY NO TO THE TEXECUTIONER. Surprisingly effective graphically.. virtual flashing neon.

(continued next post)

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By paul, January 5, 2007 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

notable execution such as Sodom’s, have in the past been a little more formal than his.  It would seem like a officer of the law woulld be present, a legal person would be there, a religious person would be present.  All I see is 3 guys in leather coats and a big ass noose. Who is representing the officals who sentenced him, where are the offical witnesses?  not even a police officer in uniform or a soldier is present. \Does anyone see this or is ther a little wool in our eyes.

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By wow, January 5, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Do all of you think that we dont have weapons of mass destruction. who watches us. Do you think other countries thaink that we are a threat to their national security. We go where we want, and when . come on people open your eyes, and think in reverse sometimes. Would we allow another country to coem in, take our president, and chanrge him with war crimes (Iraq) and hang him…. get a clue.

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By "time" is running out, January 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As the “surge” upticks one by one, so will the deaths, wounded and the American Public at large.  Of which the “occupant” totally under
estimates.  The “voiceS” will depict louder and louder screams from all Americans.  It is only a matter of “time”.  Of which the “time” is running out.  But then again he never did understand geometry and the reflex angle…......but Gerald Ford, did.

Cheers,
Mother of Logic /i/d

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By Mad as Hell, January 3, 2007 at 9:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo:
You say the facts show we were justified in invading Iraq.

“The facts show that the invasion was justified”

What facts?  The President ORDERED the intel services NOT to bring him info that contradicted his pre-conception that Iraq was a threat.

Here’s simply what happened: When Bush took office his gang IMMEDIATELY started planning to invade Iraq.  When 9/11 happened, Rumsfeld saw this to justify that attack and the orders went down to hunt for intel to justify it.  They came up with yellowcake (a forgery), contacts between Saddam and Al Qaeda (absurd, since Al Qaeda HATES secular leaders like Saddam), nuclear technology (aluminium tubes that turned out to be USELESS for that), portable bio-weapons research labs (again, a big phony), and, of course, the threat of non-existent WMDs.  Remember Rice with her mushroom cloud threat? Another lie.

Then the neo-cons argue that Bush had the same intel Congress had.  This is SUCH a blatant lie that it defies reason that you believe it, or expect anyone else to believe it.  Bush had sent down orders to ignore or suppress evidence that contradicted his assumption that Saddam was a threat, and even suppress evidence that contradicted the supporting evidence—like Ambassador Wilson’s discovery that the yellowcake memo was a forgery.

It was this skewed and cooked “data” Congress saw.  Had they seen the intel that Bush had, they NEVER would have approved that resolution—and 21 Democrats and 1 Republican (Chaffee) still thought it a crock and voted “No”.

Saddam was an evil monster, but he was CONTAINED and harmless to us.  There are worse dictators in the world—even now Omar Hasan Al-Bashir (know who he is?) is ordering the Rape Of Darfur.  Al-Bashir is a far worse monster than Saddam, he’s threatening Chad, and STILL we do nothing.  BTW, Omar Hasan Al-Bashir is dictator in Sudan.

“the capture of Saddam makes the world a safer place”.

Well, curiously, this is true—but it was only made true by the invasion.  Without the invasion, he was CONTAINED and relatively harmless. That wiser policies of Bush 41 and Clinton ensured that.  Saddam loose and hiding was a rallying point—had he been as clever a guerilla as Osama Bin Laden he might have been able to mount a major Sunni counter-insurgency—and his death may bring that to being instead. 

His capture did make the world safer.  His kangaroo-court, rushed-thru, Bush-backed execution just made it more dangerous.

“the initial invasion was an unqualified success, and the “winning the peace” portion has been an absolute disaster.”

Yup. I agree with this statement 100%.  But Bush was WARNED about the post-war dangers and FIRED or forced out every sage who dared say this.  General Shinseki warned it would take 200,000 troops to control the country.  And was forced to retire.

You acknowledge that the situation is a mess and it’s Bush’s fault.  What makes you think this man who shows INCREDIBLE inflexibility and inability to accept responsibility and blame can now implement an effective policy?  He continues to blame other people for his failures—the latest being General Casey in Iraq.


Don’t tell me fundamentalist “Christians” are honest—the last few months have shown just the opposite—that the leaders of the movement are anything but.  That is an arrogant, insulting position that implies that everyone else is dis-honest.  Those who criticized Pres. Bush prior to the Iraq invasion have been PROVEN to have been the intellectually honest and far-sighted.

Of course, those wise critics have been, and continue to be castigated by you as “traitors”, “cut-and-run”, and cowards. 

If you ARE intellectually honest as you claim, you should recognize that the liberal critics, starting with Jimmy Carter’s pre-war warning not to invade Iraq, were, in fact, TOTALLY accurate and justified in their assessment of the situation, and their criticism of President Bush, both before, during, and after the invasion.

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By Bobby Baxter ~ Veteran & Marijuana Felon, January 3, 2007 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

4000 characters eh? Can’t say poop. Guess that’s the idea. I’ll remember that about Truthdig. No deep digging allowing. No complete Truth.

sayonara

Bobby Baxter ~ Veteran & Marijuana Felon

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By perfection has one grave defect, January 3, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look at all you perfect, perfect people, so kind, so peace-loving, so political, so unforgiving. Let’s all get together and watch a terrified broken man swing at the end of a rope, i hear there’s a really good video you can download off the net. It’s really popular, lots of people really want to see it apparently.
Perhaps human beings are almost uniformly ghastly, not just Saddam. Or maybe we’ve just been having a few bad days lately?

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By i'm not her, and that's not me, January 3, 2007 at 2:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here in Australia there were joyous celebrations in the streets over the death of this man and it made me cringe. Why celebrate a death? What kind of people celebrate a murder? Who are we? Who are we? It doesn’t matter what he did, he could’ve lived out his days in jail and found some way to offer consolation to those whose suffering he caused. Every time i hear of an execution, it doesn’t matter what the person did, i want to offer the lonely one facing a sanctimonious society’s cold-blooded revenge my abject apologies for not trying harder, for not supporting more fully the campaigns to end the death penalty all over the world. If he had killed a member of my own family i wouldn’t want to be the sort of person who dances in the street when he is himself murdered. Who are we? We are not who i want to be, that’s for certain.
Saddam’s daughter has my abject apologies, for my being complicit in the murder of her father, and for my being a citizen of one of the hypocritical nations who illegally invaded his country, for some ill-defined ‘noble’ cause. (war? revenge? certainly not prevention of mass-murder as the statistics of war-dead will tell anyone who bothers to stop and think.)
What goes around comes around. It did for Saddam, as it will for those short-sighted bloody-minded revenge-seekers dancing in the street in Sydney.
Justice needs to be about prevention of crime, not revenge.
Again, my abject apologies to Saddam’s innocent daughter.

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, January 3, 2007 at 12:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every single intelligence agency in the world, plus Clinton and Gore, plus the CIA, all said that Saddam had WMD and was a clear and present danger to the U.S. In a post 9/11 world, Bush would have been irresponsible to ignore Saddam.”

Hondo,
Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11; but the collapse of the WTC was the burning Reichstag that propelled us into the Iraq War.

QUESTION: A lot of the consequences you mentioned for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn’t gone in. How do you square all of that?

BUSH: I square it because imagine a world in which you had Saddam Hussein, who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who had relations with Zarqawi.
You know, I’ve heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived [in Iraq] and — you know, the stir-up-the-hornet’s- nest theory. It just doesn’t hold water, as far as I’m concerned.
The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were …

QUESTION: What did Iraqi have to do with that?

BUSH: What did Iraq have to do with what?

QUESTION: The attacks upon the World Trade Center.

BUSH: Nothing. . . . .Except for it’s part of — and nobody’s ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September the 11th is: Take threats before they fully materialize

Hondo, you lament that the war is being incompetently handled; but my regrets are that we engaged in a war that was UNNECESSARY,  devastated a country, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, created chaos in the Middle East, and allowed war profiteers to loot U.S. taxpayers—-all for a greedy grasping cabal that wanted it all.

Hondo, why do religious folks like you, have so little regard for human life?

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By Kwagmyre, January 3, 2007 at 12:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by #45098:

“The facts show that the invasion was justified, the capture of Saddam makes the world a safer place, the initial invasion was an unqualified success”....

Apparently you “intellectually honest Christian Conservatives” favor such blitzkrieg aggression as with Panama in ‘89(with Bush I)and previous to that, the invasion in Grenada(with Reagan). And if the consequences result in the deaths and injuries of thousands(as they did especially with the former attack), just “regrettable collateral damage.”

Geesh, you’re so unfailingly pathetic!

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By Kwagmyre, January 2, 2007 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Hondo #45098:

“All true Christian conservatives are intellectually honest.”

Oh yeah, then what about “Jewish” conservatives(actually the Neocons)like Wolfowitz, Perle, Kristol, Abrams, Pipes, etc?

They certainly weren’t so “intellectually honest” since a BIG part of their hidden agenda was being subservient to AIPAC and Israel’s own scheme to con the U.S. into invading Iraq and getting rid of Sadaam.

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By Shhazam4, January 2, 2007 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Hondo… good to know that you do know how to talk!

Some of the mistakes that Hondo said:

“...You say that Saddam was a victim of U.S. terrorism and that Iraq was better off with him than they are now….”

I never said that, Hondo!

Hondo says:
“...You support treason, ....”

Hondo, I never said that and you don’t know me!  Putting my life on the line for my country, how does that make me treasonous, Hondo?

Discussion of Hondo responses:

“...I have never served in battle or in the Armed Forces. I assume you have. let me ask you a question—So What?...”

I say: Whether you put your life on the line for the US or not may not mean much to you.  But, learning that you didn’t put your life on the line for the US, puts your observations, comments, knowledge about the consequences of war in a clearer frame work for me.

Hondo says:
“...The facts show that the invasion was justified, ...”

I say: When and who provided those facts?  The yellow cake lie, the wmd lie, the Saddam-alQaeda connection lie… you mean those facts?  Twisted, uncorroborated, misleading information is not facts!

 

Hondo said:

“...I don’t think we could have successfully used covert ops….”

I say: Where did you obtain that insight?  Did GWB whisper that in your ear? GWB and his friends wanted to spend the big military budget. My tax dollars and presumably yours were taken and wasted. My friends in the military were wasted for what purpose? 

If there are no wmds in Iraq to worry about in Iraq, if Saddam never attacked the US are we to use our military and tax dollars to carry out personal revenge as you say we should?

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By Hondo, January 2, 2007 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Shhazam4—Here are the answers to your questions:
1. I have never served in battle or in the Armed Forces. I assume you have. let me ask you a question—So What? You are resorting to one of the oldest tricks in the Liberal Playbook. The tricky liberal establishes guidelines as to who is qualified to discuss a particular issue and who isn’t. Guess what? The liberal guidelines always exclude conservatives! This is the way liberals circumvent the 1st Amendment. Just for the record, your service record doesn’t keep you from being 100% wrong on this issue.
2. Pres. Bush did not consult me. What’s your point?
3. Pres. Bush followed very bad advice in fighting the Iraq War. This is the first intelligent question you have asked so far, so I’ll lay out the truth here without insulting you (I’ll get back to the insults later). I don’t think that Pres. Bush, or any of his advisors (excepting C. Powell) had the first clue as to what kind of chaos would ensue after the initial invasion succeeded and Saddam was captured. i don’t think they ever planned for this kind of chaos, and that was a blunder of biblical proportions. Are you surprised to hear me say that? Don’t be. All true Christian conservatives are intellectually honest. The Rumsfeld team thought that the Iraqi citizens would be like the French after being liberated from the Nazis. That was a foolish assumption. The R-Team thought that the second half of the war could be fought on the cheap and that Iraq would “magically” come together as a functioning democracy. Colossal ignorance! Where you and I differ (greatly) is what kinds of conclusions we can draw from this. You say Bush lied/soldiers died. You say that Saddam was a victim of U.S. terrorism and that Iraq was better off with him than they are now. Those beliefs are painfully ignorant! The facts show that the invasion was justified, the capture of Saddam makes the world a safer place, the initial invasion was an unqualified success, and the “winning the peace” portion has been an absolute disaster. Our focus now should be on winning the peace, not surrendering.
4. I do not think that it is unpatriotic to question our president. Re-read #3 above, and you will see that I am very much in favor of criticism. What I oppose is the liberal agenda of deliberately undermining the war effort, and undermining our Commander-In-Chief, and giving aid and comfort to our enemies; all for the purpose of causing a Republican president to lose the war and enabling Democrats to retake power in D.C. You are not a patriot sir. You support treason, and you and your ilk are despicable human beings.
5. Nobody manipulated intelligence to “lie us into war.” I have written about this before and I will not repeat myself. You are wrong, and the facts prove you are wrong.
6. Why didn’t Bush use a covert approach? The short answer is, because his military advisors recommended another course of action. The initial invasion was a total success. A better question might be, “Why didn’t Bush/Rumsfeld/etc. plan better for winning the peace?
7. Didn’t the U.S. have enough friends in Iraq? No, we didn’t. Our intelligence apparatus was broken almost beyond repair after 8 years of Clinton. No president in the history of the U.S. (not even the inane peanut farmer) has ever done more damage to our intelligence capabilities than Clinton did. I don’t think we could have successfully used covert ops.
8. “Benefit friends we don’t have?” That wasn’t the purpose of the Iraqi invasion. The purpose was to end the Saddam regime. Saddam had a history of using WMD. He had pledged to destroy the U.S. He had tried to assasinate a U.S. President. Every single intelligence agency in the world, plus Clinton and Gore, plus the CIA, all said that Saddam had WMD and was a clear and present danger to the U.S. In a post 9/11 world, Bush would have been irresponsible to ignore Saddam.

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By Jon B, January 2, 2007 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#45065 Mike “....... April Glaspie told Saddam that the US had no interest in “Arab / Arab” conflicts before he invaded Kuwait. “

April Glaspie was the US Ambassador to Iraq at that time. One wonders whom had she consulted with and received orders from.

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By Mike, January 2, 2007 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s see, the CIA didn’t think that it was Saddam that gassed the Kurds (wrong gas used), Rumsfeld meets with Saddam, Carter gave Saddam a “green light” to invade Iran, April Glaspie told Saddam that the US had no interest in “Arab / Arab” conflicts before he invaded Kuwait.

Any of this make it into Saddam’s trial?

Anyone remember when Noriega of Panama said he had Bush I “by the balls?”

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By Shhazam4, January 2, 2007 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment
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hey Hondo your Comment #44880 by Hondo fails to answer and address the following:

You ride high on that horse of yours. Got a few questions for you:

I put my life on the line for America.  Did you?

Did GWB consult you personally before he committed American lives to his Iraq adventure? GWB didn’t consult me.

Did GWB follow good advice about how to conduct his Iraq War?  There was lots of good advice that he ignored in order to conduct the type of big budget wasteful campaign that he conducted in Iraq.

Do you think its unpatriotic to question how and why our President uses the resources we provided for him?  I think its our patriotic duty to question every thing our elected officials do.

Additional questions:

If Saddam was a threat why did Rice and Powell and others in Bush Admin. manipulate information in order to justify the invasion?

In light of the apparently successful regime change in Afghanistan (up to that time) why didn’t Bush use a covert style approach to his Iraq regime change?

Didn’t the US have enough friends in Iraq or Iraqi Nationals in US to support covert operations?

  And if US didn’t have sufficient “friends in Iraq”  why was it in US interest to use our military and our tax dollars to benefit friends we didn’t have?


Never mind the name calling and party pandering just try to respond as a real person to person.

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By Pirex, January 2, 2007 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment
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The US was in control throughout this process. Only an idiot would belive otherwise. Look at the charges brought forward and charges that should have carried the day. How do you bring a man to court for killing Shiites but do not emphasize his killing of the Kurds. He killed more kurds in one day than Shiite per this trial BUT the difference is if the Kurds killing was the main focus, USA would be an accomplice in giving him the chemicals to gas the Kurds. Thus the best approach was to use the Shiites to termininate their enemy.

Remember, Saddam did not become an enemy until he refused to give his oil “freely” like the Saudis and Kuwaitis. He was a US ally even though intelligence said he would be a thorn in the butt after the Iraq-Iran war was over. The only reason he got our help was because of oil. This should does not mean he was less evil but we made sure his evil was okay as long as it was in our best interest. It is always in our best interest, isn’t it? And we claim to be high and mighty in the moral arena. I say we are not. Did he deserve to die? Yes but the US has a lot of explaining to do about what they conspired with his when it was in “our best interest.”  Right now it is our best interest for Saddam to be gone because he was the living witness too all of this. It is in our best interest….. Sad but true and that is the American way.

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By Mondo, January 2, 2007 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
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I’d like to know what Hondo thinks the US should do now that there are no weapons, and this complete mess of Bush’s making is only making the entire world a more dangerous place?

Also, why didn’t Bush give the international inspectors more time to find what they were looking for? Why didn’t Bush take the time to make sure that the weapons were there and if so give the Iraq gov a chance to turn them over? If you say there was no time or that you don’t trust Iraq fine, but seeing as how this is all turning out extremley badly, maybe the time should have been made.

Even if Iraq had the WMDs, there is to this day not one peice of evidence pointing toward any plot at all. As time has passed, the confidence in the intel against Iraq has proven to be shakey at best.

The President doesn’t get to be wrong about these types of things when he’s sending troops into a fight that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives.

And finally after all this time and all these mistakes, what the hell is wrong with trying to fix this mess (as best as possible) with words instead of guns? The guns don’t seem to be working.

I love you Hondo

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By Jon B, January 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
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Hondo, there was no WMD before and after the iraq invasion. Second, your so called 700 hits are nano drop in an ocean.

Earth to you.

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By Matthew C. Nisbet, January 2, 2007 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
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Over at FRAMING SCIENCE, I have this comparison between US coverage of the hanging, and world reaction:

http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2007/01/us_media_ignores_world_critici.php

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By Jackie T. Gabel, January 2, 2007 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
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RE:  •    Comment #44919 by Chinaskee  on  1/01  at  9:42 pm — “You Sadaam Hussein loving liberals need to get your facts straight. We didn’t try, convict or hang that mass murdering tyrant. He was tried, convicted and hung by his own people.”

>>>>>>>>> amateur hour in overtime

Not only do the strawmen abound, they’re stuffed with red herrings — now that this Show Trial is done, why waste the mechanism on just one bogyman? Haul the Guantanamo detainees in front of them and set up a guillotine behind the courtroom — make sure they’re shut up once and for all. Get Chinaskee to close the block and Hondo to drop the blade. Hell, make it a spectator sport. Put it on ESPN; show a cheering crowd shouting, “USA Number 1!” and “Go for the gold!” at every sanguine geyser. You’d sell a lot of beer.

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By Missy, January 2, 2007 at 1:37 pm Link to this comment
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Comment #44919 by Chinaskee

Both you and your friend, Hondo’s psychological self-deception overwhelm me.  True and pure ignorance in the psyc/intellect form….

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By Arun, January 2, 2007 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
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For Hondo:

What news media do you follow ? Do you read or watch any independent media ? If you follow mainstream media then you are blinded by the propoganda of U.S. corporate and lawmaker nexus.
Look for who owns the news agencies whose news you trust.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield are the one who caused murder of 600000 Iraqis (240000 children) and 3000 american soldiers(from poor families). They could have toppled Saddam out by CIA. But they wanted to rebuild IRAQ with U.S. taxpayers(including you) money, contracts given to Cheney’s Haliburton and numerous war profiteering companies(friends). They sent poor kids to fight. They are not coming out because of the oil as they are not secured by america yet.
For your info….read these.. for unbiased news..
http://www.democracynow.org
http://www.chomsky.info
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.adbusters.com
http://www.aljazeera.com
http://www.ft.com
Arun
Be ethical. Start the change.

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By tdbach, January 2, 2007 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
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Response to Grayson, continued…

1. Germany and Japan were approximately equivalent powers to the US, or at least their military capabilities were on a par with ours, and they attacked with the avowed intent of conquest. In an act of self-preservation, we defeated both adversaries. I would contend that torture and murder while prosecuting a just cause to a successful conclusion are not morally justifiable, but it’s easier to understand how those crimes might be overlooked in the euphoria of victory. Now contrast that with Bush’s invasion of a third-world country that had never fired a shot at a US soldier or civilian except on its own soil, an invasion that unleashed a civil war that shows every sign of growing more chaotic and deadly, and that is growing daily more out of our control. And crimes perpetrated in this cause should be above reproach? Whatever drug you’re on that makes this situation so euphoric you can happily overlook the crimes of our leaders and those few soldiers who forget their humanity, I want some of it!

2. They’ve been hanging deposed despots for as long as there have been despots. So you can forget about the deterrence argument. I’m not sure arguing the healing claim is worth the effort. Are you saying that without Mussolini’s lamppost demise Italy would’ve crumbled into civil war? What’s your point? As to the vengeance fetish: well, to each his own. God forbid we delay gratification long enough to find out all of the atrocities and history this man was responsible for and connected with. God forbid that we get in the way of sectarian retribution by imposing any international standards of justice. Oh, I forgot, this wasn’t a guy who threatened anyone outside of his own country. You’re right, what right does the world have to be involved. Come to think of it, what right do WE have to be involved in Iraq? Which way is it, genius? 

3. Pleading fatigue with an unworthy rival is the final posture of the defeated. I’m reminded of Roberto Duran’s “No mas!” when Sugar Ray Robinson was kicking the shit out of him, showboating while he did it – as if he was quitting because the showboating, not the pounding to near unconsciousness, were the reason. Let’s face it, the neocon’s gambit in the Middle East was a colossal blunder that has cost over 3,000 American lives and countless Iraqi lives, and the American people have come to see past the phony “war on terrorism” pretenses. You’ve taken a drubbing in the polls and you’re sliding further into irrelevance with every passing day. “No mas” ? Yawn? Yeah, right.

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By tdbach, January 2, 2007 at 10:21 am Link to this comment
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I’m surprised no one responded to the Grayson “Poodle” post, which was the most condescending and ridiculing of all the posts emanating from the Right in this string. Maybe his attack was too oblique; “Hondo’s” screed, with its classic “Liberals hate America” rant was a much easier target for return fire. Maybe his use of historical fact rather than contemporary political cliché made argument problematic for those who would rather (or are only armed to) fight cliché with cliché.

I have friends like Grayson, well-informed cons, neo-cons, whatever. If we on the liberal-progressive side of the debate are to have our way, we’ll have to be able to take on his ilk. It’s not the Hondos of the world who will defeat us – they’re just cannon fodder, charging with pitchforks – it’s the Graysons, the officers and generals of their side, who need to be outmaneuvered (and captured, if possible). Sorry to resort to tired old military metaphors, but they’re so apt!

So what was Grayson’s thesis? Stripping away the veneer of smarter-than-thou sarcasm, it amounts to this:

1. The leadership, choices, and objectives of Roosevelt and Truman during the course of WWII were morally equivalent to those of Bush et al in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, so the crimes perpetrated in their name deserve the same consideration – or lack thereof. Talk about pretending to moral relativism!

2. Hanging despots deters despotism and heals a nation’s soul (besides, it feels good).

3. The left’s ideas are tiresome, because they have no intellectual validity (yawn).

Ok. Doesn’t look like such a smart argument after all, does it? Hardly worth a retort. (Maybe that’s why no one responded – and I’m the fool. Wouldn’t be the first time!) But I can’t let such an arrogant sniff go without tweaking his nose a bit. In the next post.

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By Rickinsf, January 2, 2007 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
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Hondo, you revel in your “Horatio defending the bridge” pose, but please, base your broadsides on what has been said, not what you wish had been said.

Nowhere do I see anyone suggesting that Saddam was a “poor soul pushed into wickedness by the evil US.”

Nobody thinks that, and you know it. So, please stop your bald misrepresentations and stick to the namecalling and boilerplate.

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By Rogelio, January 2, 2007 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
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Where is the logic? Just because some of us believe that Hussein’s hanging was wrong that does not translate into denouncing us as liberals. The Repbulican Spin Doctors sure know how to portray Americans as anti-American liberals for any belief that contradicts their idiotic ideology.

As is common knowledge, Hussein’s attack on his people is know different from our government murdering Native Americans to clear the land of the Red Devil.

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By David, January 2, 2007 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
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Hondo & many other conservatives can’t see past their perverted, fairy tale world view of liberal/ conservative, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong.  I have never considered myself a “liberal”, and instead see the labels for what they really are…a “with us or against us” strategy by right-wing politicians and their minions. Its advantageous by the numbers and it forces the voting block to overlook many policy and class related issues and vote for the identity that has been molded to simple social issues, slogans and catch phrases.  There has always been two extremes in mindsets - dubbed “left” & “right”, but most people fall closer to the center.  The extremes are perversions.  The far right sees everything in terms of war - “the war on drugs”, “the war on Christmas”, “the war on terror”, “the war on liberals”.  I, like many others in this world, believe that Hussein received the just sentence, and feel little pity for him.  But on the other hand, a new precident for international justice has been delivered that makes me quite uneasy. The war was begun on false pretenses, and anyone who cared enough to take their head out of the sand has come to the same conclusion. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the world, particularly France and Russia, were acting in the name of justice either.  They were, just like every other nation, looking out for their self interest - a relationship with Hussein’s government was in their interest.  The thing that is truly disturbing is the manner in which the war, the trial, the verdict and sentence were carried out.  It was all conducted under the guise of a lie and amoral pretenses and durring the course of the last five years, many of the morals and ideological principles we have come to take for granted & identify ourselves with have been grossly betrayed (i.e. torture, unilateral invasions, the gutter smear politics, the secrecy, the lies, the public berating of our allies, and on and on). Granted, the public would NEVER have agreed to go along with the war had they known the real reasons, but I find it unbelievable that there was no better alternative than invading a soveriegn nation that never attacked us.  Allowing the man’s execution to be released was appalling because it was done in the name of revenge - not justice.  Disregard for interenational law is appalling because it undermines the principles of justice, right and wrong, and moral superiority that we have long stood for.  Liberals didn’t create these standards - statesmen did.  Our government today operates like organized crime, not the beacon of hope, liberty and justice that has made us the nation we are today.

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, January 2, 2007 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
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Hondo and Chinasee,

Information concocted by people in power, can give it enough credence so that false evidence sounds credible.

Remember Chalabi, he was part of a three-man executive council for the umbrella Iraqi opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress (INC), created in 1992 for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

In the lead-up to the 2003 invasion, under his guidance the INC provided a major portion of the information on which U.S. Intelligence based its condemnation of Saddam, including reports of WMDS and alleged ties to al-Qaeda.

Much of this information has turned out to be false. That, combined with the fact that Chalabi subsequently gloated about the impact that their falsifications had in an interview with the British Sunday Telegraph, led to a falling out between him and the United States.

And let’s not forget the NYT and Judith Miller who were part of the same miss-information campaign to catapult the U.S. into a pre-emptive attack of Iraq.

Those who disagreed with the “gang” were discredited and undermined, like Valerie Plame—the outed CIA agent, whose husband, Joe Wilson Former Ambassador to Iraq refused to say that Saddam had purchased nuclear materials from Niger, after returning from Africa he wrote and Op-Ed piece entitled, “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.” 

SO JUST BECAUSE SOMETHING IS SAID OVER AND OVER AGAIN DOES NOT MAKES IT TRUE; it’s unfortunate that 600,000 Iraqis and 3,000 troops died based on lies.

And BTW, Hondo, you say that 700 people visited your website, well thousands of people also visit “Wrigley’s Believe or Not Museum;” its human nature to want to look at the odd and grotesque.

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By ED, January 2, 2007 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
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Now that the target of his passion is no longer,watch this pathetic clown falling into depression and back to his bottle.The disgrace that this small man has inflicted on our nation,our principles and what we stand for,is quite frightning,I wonder if this country will ever recover.Watch him hailing the hanging of his enemy in the dark of the night,does it get any more pathetic?
Those who live by the sward…....
May God help us all.

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By Mark Dolce, January 2, 2007 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
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We should have let Saddam live (behind bars). His knowledge of the current insurgency in Iraq was invaluable. He knew too much to execute him - perhaps he knew too much of the connections between his dictatorship and the United States and that’s what lead to his hanging. But one thing is for sure: we will never hear from him again - dead people can not tell secrets. It was on odd series of events with the death of President Ford and the execution of Saddam. Ford left his unsupporting thoughts on the US involvement in the Iraq War to be exposed after he died. And Saddam left his thoughts spread out like a rooster in a hen house and no one would listen to him while he was alive. He would have most likely been put to death (or imprisoned for life) by any form of a future Iraqi government - so why not use him to uncover whatever we could find in support of the US military action in Iraq or even for the rebuilding of a government and what not to do/do or who not to include? But, obviously, he had to go - no one ran it by my desk to continue with the execution or not. Another notch in the bedpost of the history in Iraq. There are many truths buried and unburied in Iraq. The legacy of that country is not over - Saddam might be able to speak out from his grave to those who will listen but in my limited scope of the situation the event of his execution is after the fact of the US invasion. The end result of our starting this war and continuing it will be a much bigger influence on the history of the Middle East and Iraq than the execution of Saddam.

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By Blackguard, January 2, 2007 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
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Once again certain persons are trying to make this a “liberals versus conservatives” story in order to shamelessly plug their personal political agendas.  If you would bother to read the article before coming to your conclusions about it, you would see that Scheer is in no way, shape, or fashion embracing or condoning Sadaam’s actions.  He is not claiming Sadaam’s innocence.

What he is saying is that the United States, in the invasion of Iraq, has double-crossed some of the standards that I hope define our identity as Americans:  A respect for other nations’ governments, and a dedication to justice.  What we did is not in line with this.  We used the victims of the 9/11 tragedy to stir up patriotism so that we could pretend that the invasion was justified.  We acted on faulty information and patently false premises.  We invaded a country and turned over its leader to what amounts to an armed mob, at the cost of thousands of our own people’s lives who we had brainwashed into thinking that they were sacrificing their lives to the spread of democracy.  There is no justice in this, and no lasting democracy to be found in anarchy.

What Scheer is trying to state in this article is that we have a responsibility to not become tyrants ourselves.  We should have had Sadaam tried by the World Court or the United Nations, not turned him over to a mob of our design.  Yet in our haste to become self-proclaimed heroes, I add, we have made our enemies more powerful.  Sadaam’s remaining supporters now have a very powerful symbol, one that is much more difficult to fight:  They have a martyr, one of their own that was murdered by the so-called “Great Western Satan.”  We have proved ourselves a threat to other governments, and in doing so have opened ourselves up to far more attacks from terrorist operatives.

Liberals versus conservatives?  This kind of self-righteous political drivel should be the least of our concerns now.  We have alienated our allies, given our enemies political ammunition, have had our own soldiers slaughtered for an immoral cause, and in doing so have lost the confidence of many of our own people.  What we need to do as a nation is figure out what our standards really are and to stick with them; we CANNOT be a constitutional republic that champions freedom and at the same time invade whoever we wish.  These are mutually exclusive goals, and any attempt to reconcile these two positions only taint further any chance of maintaining the ideals of democracy and the integrity of our constitutional republic.

Of course, since I disagree with you, I fully expect to be tagged some kind of liberal devil.  If it glazes over your guilt or your capacity for reason to demonize anyone with political beliefs that are different, so be it.  But when the terrorists that we have created through our actions begin retaliating against us, you have neither right nor reason for alarm, and no amount of mudslinging against so-called liberals or conservatives will help us.

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By Kellina, January 2, 2007 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
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Here’s a good article (from Common Dreams) about the lack of MSM coverage regarding the US role in Sadam’s career.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1231-30.htm

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By Mad As Hell, January 2, 2007 at 5:34 am Link to this comment
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Hondo,
Do actually READ the comments people have made? Or do you simply see them as critical of you and ASSUME you know what they are saying? If you actually READ what has been said you would not respond with such absurd remarks.

Ask yourself this, and be honest for once: Do you think Bush could be acquitted at a trial like Saddam’s, where the defense lawyers kept being killed by the prosecution’s people? (and don’t pretend it wasn’t Shi’ite militias that did the killings).  I doubt even Jesus or Mohammed would be acquitted at such a trial.

NOBODY gives a [expletive deleted] about Saddam Hussein—had he been given a FAIR trial at The Hague, like Slobodan Milosovic, he would have EASILY been convicted.  But he wasn’t.  WE ARE AMERICANS! WE BELIEVE IN FAIR TRIALS!

“What can a reasonable man like myself say to all of that insanity?”

Since you clearly ignore incontrovertible evidence that over 70% of your countrymen now see, the assertion of being reasonable is, of course, false.

BTW, Happy New Year, Hondo.  Keep posting here—You make it more interesting.  I’m not arguing with you—that’s a waste of time.  I’m using your [expletive deleted] arguments as a jumping off point to explicate the argument against the Bush administration, to try to get sufficient info out to convince Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney.

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By Alan, January 2, 2007 at 3:53 am Link to this comment
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Further coverage on the Saddam execution along with unedited video and the Letter from Saddam Hussein to the People of Iraq.

http://www.crusade-media.com/news40.html

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By Jackie T. Gabel, January 2, 2007 at 2:39 am Link to this comment
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Poor, poor Hondo, living in his blog, safest place for him, with a cup of eggnog; where WMD fantasies can dance till they’re dead, like sugar plums, dancing away in his head; forget the inspectors whose teams were all pulled, their reports left unread their findings trampled; even as they confirmed such weapons were none, their work it was deemed done, done, done, done. So now that the Butcher of Bagdad’s been hung, of the deals he made no song can be sung; and Hondo et al can spit on his grave and curse the World Court, denied now its day; but lest ye rejoice too fervently, Earth to Hondo et al take care in thy glee:

At the first sign of any WMD incident, don’t look to the cave, bin Laden, the laptop; don’t look to the Axis of Evil; Look to Cheney and Cheney’s handlers.

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By Kwagmyre, January 2, 2007 at 12:18 am Link to this comment
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Posted by Hondo #44880:

“Others of you say that, yes, Saddam was kind of bad, but Bush is so evil that we must overlook Saddam so that we may execute Bush.”

The invasion of Iraq was a violation of international law so that in and of itself makes Bush criminally liable(notwithstanding the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo).  Germany recognizes this and says that Rumsfeld would enter there at his own risk and be held CRIMINALLY RESPONSIBLE for the invasion and abuses in Iraq.

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By Chinaskee, January 1, 2007 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment
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You Sadaam Hussein loving liberals need to get your facts straight. We didn’t try, convict or hang that mass murdering tyrant. He was tried, convicted and hung by his own people.

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By Hondo, January 1, 2007 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment
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Thanks to all of you for providing clear illustrations of everything I said. Your liberalism has left you unable to see the evil that Saddam represented, and unwilling to hold him accountable. Your liberalism makes you see all world events through the prism of “it’s all America’s fault.” This is in spite of the fact that, in all of the history of the world, there has never been a country stronger or wealthier than America, and there has never been a country more willing to use that wealth and strength for good.
Before we invaded Iraq, the intelligence agencies from Russia, England, and the United States all agreed that Saddam had WMD’s. Bill Clinton and Al Gore both said that Saddam had WMD. All of those intelligence agencies and both of your beloved liberal executives agreed that it was in America’s best interests to remove Saddam from power. Pres. Bush saw all of that information and agreed. He knew that, in a post-9/11 world, we just couldn’t take a chance that a man who had attempted to assassinate a U.S. President and who had pledged to destroy the United States remain in power. With that knowledge, did Pres. Bush “go cowboy” and send in the troops? No, he didn’t. He showd Congress the information from the international intelligence agencies, and our own intelligence agencies, and our former president and vice president, and he asked for a resolution authorizing military action. He got bipartisan support. Did he then get in a big hurry and invade Iraq? No, he didn’t. Pres. Bush fiddle-farted around for almost a year before he invaded. The invasion was supported by both Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate.
What do all of the modern American socialist simpletons have to say about all of this? Nothing! Well, nothing of any substance, anyway. The lunatic left ignores all of the above as if it didn’t exist. The tin-foil-hat-wearing brigade creates an “alternate reality” that says that Saddam was a victim; a poor soul pushed into wickedness by the evil United States. All of you lunatics say that Saddam was railroaded in his trial, and that, compared to Bush, he really wasn’t so bad. Others of you say that, yes, Saddam was kind of bad, but Bush is so evil that we must overlook Saddam so that we may execute Bush.
What can a reasonable man like myself say to all of that insanity? Well, besides, “You people are nuts!” Closing your eyes is the worst kind of blindness. It is self inflicted and it is pathetic.
By the way, my blog has had over 700 hits since Thanksgiving. Just to set the record straight.

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By Marlow, January 1, 2007 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
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Mescalero, My question would have to be, what the hell is your problem? The Soviet Union lost twenty million people to Hitler, about fifteen percent of the entire population of the U.S. in 1940. Made the Civil War here look like a piss-ass barfight. The fight on the Eastern Front was probably the most horrific in all of military history and most historians agree that without that fight Hitler would quite possibly have won the war and isolated the U.S. So yes, despite their stupidity and greed throwing in and appeasing Hitler, they paid for it in spades; they had every right to participate at Nuremberg, whether or not we liked their system. Hitler started WWII on the false accusation that Poland was planning an attack on Germany. Sound familiar? What Nuremberg established was that preemptive wars, wars of choice are the highest of crimes.The trial bar WAS set high at Nuremberg, Mescalero, and your fearless leader’s legacy will go down in history as causing the greatest damage to it’s precedent.

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By Peter RV, January 1, 2007 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
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What does “Aiding enemy” mean when the enemy is precisely “us”?
At the level of barbarism we have fallen to, we should seriously consider the possibility that those real enemies we manufactured, might be human beings of superior moral standards than ours.
We have no basis to judge Saddam Hussein except on garbage our media has been throwing incessantly on us, in preparation for attack and atrocities we have committed in Iraq.
What we do know about Saddam for sure, is that he died like a man. A defiant, proud Bedouin never asking for any pity (Can you imagine our Bush in that position?)
We didn’t have guts to give him a fair trial lest we expose our abysmal moral standards.
Saddam has defeated us!

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By Shawn, January 1, 2007 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excellent conclusion to the end of a dictators life.

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By Rickinsf, January 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is Hondo spreading Christian conservative love or is he just channelling George Will?

The bile points to the former, but his implication that “we” aren’t worthy of him causes me to suspect the latter.

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By sulphurdunn, January 1, 2007 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The execution will serve the political purpose of increasing the violence in Iraq and thus justify an escalation of American troop strength.

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By Roedy Green, January 1, 2007 at 9:07 am Link to this comment
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The Andrew Johnson Analogy

What if historians discovered that President Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor, had the following links with John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin?

What if ten years earlier, Johnson’s father had hired and trained Booth as a spy/hit man?

What if Johnson’s father had been implicated in an assassination attempt on President Franklin Pierce, when he was vice president?

What if Booth’s and Johnson’s fathers were business partners at the time of the assassination?

What if Johnson sent his secret service men to meet with John Wilkes Booth on Sunday 1865 February 5, 72 days prior to 1865 April 14 when Lincoln was assassinated. Even though was an outstanding warrant for Booth’s arrest, they did not arrest him.

What if Johnson arranged meetings for all the cabinet during the week prior to the assassination with the man who gave Booth his gun collection, ammunition and get-away horse?

What if Johnson ordered the chief of police to stop a criminal investigation of Booth and his family just prior to the assassination?

What if Johnson provided a carriage for the Booth extended family to leave the area a few days before the assassination?

What if Johnson did nothing to stop the assassination, even though he saw Booth drawing his pistol?

What if Johnson ordered Lincoln’s bodyguard to throw down his weapon, allowing Booth to continue with the assassination unimpeded?

What if Johnson kept watching the Ford Theatre play, laughing and smiling, both during and immediately after the assassination?

What if Johnson appointed a business associate of Booth’s to head the assassination investigation?
What if after six months of fruitless “searching” for Booth, Johnson gave up the chase?

“The most important thing is for us to find John Wilkes Booth. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
~ Andrew Johnson, 1884-04-17

“I don’t know where he is. I have no idea and I really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
~ Andrew Johnson, 1885-10-16

What if a little after a year, Johnson suddenly changed his mind and instead suddenly accused a black man, Soddy Hussem, of murdering Lincoln and lynched him without providing a scrap of evidence, then declared the case closed.

Do you think historians would have painted as rosy a picture of President Andrew Johnson as his contemporaries did?

You might ask, why am I babbling about hypothetical evidence against a perfectly reputable, long-dead, president. I did this to try to sneak past your mental defenses against thinking any ill of the Bush family. Most people are so convinced president Bush is a man of honour that they dismiss every piece of evidence to the contrary as irrelevant. They don’t dispute it. They just dismiss it as an unimportant tatter of a crazy conspiracy theory. I decided to mildly disguise the evidence against George Bush Jr., to sneak it past your natural denial. If that sort of evidence would be enough to convict Andrew Johnson in the eyes of history, then surely it should be enough to trigger an investigation into the activities of the living George Bush Jr.

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By jlt, January 1, 2007 at 9:04 am Link to this comment
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Enough on Hondo already.  He is a 46-yr old evangelical looser.  The guy struggles to get comments on his own website. 

I hear he’s a shite teacher too.

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By 127001, January 1, 2007 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
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I can only say one thing with respect to this article, and that is directly to the author, Robert Scheer…

Thank you for saying this, although you may not be the only one, or the loudest.

But we need to keep saying these things, and standing up for the principles we claim to believe in.

I agree completely, and more.

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By PETE S., January 1, 2007 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
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g.w.‘S major goal is final reached.
      Saddam is dead. 
      There is joy in Crawford to night.
      The war dead being only an investment. 
      And the his war only a comma.
      The Texacan got the guy who tried kill
      is dad.
      The cost means nothing to him.
      As long as he has name in history.

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By Paul, December 31, 2006 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
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Saddam deserved justice… Unfortunately that was not it. That was a show right up there with OJ. In a few years after a lot more body bags are filled we are going to miss Saddam.

ps Hondo you would make a good mullah…

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By Mescalero, December 31, 2006 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment
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Interesting Mr. Scheer, but irrelevant nonetheless!  You talk about setting the trial bar high at Nuremburg, but we see representatives of the Red Army at that trial.  You know, Mr. Scheer, the same Red Army that stormed into Poland in 1939 and murdered anywhere from 350,000 to 500,000 innocent civilians stood in judgement at Nuremburg. Yes Mr. Scheer, your heroes!!

Given that, what the Hell is your problem??

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By is this what bush is doing????, December 31, 2006 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment
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Excerpt:

As far as I am concerned, Saddam was murdered; he was murdered for the following reasons:
1. They did not want him to reveal American complicity in the Anfal campaign.
2. There might be some responsibility sharing and the U.S. can potentially become a co-defendent under international law.
3. Even though there has been an uptick in U.S. military deaths in the last week; insurgents seem to be motivated by the 3,000 deaths milestone, there isn’t enough danger through facing U.S. troops to justify the 30,000 increase Bush wants.
Saddam was killed in order to augment the danger to U.S. troops.
The increase would not be used to quell the insurgency as much as target Moqtada Al-Sadr; that is why I find no reason for the Shiia to rejoice.
If there is anything common to both the Bush plan and the Baker plan it is the withdrawal of U.S. troops sometimes in 2008 after federalism become the legal political structure of Iraq. Federalism is the driving force followed by the Israelization of the kurdish area.
Sadr and Sistani see the writing on the wall; they are very much aware of this plan and that is why recent talks for a unity government failed.
The next 3 months in Iraq will be like quick sand and more of the country will be involved in the resistance to the occupation.
It is a race to control and whoever wins that race before June of 2007 is the one who will define future Iraq.
God pray for us all and the Iraqis.

Peace to all in this new year.
Maher

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By alex, December 31, 2006 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
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Hondo, a note from a soulless, morally bankrupt, liberal. We KNOW he was the ‘personification of evil’. That’s the whole point. Quit wasting our time ‘convincing’ us Saddam was a bastard and start explaining why Rumsfeld and Bush Sr. were his bed buddies.

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By Shhazam4, December 31, 2006 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
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Hey Hondo, you said in part: “...Do you so hate America that you are unwilling and unable to recognize the evil and the wickedness that exists in other parts of the world? Are all of you so thoroughly ignorant that you are unable and unwilling to appreciate the great freedoms you have been blessed with in this great nation of ours? ..”

You ride high on that horse of yours. Got a few questions for you:

I put my life on the line for America.  Did you?

Did GWB consult you personally before he committed American lives to his Iraq adventure? GWB didn’t consult me.

Did GWB follow good advice about how to conduct his Iraq War?  There was lots of good advice that he ignored in order to conduct the type of big budget wasteful campaign that he conducted in Iraq.

Do you think its unpatriotic to question how and why our President uses the resources we provided for him?  I think its our patriotic duty to question every thing our elected officials do.

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By doug, December 31, 2006 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
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Our coward Bush wanted Saddam executed to put the focus on Saddam.  Ordinary Iraqis are being killed at a faster rate under Bush’s leadership than under Saddam’s regime.

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By Marlow, December 31, 2006 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment
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Gee Hondo, If there’s one thing that keeps me up at night it’s being gadflied by a hollowed-out bush-tool such as yourself. Should anyone be agitated by the obvious stupidity of a guy who walks around like a robot, spouting the inanities that his masters tell him to spout? Personification of evil? I would have have reserved that title for bin Laden, who killed thousands of AMERICANS in one single day, and laughed about it on videotape. Of course your fearless leader has failed utterly to “smoke ‘im out” so tools like you don’t talk much about him anymore. Or maybe Hitler, who’s generals and staff were tried and executed after receiving fair and open trials before the world. But what are you trying to say here, besides shooting off your mouth about nothing at all? Where does the author state that Saddam should have NEVER been executed? Where did he say that the Bush administration is more evil than Saddam? That Rummy shook Saddam’s hand and invited him into the good graces of Reagan’s administration is a FACT and it is also a FACT that it happened while his evil conduct was there for the entire world to see. It was’nt godless liberals who went to Baghdad and told Saddam we thought he was Pretty Good People. Reagan went to bed with a monster and here you are shrieking about liberals. The moral failing, the “soullessness” is on YOU and your wingnut party, my friend, so pull YOUR head out of YOUR ass before you come on here and try to “agitate”.
Is Bush the light of the world, defending justice and freedom? Check out these links bonehead:
http://www.paktribune.com/pforums/posts.php?t=1469&start=1 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3943.htm

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By chuck hillestad, December 31, 2006 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
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Compare and contrast Iraq’s abrupt execution of Saddam after a very strange trial with the South Africa’s orderly Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.  The former almost certainly exacerbated the dangerous Sunni/Shiite strife and divided that country further while the latter almost certainly eased the Black/White tensions upon the end apartheid cleverly reuniting the country to the extent possible.  Of course, it is probably not really fair to compare though since South Africa was benefited by the presence of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela while poor Iraq got stuck with Heckofajob George Bush.

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By richmang, December 31, 2006 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment
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now that [explettive deleted] crazy,(hondo that is) unable to see the truth, what do blacks, Americans(indians) say to white who did that same crime to them during westward expansion, slavary, jim crow, and now jim crow jr., the fact is saddam is a bad human being who was help by our country, our government, and we the people who allow these heads to run our country this way by helping any gansta who is willing to do our bidding all for power, but saddam unlike Emaual Cansuant wasn’t about go down alone or be quiet, so kill him without the idiological justice system we have in this country, so you aliens who wont see the truth of the country we live in, that we love so much cause everyone in America loves their country, so if we love our home so much lets hold it accountable because as long as we dont we will slowly turn into dumb scared sleep walking dummies ready give up our so call freedom just from what a few rich old man who haven’t lived like the majority of us americans, tell us why without askin where did u get this evidence so go on and be stupid all, but if you look at history you can see the repeatin of our mistakes and there will be no renewual because we want the wrong things to be constante in life that are not, so i say u dummies lets keep running in place and dont make a new, and lets those men or women who are but human beings like us tells us what to do as if cause they are the president, ceo, mayor, governor, or someone who we think is in a higher status or authority than us, do themselves alone favors,chikens do come home to roots, so i say to those like hondo don’t be a horse with blinders that only allows you to see one side it takes two to tango and sadly we are one of them in too many cases. God blesse everyone

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By Kal Nimer, December 31, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
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To all of you who do not see but little regardless of your age and your background, race religion or or or What matters is what history will say.
At that time shame on you as a big nation had your chance to reach the top, but you fell down below so deep, even you will score the worst nation God ever put on earth of how you were a lost nation.

You are on the top of the triangle of ignorance were you don’t see again what is next and even what is going on now.
You don’t even see any thing, because it is so obvious to lots of other nations but you.

History will till all of us who exactly were fooled and who was the ignorant nation.
I respect all religions God asked me to which is ahl alketab (Christianity, Judaism and Islam). But I know one thing even God and his prophets whether Issa or Mosses or Mohammed are disgraced of all of you who claim dirt and mouth them.

What kind of a nation speaks so bad of other religions and now you will say Moslems do, no I don’t thing so they say Christians they say Jews are this and that but they never said any thing bad at God or Prophets what is it?  is it a way for a loser to act if he or she wants to be rude and cruel? Hay stop being so ignorant and don’t challenge God and say we are so powerful. God is the Greatest and the Powerful.


Lets see what is really the reality of the 9/11 and the reality of the missing children and the drugs invasion of this country and the aids and and and what is all of this for and who is running this show and why our love ones regardless of citizen ship or colure or how did he or she died.  One thing I do know that you don’t. This administration will face justice by you or who it dose not matter. When? God knows. The trial will happen soon and the evil will be defeated. first Ramsfild started already and was giving a choice to leave position or face the court verdect, but it is not over he will be put on trial again. you know why because this nation has to have good people too. and who is next is soon ... I know do you know? or again you dont want to see?

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By vonwegen, December 31, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
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[explettive deleted] you, Hondo. You are nothing but a [explettive deleted]-drinking [explettive deleted].

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By Brnet, December 31, 2006 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment
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Hondo…

“Socialist simpletons”—wow..amazing how deftly you can label those who don’t agree with!! Would George Bush be considered a “fascist simpleton?”
  Which brings me to my nest point—“Islamofacism?!” Hondo…tisk, tisk!! I though you were going to educate those “wacky liberals!!” Would you care to inform them that such a creation exists nowhere accept in the minds of the (endangered) neo-conservative imagination?! By the way, it is worth pointing out that the “clear-thinking” of Reagan supported Saddam Hussein in the 1980’s. When an American navy vessel (oh yeah, I am an America-hating veteran) was hit with an Iraqi Air-to-surface missle, the clear thinking of Reagan blamed the Iranians!! (P.S. I missed the book of the apostle Leo Strauss—though Bush has seemed to have mastered the “noble lie and the deadly truth” in a different sort of way). I have a question for you there Hondo the enlightened one—does the “good news of Jesus” encompass the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, or does that just extend to you good Christians? Since you are the font of all knowledge, please enlighten me—if Saddam kills his own people and we support him….if the Turks kill Kurds in southern Turkey and we equip them for that…if Suhuarto kills 200,000 Timorese with the blessings of Gerald Ford…”do we too, have God on our side? I’m not done—we can pick this up later if you so desire…I don’t want to be an ignorant “wacky liberal!!” (P.S. check out Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli to see what the founding fathers thought about the United States and theology.)

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By George, December 31, 2006 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment
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To Scheer:

You are anti-USA & a radical left wing crackpot.
Saadem Hussein was a mass murderer.
That is fact my friend.
He deserved just what he got.
The world should be rejoicing that another evil dictator has been removed and justice has been done.
Praise be Allah !

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By elana, December 31, 2006 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment
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Yes, Saddam is evil. There is evil all over the world and we’re only worried about the ones with the oil.  Remember 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia - oh, but they’re our friends, so let’s attack Iraq for Israel, that will be easier. How’s that working out for you?

Our bombing Iraq has killed countless innocent people.  How can you defend that when Iraq did nothing to us?

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By Stass, December 31, 2006 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment
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REVENGE:
“Revenge, reprisal, retribution, vengeance suggest a punishment, or injury inflicted in return for one received. Revenge is the carrying out of a bitter desire to injure another for a wrong done to oneself or to those who are felt to be like oneself: to plot revenge.”

If revenge was the goal in capturing Saddam, then they should have just shot him while he was in the rat hole and saved everyone a lot of time and trouble. 

No one (save for a small town called Tikrit) is sad to see Saddam swing, but the point Mr. Scheer is making valid.  Can we honestly call this justice?  After WWII, we knew we had to show the world we are better than the Nazi’s.  Revenge could have been swift and easy, but wisdom prevailed. 

Democracy is the rule of law, fair and impartial, and if I remember correctly, the spread of Democracy is the very reason we are there in Iraq in the first place.  (At least, that what this President is saying now.)  This trial was far from fair and impartial.  It should have been conducted in the World Court, properly, if the goal was to bring Saddam to Justice.  Now there will always be a question mark, always be a doubt, and his followers and believers can make a matyr out of him.

Terrific.  Good job.

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By redipen, December 31, 2006 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
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Sounds like Hondo wants a little mano a mano. To that, there are those among us who say, “Any time, any place!” Forget the liberals who leave the room when a fight breaks out. Their time is up. They’re all at Hillary’s fundraiser, not the barricades. That’s where this will really be settled. Hondo thinks he’s defending Jeffersonian democracy. He’s only fighting for his TV. Like Letterman said, “That’s why they hate us, they don’t get cable.” The manipulation is that broad: Letterman and Hondo both playing the useful fool for the New World Oligarchy. But in the end none of this matters a bit. Those who really care will be bleeding at the barricades anyway — where it will be settled. You really want to have it out, Hondo, come on down!

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By J.K. Bowman, December 31, 2006 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
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Thanks to the author.  This eloquently puts into wording what I was finding difficult to say.

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By Kellina, December 31, 2006 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
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http://oldamericancentury.org/bb/index.php?showtopic=12111

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By Geronimo, December 31, 2006 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
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The Punishment of Saddam Hussein

for his crimes against humanity
they hung him by his neck til he was dead
but President George W. Bush II
for his crimes against humanity
alas, the death penalty’s off the table
what then?
how about the Isle of Elba
if it was good enough for Bonaparte
why not for him

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By Kellina, December 31, 2006 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
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(continued from previous post)...

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.

14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.

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By Kellina, December 31, 2006 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
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(continued from previous post)...

7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.

9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.

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By Kellina, December 31, 2006 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
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Here’s a good article on how Sadam was created and destroyed by America:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/fisk/article2112555.ece

Here’s a link to an article about the 14 characteristics of fascism (and how America is already there):

http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=britt_23_2

The 14 are as follows:

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.

5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.

6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.

(to be continued)

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By GR, December 31, 2006 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
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Well Hondo, oh knower of all that is right and true, how do you explain that GWB has murdered many times more innocent Iraqi children than Saddam ever did (even with good old USofA weapons)?

Oh that’s right, it’s cuz Bush went there to “liberate” the poor Iraqi’s. Of course, GWB the world’s humanitarian genius! That is why he is talking so much recently about intervening in Darfur.

Oh Hondo, how can we liberal ignoramus’ be worthy of your forgiveness?

SFB

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By azadirachta, December 31, 2006 at 10:57 am Link to this comment
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Do you neo-con loyalists not get the point here? It is not that Saddam was innocent or framed or whatever. Let’s stipulate that Saddam was an evil man worthy of the death penalty.
The question is why all the hurry? To suggest that the people of Iraq conducted this trial etc. is naive to the extreme. The U.S. government is calling the shots in Iraq, and it is that entity that wished for a speedy execution. If Saddam was such a bad man in the killing of a handful of “his own people” then why was the U.S. govt. under Reagan, using taxpayer money to supply Saddam with weapons and weapon technology. He murdered his own people, but that was okay, because we needed him to prevail in his war against Iran (The same Iran which also received weapons and technology from the U.S. at the same time we were aiding Saddam.)
Do any of you neo-con holdouts see a problem with this.
So, what has been accomplished by Saddam’s execution? Who benefits. I think the answer is clear…the Military-industrial complex that Eisenhower presciently warned us of. They benefitted by supplying both sides in the Iraq-Iran conflict, just as they now benefit from our war mongering in the Middle East.
Suck it neocons!

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By Kellina - p.s., December 31, 2006 at 9:35 am Link to this comment
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Oops, in my last post, I had meant to say that Prescott Bush, the Grandfather, was a Nazi (financier, working for Brown Brothers Harriman, Hitler’s bank). Poppy Bush was merely involved in Iran-Contra scandal, possibly JFK’s assassination, the assassination attempt on Reagan, CIA drug-running, engineering the first Iraq war, etc., all that business with Noriega, etc. See this link, which is enough to make you believe in the genetics of fascism:

http://www.oldamericancentury.org/bushco/bush_crime_family.htm

Poppy Bush, as part of the Reagan Administration, acquiesced with the medical fascists who started a decades-long genocide in this country due to a fictional link between HIV and aides, unproven to this day, which has resulted in death by AZT prescription of hundreds of thousands. (I also blame subsequent administrations for their collusion in this charade of ‘science’ in the public interest.)

Just how do you figure that G. W. Bush is not worse than Sadam? Defend your points, Hondo. As I see it, he’s responsible for both war crimes and crimes against humanity. Perhaps they are all war crimes, since the deaths in Iraq came about due to manipulated intelligence to get us into the war. At any rate, Bush’s actions have resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 US servicemen so far in Iraq, many in Afghanistan, and nearly 700,000 Iraqis. Bush calmly presided over the 3,000 deaths in the 9/11 attacks, as well as countless deaths in the 9th Ward in New Orleans. He has killed free elections (at least the presidential ones). He has helped to kill our environment, education, the sciences. And check this link for fully documented international crimes committed by Baby Bush:

http://www.motherearth.org/bushwanted/laws.php

Please tell me what freedoms you are speaking of that Americans now have. Do you know how our Bill of Rights has been decimated? We don’t have rights. We have the Patriot Act. We have the Military Commissions Act. Both “Internets” will be next to go; my only consolation is that I won’t have to read your ad hominem anymore.

I am not a liberal or a republican. There really is only one political party in this country. To believe otherwise (whichever side of the ‘fence’ you are on) is naive. If you want a label, then I’m a Constitutionalist. Go ahead and call me crazy. I don’t care. But I support your right to do so.

Here’s some ad hominem for you: I assume that you are a (paid) troll or you are insane (or both). Either way, if you want to engage us commenters on Truthdig, you’re going to have to put forth a tad more effort.

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By Joel Wheeler, December 31, 2006 at 9:18 am Link to this comment
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I’m not sure how to take all the bickering I’m seeing here on the site. Should Saddam have been executed? I personally don’t know the information, but I trust that it would likely be so. He was tried by Iraqis, and killed by Iraqis. Will that help Iraq? Only time will tell. Might it have been better for Saddam to have lived long enough to answer questions about other crimes? Possibly. Then again, possibly not. We may already have all the information that could have been gleaned from Saddam.

The inflammatory rhetoric from Terry Gain and others doesn’t help the issue. Which particular facts have been twisted? And are you absolutely certain, 100% because you were there and involved, that they are being twisted? We are not there, and our judgement on the matter is less than nothing to these people. What matters now is what we do with the information provided. Perhaps it’s time to stand up and make a difference in our own country, so that the world can differentiate the majority of the country from the theocratic leadership it no longer agrees with.

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By blaze, December 31, 2006 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
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The first comment is rife with disgust at the left and shows a few links, but I remember, in real time, the events of those years.  I remember Iraqgate and the BCCI connection when it occured.  I don’t need links to remember that we sold chemical, biological and conventional weapons to Saddam.  I remember that he was our ally at the time and that when the Kurds were gassed, Ronald Reagan took to the airways and tried to blame it on Iran. 
I also remember that George Bush removed nearly 4,000 pages of the Iraq Weapons Declaration to the UN and refused to let other nations read the text, or that he eliminated FOIA for presidential papers now that the pertinent papers are in line to be revealed to us all.  It is time for the Right to quit whistling past the graveyard of Republican actions during the last fifty years and face up to the fact that the incompetency that we are seeing today was equalled by other GOP heroes in the past.  This shell game has got to stop.  “Look at Saddam swinging and ignore the Halliburton hand that just lifted your wallet”.  “Salute that flag and ignore the neo-cons that are remaking our future into a quagmire of hate and horror while the dollar drips down the drain”.  “Enjoy your meager tax break while we insure that our children our saddled with crushing debt”.

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By jason, December 31, 2006 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
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I think I heard “God Bless America” quietly playing during Hondo’s post.

Brought a tear to my eye. (sniff)

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By jaleeza, December 31, 2006 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
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Hondo’s rant completely misses the point I took from the article, which concerns process, not guilt or innocence. I read no defense of Saddam’s actions or praise for him. Rather, it was a critique of the “ends justifying the means” attitude US government seems to have adopted. For me, in the end all we have are our means.

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By lifewriter, December 31, 2006 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
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Mr. Sheer, I’ve this agonizing feeling that Truthdig is consistently 10 minutes too late on topics that deserve keen investigation, while there’s still time left to do something.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this forum, I’m glad to see that conservatives can voice their opinions even if they’re misguided, uneducated, and in some cases blinded by the fascism of being a patriotic American. 

The point I’m trying to make is that I’d been looking all week for an article on Truthdig about the Hussein execution, with the hopes of discussing Nuremberg protocols, cruel and unusual punishment, but most importantly, President George W. Bush’s assertion, so many years ago, that Hussein “tried to kill his father.”

I’ve been wondering about why Truthdig did not offer up a forum for this kind of conversation earlier.  So much of what we’re experiencing as hardship, strife, war, famine, human suffering today can be traced back to US Arms sales that in part contribute to today’s political climate of militarization as necessity; where the US can justify the sale of cluster munitions, land mines that disfigure soldiers (but most likely children), where all of our news outlets are complicit with psychological operations against our warring factions. (See Amy Goodman’s Static 2006 for details).

Just yesterday, a NYT article claimed that Hussein’s capture from his hiding spot proved the desperation of his ways, that he was abandoned by his troops, and left to fend for himself without so much as a cell phone to his possession.  But nothing could be further from the truth, fellow truthdiggers.  See http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/12/23/1559234&mode=thread&tid=25.  There are options to view the streaming video on this page, it’s quite informative, 3 years old, and still our media insists that Hussein’s capture was undertaken by American troops.  This is only one example, friends, but it stands to represent the pervasive nature of a media that continues to print lies in order to stay in the good graces of the White House.

This coming new year, let’s resolve to study harder, look more closely at what’s been fed to us.  Eat organic foods, and consume organic news.  Know who your provider of information is making backroom deals with.  Question everything, and above all…lay down your arms.  Deconstruct the Military Industrial Complex, make yourself a human shield for those that are defenseless by demanding accountability from all elected officials.  Go to your city council and speak; meet with Congressional reps and demand an immediate halt to the mad rush towards Armageddon that our current administration is so actively ready to embrace.

The news is not entertainment.  It’s a forecast for the future viability of our planet. The world can’t wait.

Peace

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By Kellina, December 31, 2006 at 8:32 am Link to this comment
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Hondo:

Me thinks thou dost protest too much. The point is not whether or not Sadam was bad (as discussed on your proffered links) but

1) Did he get a fair trial? and

2) Were members of the US gov’t complicit in his crimes?

The Kurds are now ill-treated again, left without their day in court to get to the bottom of what happened, who poisoned them, who supplied the poison, etc. It is odd that Sadam was not tried for the Kurdish gassings when that was one of the ostensible reasons we were told ad infinitum for entering Iraq. It is therefore a reasonable hypothesis to suppose that the Bush regime had something to hide in silencing their puppet prior to a full and complete airing of what happened in 1988. This hypothesis needs to be tested. Chances for the fullest test died with Sadam.

Other questions persist: Why not use all the evidence against Sadam? Why charge him with such a minor fraction of his alleged infractions? Why not try Sadam in the Hague, using the World Court? (I’m no legal scholar, but I would assume that the assassination of your lawyers makes the trial less than fair.)

By the way, I looked at your recommended websites. The first lists plenty of crimes committed by Hussein that “President” Bush has engaged in—with relish (all but the latter two, that we know of): repression, imprisonment, torture, deportation, assassination, and execution. The second link is to a State Department brief that is by definition suspect. The third link is to the Heritage Foundation. Really, is this the best you can do? I’m so disappointed, Hondo.

This vaunted “America” that you so vehemently uphold is rooted in the Constitution. The Constitution was the only thing that made America special. I’ve no doubt that history will judge the Bush Administration (and his father the Nazi) as war criminals. But their worst crime consists of raping our Constitution, the wellspring of all that we hold dear.

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By william Johnson, December 31, 2006 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
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Dear Mr. Hondo,
The butcher of Bahgdad has now been hung from a rope for crimes a court convicted him of. While I am generally against the death penalty, I can’t say his hanging bothers me much. However, according to Iraqi law, his appeal process was supposed to take 30 days, but he was executed after 5 days instead. If Iraq is to become a nation of laws and not men, should not their own law been followed? Just asking?
The other thing that bothers me about this affair is that so many that were just as responsible for innocents deaths are not swinging from a rope, nor will they ever be. While it is clear you do not believe this, it was American corporations that provided Saddam with the chemical weapons he used against the Kurds and the Iranians. It was also American intelligence that provided Saddam with the locations of the Iranian positions he attacked using our chemical weapons, missles, etc. and it was after all, Bush 41 that deserted the Shia in the south and the Kurds in the north in 1991 after encouraging them to rise in revolt and resulted in the ten of thousands of deaths of both of these groups.
Does this make me an American hater to point out facts? Or does it make me a patriot to question the actions of my government? What did the founders say about disent?
Lastly, I wish ask you would get a grip on your name calling. I for one, am neither a democrat or a republican and I am not a liberal in the sense that this word is used today. I believe in small government and not spending what you don’t have. This administration follows neither of those conseverative principles and do you really think, funding these wars by borrowing money from folks like the Chinese is a good idea? What if we have to pay them back in euro’s? Check the current exchange rate and you’ll see what I mean. In any event, I would plead with you to lose some of your frustration with those you do not agree with. I don’t always agree with those on this site either, but try and keep your objectivity.

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By Jon B, December 31, 2006 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
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Hondo, please control your emotional outburst.

At issue is about fair trial, not Saddam’s guilt. There is no independence and impartiality on the part of Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal. SICT caused the first judge to resign, blocked the appointment of second judge, witnesses and defense lawyers were unprotected and were assassinated during the trial, Saddam was denied legal counsel for a year after his arrest and complaints made by his counsels weren’t adequately answered….....Robert Sheer’s concern is about FAIR TRIAL.

If you are able to control your emotion, then tell us your beef. Please, don’t go berserk again.

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By Politics again, December 31, 2006 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
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Here we go again, everything is always about Liberals and Conserative.  News for you they are both the same evil that’s how smart you are to think that they are different.  No one is saying Saddam was good, he was evil.  His evil was created by us to gain Iraq and he never gave it to use and he became enemy number one.  We glorify our wrong doings and condemmed others.  It’s funny we send innocent kids who can be manipulated to kill and be killed overseas, but that’s awesome but when other countries do the same it is wrong.  I feel for all the victims (IRAQ’s too) including our troops parents and loved ones.  Sleep well evil (BUSH-both, Clinton, Rumsfield etc), you know no better.

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By WhoMe, December 31, 2006 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
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No doubt Saddam was a brutal thug.  I have no impulse to shed any tears for him.  But I do harbor some misgivings about what his execution says about his executioners and about the U.S. public. 

The Bush administration is known to have scheduled the dates of his trial, conviction and execution from the moment he was caught. Probably Karl Rove thought his execution would be a good way to kick off the new year.  Well, I never have expected much decency from this administration so they have not surprised me.

However, I am quite disappointed and disgusted with the comments I hear on the street and even within my family.  There is a ghoulish quality about the pleasure so many people seem to take in this hanging.  It makes me realize how close we still are to having lynch mobs taking to hang up people on our streets.

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By Margie Bernard, December 31, 2006 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In a Washington Post article (30 December 2006), on the death of Saddam Hussein, a concluding paragraph had this sentence: ‘Nevertheless, the year-long trial further deepened Iraq’s sectarian divide, as Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds reacted to Hussein’s case along the fault lines of sect and history.’

I congratulate the author of this sentence. Yes, Hussein was executed but this means he will not be brought to justice for the remainder of his crimes–namely the genocide of Kurds. Justice is done only when justice is seen to be done. And I fear that Hussein’s death will prevent the full disclosure of other human rights abuses that occurred during his regime. Executing Hussein further occludes the blind eye that the Reagan, Carter, and both Bush governments turned toward these human rights abuses because it served their foreign policy objectives to do so.

Furthermore, we, as individuals, chose to ignore what our government was doing in our name. We did so because our government’s activities in that region satisfied our collective need for its supply of oil. Much injustice has been done and will continue to be done to maintain our energy-dependent lifestyle. Hussain’s death will not resolve this dilemma.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD,PhD, December 31, 2006 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo, I don’t think there’s much gray area in “civilized” and “moral.”  Nor is there in arrogance and self-rightousness.

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By Disgusted!, December 31, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush lied the world into a war against a sovereign nation that posed no threat nor made any aggressive act against it, killed more than 600,000 (and counting!), of its citizens, killed 3000 (and counting!), of his own young, bankrupted his own nation financially and morally, manipulated his puppet government’s kangaroo court’s obvious mockery of a trial, then had them kill a man to fulfill a perverse personal vendetta and surely for other dark and deeply disturbing reasons we’ll never fully know. And all the while the world press behaves as White House stenographers, abdicating their responsibility to question and investigate. How sad and disgusting that every media outlet reports the death of a “dictator” rather than that of a president and world leader supported and fawned over for decades by the US, including many of the puppet masters who tied the noose. If the world is truly interested in avenging war crimes against humanity may Bush and his regime face the same fate. And may God visit upon Bush and every member of his accursed family, what they so richly deserve. And may Saddam find the compassion and mercy in Heaven that Bush denied him on earth.

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By Randy, December 31, 2006 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
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No doubt exists regarding Saddam Hussein’s crimes.

But as vengeful people howl, why won’t they hold up their own leaders to the same standard?

We know Rumsfeld authorized torture. We know tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi’s have died due to Bush’s war. Where’s the right wing outrage?

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By vonwegen, December 31, 2006 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
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Get real, folks: there is a very nice photo of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein in the early 1980s at the conclusion of a weapons deal, and the American government would probably still be doing business with the guy had he not invaded Kuwait (who helps prop up the British economy).

Notice that the US of A did nothing but help “good” dictators like Pinochet, like Mubarek, like the Shah, so crimes against humanity obviously is not a problem for the US government, as long as the dictator in question is a U.S. ally.

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By jlt, December 31, 2006 at 5:08 am Link to this comment
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Hondo, this is all way beyond your intellectual capacity.  You are irrelevant to this discussion.  You are the one who is spewing hate.  Why do you read this site if you don’t like it? Me thinks you aspire to be a wacky liberal like the rest of us.  You should probably go find a website that is a bit simpler; something you can maybe understand.  Feel free to come back when you’ve grown up a little.

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By S W Balkin, December 31, 2006 at 4:58 am Link to this comment
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The heart of man begot the Christian ethic and the Spanish Inquisition. Men have fathered the theory of liberty, equality, fraternity, the guillotine (and the final solution). Man has created the frescoses of the Sistine Chapel, mustard gas (and atomic bombs). For everything begotten of man shares the nature of man and is apt to destruction as to creation.

The world will escape the blight of war when man has ceased to be human. The world will find peace when man is extinct. For man is war.

Quotes taken from a book ‘Man is War’,written by John Carter, The Bobbs-Merrill Company Publishers 1926

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By dave, December 31, 2006 at 3:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

as too “not too smart” (hondo), your incoherent ravings hardly certify your intellectual superiority.

1) the trial was a farce by any and all standards, the verdict is hence tainted, which amounts to a crime against me, you, the citizens of he world, and international law.

2) the hasty execution casts doubt - to put it mildly - on the proceedings, the timing seems to have been part of a deal with Bush & Co.

This turns a pretty serious business into a photo op.

3) The Shiite led government of Iraq refrained from trying Hussein for any crimes other than those against Shiites, thus tiurning a trial for human rights villaions into an occasion for tribal warfare and vengeance.

The date of the execution - a day that sunnis, but not shiites regard as holy - makes this point crytsal clear.

3) Hussein was charged for crimes commiited before Bush & CO crawed uop his ashole and got comfortable
when are their trials for helping him gas the Kurds & the Iranians???????????????

4) etc.

Still don’t get it?
Zake a deep breath and LET YOUR BRAIN KNOW SOME FACTS ABOUT THE REAL WORLD FOR A CHANGE

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By Scorp68, December 31, 2006 at 2:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo, what ever happened to “turn the other cheek?” and all that junk in the New Testament about loving your enemy? I mean, Bush could have taken a page from those from that Amish community who forgave the murderer of their children, provided comfort to the man’s widow, and attended his funeral. What an act that was!!

To you, Hondo, and too many people like you, I’m sure it seemed weak and silly, when it was just the opposite. Imagine what a great president Bush had the chance to be, had he had the strength on occasion during his stints as governor and president to show mercy to those he deemed deserving of death. We’ll never know, because he’s behaved like so many of you so-called Christians who have a love affair with hate and vengeance. It’s like the predatory congressmen who claim to protect our children from predators. It really seems like a serious psychological disorder from afar, but to you guys, I’m sure you’re too close to see it. Trust me. You suffer from a form of insanity, and should probably be popping some powerful meds.

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By s.blackwelder, December 31, 2006 at 1:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo:

I’ve seen your spewing and ranting and raving elsewhere and it’s the same old crap. I still have more respect for osama and sadamm than i ever will for bush and cheney. bush and cheney have brought us closer to being an evil country where free speach and fair trials are something of the past.
Hatred imminates from you from every pore. I would hate to have to live with in your mind, what a scary place to be.

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By sns, December 31, 2006 at 12:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

hondo: i’d bet good money that you’d be one of the 1st shot if you were stupid enough, as a member of the invaders in Iraq,  to strut spewing nonsense as you just did in this forum.  You’d wear an American Flag pin and carry a bible to-boot. 

Perverted justice is worse than no justice at all.

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By Gandersen, December 31, 2006 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo Comment:

Hondo mad, no….

Your problem is that you hate people who hate people????  If you are as wise as you would have us all believe, please explain.  I would love to hear about how hating anyone with opposing views is “American” or embodies “American” or “Christian” values.  I have seen your posts for some time now and you spend 90% of your keyboard time not discussing the issues, but discussing how bad liberal wackos are??

On one hand you “hate” liberals, (anyone not like you) on the other you find it repulsive and unpatriotic that people “hate” bush for his stupid mismanagement of our once great country.  (Yes, past tense) Are you not guilty of the very thing you seem to despise? 

Trust me; your crystal ball is as cloudy as everyone else’s.  You have no more facts that are 100% accurate than anyone else on this site or in the US for that matter.  Heck, even the bush admin. seem to have faulty info. so how do you have all the facts 100% straight? 

If you feel you are infallible in your facts and the neoconservative barf shooting out of your pie hole then you are in worse shape that I thought.

Do you not see the ridiculous logic in your position??  You are allowed to hate but anyone not like you is a liberal wacko and un-American??

My poor brainwashed nocon, it is far more patriotic to speak out against a corrupt leader and his admin. than to just follow the party line and be a good republican, which is exactly what you are doing.  Just keep telling your self that bush is good for the fatherland and once we take over the world and convert all to Christianity all will be good and we will rule for a 1000 years.


Sincerely,

Proud to be and American, but lately embarrassed.

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By Myself, December 30, 2006 at 11:33 pm Link to this comment
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We are all victims as far as to our future will be. Whether against the far right or the far left in society as it is.  Moderation in all things.  World peace is merely a dream.  Politics are corrupt.  Perhaps someday, certainly not in our lifetime, things will work out.  Hopefully our grandchildren will inherit a better world.  More than likely it will be politics as usual.  There are no easy answers, only more complicated situations.  The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between.

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By Audrey leff, December 30, 2006 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment
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It was reported that the President called this a milestone.  I think it is more like a millstone.  A shameful weight that our nation will bear.

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