Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dance Away from Crowd’s Taunting of Saddam at Hanging

The stories keep getting better. Saddam’s hanging went from a solemn, remorseful scene to one where individuals in the crowd taunted the man paying the ultimate price for his crimes. The problem arises from the words exchanged and captured on a camera video phone. People chanted the name of Moqtada al-Sadr in reference to the firebrand Shia cleric while Saddam mocked their bravery. In defense of the behavior, an Iraqi Presidential spokesman suggested the taunts came from “bystanders”.

Recall the execution occurred on in a secure facility known as Camp Justice. American helicopters ferried in 14 witnesses from the Green Zone. There were no bystanders who happened along the scene. Anyone in attendance had a clear invitation and likely went through numerous security checks. This makes the official position even more unsettling.

"We don't quite know who was shouting at Saddam or with whom he was exchanging the insults but I do not think it was any members of the government who were doing this," Presidential advisor Hiwa Osman said. He said he understood why many Iraqis - including those heard on the video - would have such strong feelings.

"There are hundreds and millions of victims of Saddam in Iraq and they might have made it to the courtroom under one capacity or the other. And that moment might have been quite emotional for those victims that they might not have been able to hold themselves," Mr Osman said.

With a small number of cleared people in the room, they certainly know who shouted at Saddam. However, the Iraqi’s displayed the Bush skill of “I don’t think” followed by “any members of government who were doing this”. It raises shades of Hurricane Katrina “I don’t think” anyone anticipated a levee breach.

I can just hear Bush after his “new way forward” in Iraq speech. “I don’t think anybody could have anticipated Saddam’s interchange with a government official would be the gasoline on the fire of ethnic sectarian violence sprouting into full blown civil war…”

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