Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Genocide Charges Against Hussein

Saddam Hussein has been charged with genocide, stemming from Operation Anfal, a military operation against Kurds in northern Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. It was during Operation Anfal that Hussein used chemical weapons against the Kurdish village of Halabja, although Halabja will not be part of these charges.

According to the investigating judge who filed the charges, "[The Kurds] were subjected to forced displacement and illegal detention involving thousands of civilians. They were placed in different detention centers. The villages were destroyed and burned. Homes and houses of worshippers and buildings of civilians were leveled without reason or a military requirement."

However, it's possible that these charges will never be heard in court. Hussein is currently standing trial for the murder of more than 100 Iraqi Shiites in the town of Dujail, and if he is found guilty, will almost certainly face the death penalty. The question is: Will Iraq go ahead with the sentence immediately, or will Hussein stand trial for his other myriad crimes?

I'm sympathetic to either perpsective. On one hand, there is a strong interest in airing the scope and nature of Hussein's crimes. On the other hand, Hussein has been able to make a near-mockery of the current proceedings, and the longer he remains alive, the longer he is able to serve as a focal point for the Iraqi insurgency (at least for the Sunni part). I'm ultimately not sure which path I support...but I do look forward to the sight of Hussein swinging from a gallows.

1 comment:

Barry said...

He's a focal point for the Sunni insurgency? Last I heard, the insurgency has only grown like a weed since he was captured.