American Samizdat

Tuesday, January 02, 2007. *
Al-Jazeera TV, 1 January 2007. Interview with Iraqi writer Dr Walid al-Zubaydi.
Commenting on the possible "ramifications" of executing Saddam Husayn, Al-Zubaydi says: "Undoubtedly, the US occupation in Iraq wanted the last moment of the execution to drag the Iraqis into what is worse after the failure to carry out the most dangerous conspiracy against the Iraqi people; namely, sectarian sedition."

He adds that the last footage of the execution was leaked to the media "according to a US plan that depends on the effects of the psychological war and propaganda that aim at achieving a clearly known objective."

Al-Zubaydi says: "Obviously, the last footage was taken wilfully and carefully. In order to avert any legal responsibility concerning the media, they fabricated things to show that the footage was taken stealthily. Everybody knows that the Americans surround the chamber [of execution ], and cameras cannot be allowed in. So they invented the idea of using mobile phones although no violations can take place. However, this is a play designed to foment sedition. They prepared some people to arouse a certain sect to show that the execution was implemented on sectarian grounds.

He continues to say: "I believe that this is the last attempt by the administration of the occupation to penetrate the Iraqi society."

And from the Iraqi news agency VOI:

Two officials filmed Saddam’s hanging
Baghdad, Jan 2, (VOI) – Two officials, one of them a senior government official, filmed the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with their mobile phones, Monqez al-Feraun al-Fatlawi, the assistant prosecutor in the trial of former president Saddam Hussein and one of those who attended the hanging of Saddam, said on Tuesday.
All those who were transferred to the execution location “were thoroughly searched by the U.S. forces which banned any person regardless of his position from taking a mobile phone, even those without cameras, into the room,” Fatlawi said.
The two people who filmed the execution “were also searched …and I don’t know how and where from they brought the equipment they filmed the process with,” he added.

The hanging of Saddam (as noted above) was allowed to turn into a sectarian lynching, there's really no other explanation for it. The U.S. controlled all aspects of the post trial period, and were in a position to control all aspects of the execution timing, personal present, etc. The execution was either tacitly allowed or made to play out in the manner that it did. I can see several reasons that this might work for the occupation playbook, givin that the steep price for allowing the execution to devolve into a lynching must entail (for the U.S. image). Allowing the Sadrist personal (with cameras no less) into the (un-policed) execution chamber was a guarentee that things would get out of control fast. This in turn a) allows the Sadrists to indulge their worst sectarian impulses, to picture themselves (literally, on camera) as "extremists", and b) shows that the Maliki government is either unable or unwilling to reel in these "extremists" and shows itself to be generally incompetent. The other big thing to hasppen is that Saddam has, against all odds, has been set up in a perfect martyrdom scenario -- that will reverberate throughout the Sunni arab world, against the rising tide of Shiaism/Iranian influence. By all appearances this was a set up, in a bait and switch scheme -- the switch part to come at a later date.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:58 PM
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