The news of hanging Saddam Hussein who insisted till the end that he was the President of Iraq and for right reasons, as he was not unseated by the people of Iraq, does not come as a surprise.
It shows the naked and hideous American imperialism that is haunting the developing world.
Right from early 1990s when Saddam took on the brutal US might, he went into world history as a rare daring ruler who lived for a cause whether we liked it or not. He might have committed heinous crimes in Iraq. It was for the people of Iraq to judge him and take on him. That he was hanged by the lackeys of American imperialism that too Muslims in a Muslim country, will continue to remain a blot on human history and the history of the liberation of the Arab countries, and exacerbate the ongoing civil war in Iraq.
Just imagine the reaction of people in different parts of the world if George Bush were to be tried by the head of a Muslim country, and hanged for crimes against humanity. As I have maintained repeatedly between Saddam Hussein and George Bush the latter is a greater danger, greater evil, and greater criminal, and I would have loved to see him drop dead for war crimes which are incomparably higher than the real or perceived crimes of Saddam.
So what does American democracy teach us?
That in a distant land like India - a poor man from Kerala who served as Saddam's cook - and on return to home land named his shop after Saddam - on hearing the news of Saddam's execution wept before TV cameras showing the mementos from Saddam which he still cherishes, and several similar stories showing Saddam in a different light prompt one to conclude, if I may say so - that the devil was not as dark as he was painted by the Bushes, Blairs and their hacks.
So any report emanating from the developed (?) countries against rulers of developing countries should be taken with a lot of caution. All said and done, developing countries do not have the kind of Goebbelsian propaganda machinery, which developed countries have. And lies churned out repeatedly, systematically and with unfailing regularity by the propaganda mills, have a way of invading human minds as bizarre truth.
Though India in its characteristic style made some protest murmurs they had a touch of hypocrisy and lacked conviction and force. In fact, the Indian state did not condemn Saddam's hanging and its message was highly circumscribed. It was only the Left parties, which protested vociferously, and it was only the tiny state Kerala, which went on a state-backed hartal.
From the way US imperialism has been running amuck, often using poodles like Tony Blair, we have to learn a lot about what a so-called developed democracy should not be. I address this to American citizens in particular, who should have prevented George Bush from his perilous and pernicious eccentricities.
That till the end Saddam remained defiant, and in his final act of defiance, refused to don the customary hood offered by the hangman, itself is a telltale of his anger and anguish against the invaders of Iraq and their duplicity and double-speak. While Saddam has already got into history books as a martyr and the builder of modern Iraq as he rightly claimed even before the noose tightened and even as he said "Plague on the West, plague on US, plague on Bush", or some curse to that effect, George Bush might get, if at all, a footnote that too only for his villainy.
One is not sure if nemesis will not catch up with him as it tried to catch up with his father, in which case he might end up as a captive with hardly any sympathy from the developing world. In either case Americans should seriously reconsider the kind of democracy they are practising, allowing their elected leaders destroy country after country in the name of human rights, peace, democracy, and what have you, and remaining mute witnesses to victims being turned into criminals by the criminals and their propaganda mills and getting punished by Kangaroo courts with utter impunity to established international political norms and ethics.
P Radhakrishnan is a social critic and professor of Sociology at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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