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Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him

Posted: December 18th, 2003, by Simon Minter

Marceline’s having internet problems at the moment, which explains the lack of recent content on the site – and believe me there’s some exciting new content on the way when everything’s up and running again!

For now, I thought I’d put onto this blog a column which I received from Ross McGivern yesterday, as it’s particularly timely. I’m hoping that he’s not the only person out there who’s been more than a little concerned about the recent reactions to Saddam’s capture… here it is:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him”

These were the words that I awoke to on Sunday 13th December, I was as surprised as anyone as I was expecting to awake to the dulcet tones of John Craven on Countryfile discussing the intricacies of unsustainable farming policies. Admittedly we had it on the wrong channel but watched to see what was going on in Iraq.

My first reaction when I heard that US forces had captured a suspicious bearded man this close to Christmas was that they had in their wisdom captured Father Christmas,or, the 2 of Clubs as he is known to GI’s around Tikrit. Maybe they had mistaken “my first Chemistry set” as a mobile bio weapons lab capable of launching a strip of magnesium sulphate on British citizens within 45 minutes, only if the budding scientist had a meths Bunsen burner and a pair of crappy plastic goggles.

What I’ve picked up over the course of the week are mixed messages from our ‘leaders’ and media, such as where he will stand trial, what’s his punishment will be and WHERE ARE THE WMD?

So far we’ve heard that its likely that Saddam Hussein will face trial in Iraq and not in an international war crimes tribunal or other type of International Court. This maybe because the US do not want to sign up to the idea of an International Court as it will leave their military actions open to account, such as killing 15 children in less than week in two separate raids in Afghanistan. And given that there was no UN mandate to go to war anywhere there could be a counter claim, and I think there should be! Presumably in the consumer friendly Iraq where smuggling and Sky dish installation are now the number one occupations, this case will be handled by a British No Win No fee solicitors advertising in Iraq (shortly before offshoring to Baghdad to open a call centre). “Have you been injured in an accident at work or been hit a Daisy Cutter? Then call Claims Direct” They then cut to a little kid saying how claims direct helped him as he was hit in the face by a football and now needs to wear glasses for the rest of his life.

Today, 15/12/03 Bush came out and said that Saddam should face the death penalty, now this is where I get confused. In a news report during the week I had heard how in the new Iraq, the death penalty had been abolished, yet Bush wants him to face it in the Iraq. Is this another example of the US president trying to dictate someone else’s policy? It does to this cynic. In the speeches made, you can’t help but hear the undertones of revenge, such as “facing the treatment he gave his people”. If, post saddam, this is a better world why are still hankering after revengeful acts such as the death penalty, however coming from Bush, who as Governor of Texas oversaw the executions of many prisoners, including those with severe mental illness, it isn’t surprising. Yet our leaders and media trumpet that we have won a victory for civilised society.

It does amaze me at what short memories some people have, when justifying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Human Rights abuses and specifically public executions were highlighted as atrocities which needed resolution by dropping a vast amount of explosives on them and installing a US friendly administration, but by allowing the execution of Saddam Hussein, or even encouraging it, aren’t our world leaders being hypocrites once more? Surely if we have turned the corner, we should be making sure that everything is done properly and fairly, not as Tony Blair has said “seen” to be a fair trial. Even though he is undeniably an evil dictator who should be held account for his murderous reign, what is wrong with making sure no short cuts are made?

After all, if short cuts are made and he faces a public execution, which will probably be shown on Sky Pay Per View, what signal will this send to supporters and citizens already resentful of the occupation of Iraq? By showing footage of him being manhandled by a US doctor, they have already enflamed many across the Middle East by humiliating and degrading him; and this is the reaction from those are pleased that he is gone.

Finally they have found Saddam Hussein, less than 6ft tall, but they haven’t been able to locate 20ft rockets, whats going on? I maybe exaggerating but if they found a couple of screws they’d claim it comes from a rocket launcher which is set to hit Skegness in less than an hour. But still no sign of them I find this interesting, maybe that’s because there aren’t any? I had initially thought that once they had captured him, and with such ease it won’t be long before a deal is struck and Saddam avoids death by either telling them where the WMD are, or allowing them to be planted etc, however it appears he is now not talking so that might have scuppered that theory.

All I’m suggesting is that before demanding that the only course of action is the death penalty, or a fixed trial or an illegal stay in Camp X-ray that a bit of common sense is applied and serious consideration is given to the consequences of an imperialistic vendetta.

I have however thought of some “hilarious” punishments

1. Replacement for Bertie Vogts as Manager of Scotland.

2. Leader of the Conservatives, a torturous affair no less

and finally…

3. Take my place for the horrors that await my Christmas; not only has my mad mother in law invited herself to Christmas lunch (I’ll be the one cooking), thus spoiling plans already made, I’ve also been volunteered to drive her and her new chap to Gatwick (they better not canoodle on my backseat). They have to be there for 4.00 am I’ll probably get home around 06.00 Boxing Day. Sleep Deprevation and White Noise must pale into insignificance.

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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