web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Saddam Hussein’

Iraq’s Al-Maliki Agrees to Step Down

Friday, August 15th, 2014

In a move that he fervently resisted for weeks, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki relented to international pressure and has agreed to step down, according to statements issued on Thursday, August 14.

Al-Maliki has also agreed to support the Prime Minister-designate Haider Al-Abadi, who will attempt to form a new goverment and to navigate governing the country according to Iraq’s constitutional timeline.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised Maliki for taking the momentous step, thereby helping to ensure there will be a peaceful transition of power in Iraq.

The announcement came during a speech delivered on national television. He said his decision to back Al-Abadi, whom Iraqi President Fouad Massoum nominated earlier this week, was in keeping with his interest in helping to “safeguard the high interests of the country.”

Al-Abadi not only had the support of the Iraqi president, the U.S. government has been strongly urging Maliki to step down, and approved of the selection of Al-Abadi.

Al-Maliki has been the leader of Iraq since 2003, following the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein. He initially refused to step down and even threatened to file a court challenge. There was widespread fear that al-Maliki would attempt a military coup.

But Al-Maliki’s ultimate decision to leave office quietly and to support the designated transition clears the path for Iraq to benefit from increased U.S. aid.

IS (ISIS, ISIL) are massing forces 122 kilometers north of Baghdad near the town of Qara Tappa, according to ABC news, in what appears to be next step southward towards Iraq’s capital.

Al-Maliki stepping down is one less battle the Iraqi nation has to fight. ISIS is more than enough for any country to have to tame.

 

Appeasement and Economic Sanctions

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

According to Winston Churchill, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

The US Administration is leading the easing of economic sanctions against – and the legitimization of – the regime of Iran’s apocalyptic, almost-nuclear Ayatollahs and Mullahs, the allies of North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other anti-US rogue regimes.  They are the chief sponsors of anti-US Islamic terrorism, the role model of anti-US incitement and non-compliance with agreements, double-talk, repression, public executions, state-sponsored terrorism and subversion against the pro-US oil-producing Arab states.

Simultaneously, and against the will of the American people and the US Congress, the White House and the Department of State imply a not-so-subtle support of supposed European economic sanctions against the fallible Jewish state, which is the most reliable, stable, predictable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US in the Middle East and beyond. Israel is the only country, whose alliance with the US is based on shared Judeo-Christian values, the foundation of Western democracy and American morality.

Contrary to the state of mind of the American people and the US Congress, the US Administration has not warned anti-Israel Europeans of the dire consequences, should they resort to sanctions against the Jewish State – a besieged island of Western democracy surrounded and assaulted by an ocean of anti-Western Islamic tyrannies.  Instead, the current US policy – shaped largely by a foreign policy establishment, which courted Hafiz Assad,  Bashar Assad, Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, Arafat, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood – provides a tailwind to misguided Europeans, and fuels unrealistic Palestinian expectations, radicalism and violence.

Western governments have chosen to pressure and threaten the Jewish state – the only Middle Eastern country where Jews, Christians and Muslims enjoy civil liberties and Muslim women benefit from equal opportunities – while placating and appeasing the regime of Mahmoud Abbas:

*The author of the Palestinian Authority death penalty for Arabs selling land to Israeli Jews, while Israel uproots Jews who settle disputed land;

*The ethnic-cleanser who reiterates opposition to the existence of Jewish communities in the proposed Palestinian state, while the Jewish state extends freedom of religion, press, expression, assembly and association to the 1.7 million Israeli Arabs, who – including most East Jerusalem Arabs – prefer Israeli to Palestinian citizenship; *The founding father of Western-bankrolled Palestinian hate education, who heralds suicide bombers, using Western financial aid to provide monthly allowances to families of Palestinian terrorists;

*The head of a repressive and corrupt regime, nick-named, by Judea and Samaria Arabs, “Sodom and Gomorrah” and “Mr. 20%” (kickbacks);

*The liquidator of  the ancient Christian communities in Bethlehem, Beit Jallah, Ramallah and Beit Sakhour. There are more Christian refugees in Belize, Central America, than there are Christians left in Beit Jallah. From a Christian majority in Bethlehem before the 1993 arrival of Mahmoud Abbas, the Christian community has been reduced to a 15% minority. *A graduate of KGB training and Moscow University (Ph.D. thesis – Holocaust Denial); the coordinator of PLO ties with the Communist Bloc; an ally of Russia, China and North Korea; the loyal deputy of Arafat, systematically betraying the trust of Egypt (1950s), Syria (1966), Jordan (1970), Lebanon (1970-1982) and Kuwait (collaboration with Saddam’s August, 1990 invasion of Kuwait) through subversion and terrorism.

*A systematic violator of most agreements with Israel since 1993, when Israel imported some 70,000 PLO terrorists from Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Tunisia and provided them with control over 40% of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza.  The Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, Jordan nor Egypt ever allowed this when they controlled that area.  Mahmoud Abbas reciprocated with unprecedented hate education, terrorism and non-compliance.

Damaged Torahs Found in Iraq Buried in New York

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Damaged Torah scrolls found by U.S. troops in Iraq’s intelligence headquarters were buried in a cemetery in New York on Sunday, according to Jewish law for disposing of unusable religious objects and texts.

More than 100 people, including Lukman Faily, the Iraqi ambassador to the U.S., attended the ceremony at the New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, Long Island. “This is a statement by the government and people of Iraq that we are here to respect the heritage of the Jews,” Faily said.

Thousands of Jewish ritual items were discovered by U.S. troops in 2003, after the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops found the items in the waterlogged basement of Iraq’s intelligence headquarters, and they were shipped to the National Archives, where experts set about restoring them.

An exhibit there on display through Jan. 5, is the first opportunity to see them.

Why They Hate Us

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Boy, do they hate America.

I’m on a flight in Tanzania, having left Rwanda where we made a second tour of the genocide sites with the impending twentieth anniversary of the slaughter, when I meet a very fine Pakistani family going on safari.

We exchange pleasantries. They have children studying in the UK, as do many upper-class Pakistani families. My wife and I lived in the UK. We find much to talk about. I relate to them all the Pakistani students I knew at Oxford who were regulars at our events. They tell me of their trip to see the mountain gorillas and how they are enjoying Africa.

Suddenly, the father says to me, “I was in Israel recently. I enjoyed it. But I was disgusted at the treatment of the Palestinians who cannot even go from Bethlehem into Jerusalem.”

I explain to him that the checkpoints are relatively new. “They did not exist when I was a student in Jerusalem. They were set up after a wave of terror bombings killed thousands of Israeli civilians. You can hardly blame Israel from trying to stop the slaughter.”

“The slaughter?” he says, “You mean the way Israel massacres Palestinians every day. And it’s all funded by America, who is the biggest murderer in the world. Just look at the 100 people every day being killed in Iraq.”

I raise my eyebrows, trying to remain calm and provoked. “But that’s being done by Islamic terrorists. What does it have to do with America? We Americans died to liberate the Iraqis. We spent more than a trillion dollars of our national treasure on complete strangers to stop them from being slaughtered by Saddam Hussein.”

He ignores the facts and continues his diatribe. “America is now slaughtering everyone in Afghanistan, just to destabilize the region, and blaming everything on Pakistan.”

“America is trying to save Afghanistan from the Taliban,” I counter, “monsters who brutalize women, fanatics that behead those who don’t conform to their religious extremes.”

“Nonsense,” he says, “the Taliban is infinitely more humane that the Americans and their agents in the Middle East, the Israelis.”

By now I’ve had enough and I go on the offensive.

“Why was Osama bin Laden living in Abbotabad, a mile from Pakistan’s West Point? Who was sheltering a man who killed 3000 innocent Americans?”

And here he makes my jaw drop. “Three thousand Americans dead is nothing, a drop in the ocean, compared to how many Muslims America has killed.”

You may wonder why I am relating this story. It’s an isolated incident, right? But it’s not. It’s a sentiment I encountered in so many parts of Africa where I traveled to Rwanda, to again see the genocide sites and meet with government officials, and then to Arusha in Tanzania, to see the criminal courts where the Rwandan genocidaires were tried.

Readers of my columns will know that I am one of Jewry’s foremost defenders of Islam. I remind Jewish audiences constantly that we dare not de-contexualize the current frictions between Jews and Muslims. Saladin welcomed the Jews back to Jerusalem in 1187 when he captured the holy city from the crusaders who massacred every last Jew. The Ottomans took in large numbers of Jews when we were expelled from Catholic Spain and Portugal. Jews flourished in many Islamic lands where the Koran said they would have to be treated as second-class citizens but should otherwise not suffer persecution. I took Dr. Oz, during our recent visit to Israel together, to see the tomb of Maimonides in Tiberius, explaining that the greatest Muslim ruler that ever lived made the great sage his personal physician. Whenever some of my Jewish colleagues speak of Islam as an inherently violent religion, citing verses in the Koran to prove it, I remind them that there are plenty of verses of our own Torah which can be taken out of context and sound pretty violent. It all comes down to how these passages are interpreted.

But with that being said, there is no question in my mind that Islam is undergoing a modern crisis which perhaps only its clerics and lay leaders can rescue it from. Here in Tanzania there was a terrible story just a week ago when two British female Jewish teenagers were attacked with acid by Islamic assailants.

It’s not that imams and are preaching violence, although many unfortunately do. It’s rather that they preach victimhood. America is to blame for their problems. Israel is to blame for their suffering.

Where are the Islamic leaders and clerics who are prepared to say, “We are responsible for our own problems. We are taking a great world religion and turning it insular and away from secular knowledge rather than finding the balance between the holy and the mundane. We are not empowering women to be the equals of men in all spheres. We Palestinians took the largest per capita foreign aid ever given to a people and we allowed corruption and hatred of Israel to squander the funds on bombs and bullets rather than building universities and schools. We elect leaders democratically who then, like Hamas, or Muhammad Morsi, precede to dismantle democratic institutions. We see the Jews as our enemies rather than using them as an example of what we ourselves should aspire to. They returned to their land after long ago being dispersed by foreign European powers and made the desert bloom. We can surely do the same.”

George Galloway, Purim and the Legacy of Amalek

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

It’s all over my Facebook news feed and has invaded YouTube like a plague. People posting the same one minute video over and over again. Unabashed and unrepentant anti-Semite, lover of all anti-American and anti-Israel tyrants, in George Galloway walking out of what was supposed to be a debate at Oxford University with a Jewish student who was originally from Israel. Galloway was not informed that the student, who had an unmistakably British accent, was originally from Israel but he did know that the student was Jewish. The fact that Galloway agreed to debate a Jew to begin with should have been the shocking part.

Throughout his career as a British MP, Galloway has gone out of his way, whether intentionally or not, to further the case that anti-Zionism is just a thinly veiled formed of anti-Semitism. That the old and tired line of “I’m not against Jews…I’m against Zionism and the apartheid state of Israel” just doesn’t fly. It’s either the sentiment of a complete ignoramus at best or a Jew-hater at worst. More often than not, it ends up being the latter.

Since were on the topic of his ‘outlandish behavior’, Galloway has done everything from: praising Hezbollah and Hamas—even requesting Palestinian citizenship from Hamas—to openly supporting Saddam Hussein during both Gulf Wars. From suggesting that Tony Blair be put in front of the International Criminal Court at the Hague and being especially supportive when Saddam was lobbing rockets at Tel Aviv, to being an ardent supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and the Assad regime in Syria.

But he has never uttered these words…at least not with a video camera present: “I will not debate an Israeli”.

So while George Galloway’s sentiments shouldn’t come as a surprise to us, one thing we as Jews should be taking note of is that this happened right before the holiday of Purim. Purim is the story of how a man by the name of Haman wanted nothing more than to wipe out the Jewish people from existence, and yet was undone by the very plot he was attempting to hatch. This Haman was a direct descendant of Amalek.

Amalek is the eternal and perpetual enemy of the Jewish people. He hates us for no other reason than our very being. And it’s not merely on this planet. If all 14 million of us got on a spaceship and moved to the Moon, he’d follow us there and accuse us of occupying the moon, right before he attempts to wipe us out. We exist; therefore he hates us. We have survived; therefore he still plots against us. We have fought him at various points on the space-time continuum; therefore his mere essence continues to haunt us. While one of the Ten Commandments instructs us not to kill another human being…there is also a strict and direct commandment, out of our 613, to remember and wipe-out Amalek wherever and whenever we come across him.

Unfortunately, these days it’s hard to identify who Amalek is. For example, many great rabbis of the 20th century identified the Nazis to be Amalek. Stalin, who actually died on Purim, was thought to be Amalek. But besides being a group of people or one man, it can be an idea, an abstract entity, a movement, all of the above…and lastly, ourselves—the Jewish people—can be Amalek. We can be our own worst enemy. We can hate ourselves for no rational or logical reason. In this case, we have an example of something that has in fact become an abstract entity.

Over the past two decades, we have witnessed the undue courtship and subsequent marriage of the international leftist movement and fundamentalist Islam. Two groups, who couldn’t be more different in terms of their values, yet who have been united by a common enemy. “Western capitalism and Imperialism”. And since both of these groups have a virulent hatred of America, in their eyes, Israel is nothing more than America’s bidder in the Middle East. The former claims that it wants nothing more than “freedom” for people of all persuasions and socio-economic backgrounds…especially freedom from colonization and oppression. The latter wants nothing more than to colonize and convert the entire world to its ideology, this time more so via silent cultural usurpation and less by the sword. Whether they realize it or not, the majority of the left serve as ‘useful idiots’ of the Islamist movement.

Learning From The Past: Some Current Implications Of An Earlier Indifference To Israel’s Basic Rights Under International Law

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

At a moment when Israel is under new daily assaults from the international community, especially from the Palestinian Authority and its oddly eager mentors at the United Nations, it is worth noting that there is a discernible and continuous pattern here of legal double-standards. No matter how often Israel is victimized by instances of Palestinian terrorism, Jerusalem’s most basic rights under international law are flagrantly disregarded. Although core documents in jurisprudence refer hopefully and optimistically to “general principles of law recognized by civilized nations,” the actual orientation of states toward Israel has generally been to punish the innocent victims, and reward the terrorist.

As a suitable reference point, let us consider the trial and subsequent punishment of Saddam Hussein. U.S. forces had captured the Iraqi dictator on December 13, 2003. Significantly, Saddam’s many egregious crimes had included the Jewish state and its citizens as victims. Still, Israel was never given any voice in the specially created judicial forum. Rather, all prosecutorial authority over Saddam was quickly vested in an ad hoc institution from which Israel had been totally excluded.

This official trial venue was called the Iraqi Special Tribunal.  It began its formal proceedings on October 19, 2005. Saddam Hussein was subsequently executed by hanging on December 30, 2006.

Clearly missing from Saddam’s criminal prosecution were any specific counts for Iraq’s multiple 1991 aggressions against Israel. The Jewish state, however, did have a “peremptory” legal right to participate in the Iraqi Special Tribunal, and its deliberate exclusion from the proceedings plainly violated one of the world’s most elementary jurisdictional principles of justice.

Nullum crimen sine poena;No crime without a punishment.” Stemming from at least three separate passages of the Torah (in their sequence of probable antiquity, they are Exod. 21:22-25; Deut. 19: 19-21; and Lev. 24: 17-21), the Lex Talionis or “law of exact retaliation” was integral to the precedent-setting Nuremberg Trial after World War II. Indeed, in 1946, when the Special Military Tribunal justified its sentencing on arguments for retributive justice, it strongly reaffirmed this binding principle. In its precise words: “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore, and liable to punishment.”

When facing the Iraqi Special Tribunal, Saddam was charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but not with aggression against Israel. Yet aggression is fully codified in several sources as a very serious crime, and must never be accepted “without a punishment.” Whatever the practical arguments had been for excluding Israel, there could never be any proper legal justification for having ignored Iraq’s Gulf War missile attacks upon Israeli cities.

On Friday, January 18, 1991, Saddam Hussein’s government launched eight Scuds directly at civilian targets in Tel Aviv. This attack was followed for more than a month by thirty-one additional missiles fired at Israeli noncombatants. Baghdad’s last missile attack against Israel took place on February 25, 1991. In compliance with U.S. and allied expectations, Israel never fired back.

Iraq’s thirty-nine Scuds managed to kill only one Israeli directly. Twelve additional deaths resulted indirectly from missile attacks. Nearly two hundred persons were injured. Also, 4393 buildings were damaged: 3991 apartments and residential buildings; 331 public institutions; 17 educational institutions; and 54 businesses. It could have been much worse. But the particular tactical failures of Saddam’s primitive missiles do not provide an exculpatory argument for Saddam under international law.

Although Saddam Hussein’s personal responsibility for aggression here must be limited to the 1991 attacks, Iraq already had a long history of unpunished crimes against Israel. Baghdad had sent expeditionary forces against the tiny Jewish state during the 1948 War of Independence, the Six Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973). During the 1948 war, Iraqi forces entered Transjordan and engaged Israeli forces in Western Samaria. In the aftermath of the 1967 war, Iraqi forces remained deployed in Jordan for several years. During the 1973 war, Iraq committed about one-third of its then 95,000-man armed forces to assist Syria in its determined campaign of violence against Israel on the Golan Heights.

Looking Back At The Trial Of Saddam Hussein: Implications Of Indifference To Israel’s Earlier Rights Under International Law

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

At a moment when Israel is under new jurisprudential assaults from those world leaders who would pay no attention to pertinent international law (most conspicuously, President Obama’s commitment to a still one-sided “Road Map”), it may be a good time to recall previous episodes of more-or-less similar disregard. One such episode was the trial and subsequent punishment of Saddam Hussein, who had been captured by U.S. forces on December 13, 2003. Although Saddam’s multiple egregious crimes had prominently included the Jewish State and its citizens as victims, Israel was never given any voice in the specially created judicial forum. Rather, all prosecutorial authority over the captured Iraqi dictator was placed in an ad hoc institution from which Israel had been carefully (for geopolitical reasons) excluded. This was called the Iraqi Special Tribunal, which began its formal proceedings on October 19, 2005. Saddam was executed by hanging on December 30, 2006.

Clearly missing from Saddam’s criminal prosecution were any counts for Iraq’s multiple 1991 aggressions against Israel. The Jewish State, however, did have a distinct legal right to participate in the Iraqi Special Tribunal, and its deliberate exclusion from the proceedings did violate one of the world’s most elementary principles of justice. Consider the following:

Nullum crimen sine poena – No crime without a punishment. Stemming from at least three separate passages of the Torah (in their sequence of probable antiquity, they are Exodus 21:22-25; Deuteronomy 19: 19-21; and Leviticus 24: 17-21), the Lex Talionis or “law of exact retaliation” was integral to the precedent-setting Nuremberg Trial after World War II. Indeed, in 1946, when the Special Military Tribunal justified its sentencing on arguments for retributive justice, it strongly reaffirmed this binding principle. In its precise words: “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.”

When facing the Iraqi Special Tribunal, Saddam was charged with genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but not with aggression against Israel. Yet, aggression is fully codified in several sources as a very serious crime, and must never be accepted “without a punishment.” Whatever the “practical” arguments had been for excluding Israel, there could never be any proper legal justification for having ignored Iraq’s Gulf War missile attacks upon Israeli cities. Never.

On Friday, January 18, 1991, Saddam Hussein’s government launched eight Scuds directly at civilian targets in Tel-Aviv. This attack was followed for more than a month by 31 additional missiles fired at Israeli noncombatants. Baghdad’s last missile attack against Israel took place on February 25, 1991. In compliance with US and allied expectations, Israel never fired back.

Iraq’s 39 Scuds managed to kill only one Israeli directly. Twelve additional deaths resulted indirectly from missile attacks. Nearly 200 persons were injured. Also, 4,393 buildings were damaged: 3,991 apartments and residential buildings; 331 public institutions; 17 educational institutions; and 54 businesses. To be sure, it could have been much worse. But the particular tactical failures of Saddam’s primitive missiles do not provide an exculpatory argument for Saddam under international law.

Although Saddam Hussein’s personal responsibility for aggression here must be limited to the 1991 attacks, Iraq already had a long history of unpunished crimes against Israel. Baghdad had sent expeditionary forces against the tiny Jewish State during the 1948 War of Independence, the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973). During the 1948 war, Iraqi forces entered Transjordan and engaged Israeli forces in Western Samaria. In the aftermath of the 1967 war, Iraqi forces, deployed in Jordan, remained there for several years. During the 1973 war, Iraq committed about one-third of its then 95,000 man armed forces to assist Syria in its determined campaign of violence against Israel on the Golan Heights.

Every state has an inherent right of self-defense. Participating in the prosecution of Saddam Hussein for prior aggression against Israel would have been an authoritative expression of this right. According to Emmerich de Vattel’s classic 1758 text on The Law Of Nations, “The right to punish injustice is derived from the right of self-protection.” Moreover, the right of self-defense in international law is drawn from Natural Law or Higher Law, and can therefore never be subordinated to particular international agreements or even to pragmatic considerations of geopolitics.

Not only did Israel have an incontestable right to join in the trial of Saddam Hussein, but there had also been a corresponding obligation of all other states to ensure such participation. As Blackstone observed in his famous Commentaries, which – significantly – actually formed the early law of these United States, international law exists to provide a code “for the eternal and immutable laws of good and evil.” Each state is therefore bound “to aid and enforce the law of nations, as part of the common law, by inflicting an adequate punishment upon offenses against the universal law….”

Natural Law, which is the core basis of international law, stems from the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and the Covenant Code of Israel. Natural Law is expressed not only in the Declaration of Independence but also in the Bill of Rights. The Ninth Amendment, in stipulating that “the enumeration of certain rights in this Constitution shall not prejudice other rights not so enumerated,” reflects belief in a Higher Law superior to the will of all human governance.

According to correct legal procedure, Israel certainly ought to have been permitted to prepare a formal criminal complaint against Saddam Hussein, and then to file the relevant documents with the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Jerusalem’s next step should have been in the United Nations. There, in the General Assembly, Israel could have called upon that body to promptly request an Advisory Opinion on Israeli charges from the International Court of Justice.

An Advisory Opinion in the matter of Israel and Saddam Hussein could also have been requested by the United States in the Security Council. The American obligation to render such assistance to Israel would have derived not only from the Constitutional incorporation of international law into United States law (see especially Article 6 of the US Constitution), but also from the Natural Law foundations of US law. Any US initiative to punish Saddam Hussein’s crime of aggression against Israel would have represented essential support for both international law and for America’s most sacred principles of justice.

At a time when Israel’s basic rights under international law are again being expressly disregarded, it is sobering to recall that Jerusalem has been down this path before. This time, however, the consequences of legal indifference could be far more serious. This time, especially if U.S. President Obama has his way with a Jewish settlement freeze, disregard for Israel’s particular legal rights could pave the way for a “One State Solution.” To be sure, the state that replaces Israel would be called “Palestine.”

Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) lectures and publishes widely on international law. He is Strategic and Military Affairs columnist for The Jewish Press.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/looking-back-at-the-trial-of-saddam-hussein-implications-of-indifference-to-israels-earlier-rights-under-international-law/2009/07/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: