Monday, January 15, 2007

Good Morning, Baghdad! Two Hangings, One Decapitation Before Breakfast

Public barbarity reached yet another new low this morning -- even for occupied Iraq -- when two of Saddam Hussein's former aides were hanged before dawn in Baghdad, one of them losing his head in the process.

Like John Kerry's dumb joke, the American media have already decided for us -- the hanging was "botched". Reuters are packaging Jonathan Wright's piece from Cairo under the heading:
Botched hanging in Iraq arouses Arab suspicions
and it leads with the "official version":
The botched hanging of Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan on Monday aroused Arab suspicions of foul play and malice, deepening the divide between the Iraqi government and Arabs in other countries.

The noose pulled off Barzan al-Tikriti's head as he fell from the gallows, suggesting that the hangman had misjudged the length of rope needed just to break his neck.

Government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said there was no "violation of procedure" in the hanging of Barzan and fellow convict Awad Hamed al-Bander, Saddam's former chief judge, for crimes against humanity over the killings of 148 Shi'ites.
but if you keep reading you can see that the "Arab street" doesn't buy the official version at all.
from Morocco to Yemen, ordinary Arabs cast doubt on the official explanation. Some recalled the chaotic and abusive treatment of Saddam Hussein when he was hanged on December 30.

Zaid al-Boudani, a shopkeeper in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, said: "I am very sad today, as many other Muslim Arabs are. This execution is part of the revenge campaign going on in Iraq. The way his head was ripped off shows hatred and revenge."

The president of Morocco's Human Rights Center described the hangings as a barbaric and vengeful act carried out under external pressure, probably from Iran and the United States.

"We had never heard that the head of a hanged person was ripped from his body, only in this case, which mirrors the hatred and violence," said the president, Khaled Charkaoui.
Wright provides more details of Arab reaction later in the article:
Issam Ghazzawi, a Jordanian lawyer who saw Barzan on Friday, said he was convinced the decapitation was deliberate.

"His head was cut off after he was hanged to mutilate his body in [...] a barbaric act of revenge that is against any human values and is vigilante justice by a group of thugs," he said.
Qassim Abdul-Zahra of the Associated Press, reporting from Baghdad via the Toronto Star, says reaction inside the occupied country is equally skeptical:
Khalaf al-Olayan, a leader of the main Sunni bloc in parliament, demanded to see any video taken during the execution.

"It is impossible for a person to be decapitated during a hanging," he told Al-Jazeera television. "This shows that they (the government) have mutilated the body and this is a violation of the law."

"We want to see the video that was taken during the execution of the two men in order for them (government) to prove what they are saying," he added.
Qassim Abdul-Zahra adds:
The two men were to have been hanged along with Saddam, but Iraqi authorities decided to execute the former dictator alone on what National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie called a "special day."
Oh, yes! Very special, indeed!

And now we have two special days to recall with extreme fondness, as one wave of barbaric carnage follows another. The daily death toll barely warrants a mention:
At least 78 people were reported killed or found dead on Sunday, including 41 bullet-riddled bodies discovered in Baghdad. The U.S. military also said two American soldiers died Sunday from roadside bombs in Baghdad.