December 23, 2003
significance of Saddam's capture does not rest in the
information obtained from him but rather the affect it
has had in releasing millions of Iraqis from the disabling
fear that has prevented them from standing up to Ba'athi
loyalists. After the fall of Saddam's regime the Coalition
failed to roundup members of the Mukhabarat and Amin,
who were the backbone of the former dictatorship, and
such a mistake has seen Iraq destabilized and terrorized,
with recent attacks killing
17 Iraqis and blowing
up an oil pipeline. The momentum gained from
Saddam's capture should be utilized to rectify this failure
by arresting all members of the Mukhabarat and Amn - vetting
them later - to give ordinary Iraqis the confidence to
take an active role in building a new, brighter prospect
for Iraq. The Coalition's shortcoming in this regard has
seen Iraqis beginning to take matters into their own hands
their former oppressors.
both clear the path for an Iraqi trial, the Iraqi Governing
Council is expected to appoint some 20
judges to investigate Saddam-era crimes. The
trial of Saddam in Iraq by Iraqis is vital for the country's
rehabilitation and will give closure to the darkest chapter
in Iraq's history. It is insensitive to the victims of
Saddam to demand anything other than an Iraqi trial and
experts have commented that it is presumptuous
and arrogant of the world to think that Iraqi judges are
visiting several European
countries to discuss reducing Iraq's crushing
debt, Baker is due to travel to Asian
countries in the coming week. Putin
has told a delegation of Governing Council members that
Russia is prepared to cut Iraq's debt to his country by
half. While this may be an encouraging start, Iraqis should
not be expected to pay for the financing of Saddam's
oppression of Iraqis and his many wars.
Iraqi Foreign Minister addressed the UN Security Council
them for abandoning Iraqis for decades under
the rule of Saddam and warned them against abandoning
the Iraqi people again. Annan demands a clear
role for the UN in Iraq, yet states that it
is too dangerous for the UN to return to Iraq, instead
working out of bases in Cyprus and Jordan.
members of the Iraqi Governing Council have
submitted a request to establish a federal system for
Iraq and for several key provinces to be handed over to
Kurdish control based on figures from the 1957 census.
Such a maneuver poses the following problems:
a decision is the sole responsibility of the Constitutional
Assembly, due to be appointed by general elections.
Attempts by non-elected groups to take away this power
is undemocratic and sets a dangerous precedent.
proposal effectively calls for redrawing of provincial
boundaries. This would sow the seeds of conflict for
years to come as it will undoubtedly divide families,
friends and neighbors.
of the duties of the Constitutional Assembly will
be to carry out a detailed census to aid in the writing
of a new constitution. Decisions of the structure
of the state cannot be based on decades-old information,
which would only create tension and conflict, but
should be based on on-the-ground realities.