Unforgivable Crime: Saddam Hussein’s Deserving Verdict

Deena Mueller

Khalil al-Duleimi has the worst job in the world, at least in my opinion. He, along with 21 other men, have the task of defending Saddam Hussein. One of al-Duleimi’s colleagues has already been shot and killed, and he personally receives daily death threats for enraged Iraqi citizens. History will also remember him as the man who tried to free Saddam Hussein.

Apparently, Mr. al-Duleimi is also not very good at his job either. Hussein was just found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Considering the evidence against Saddam, it appears that al-Duleimi didn’t really have a chance.

In addition to Iraqi protest of the former leader, Hussein’s attorney must have faced guilt for defending such an infamous figure. It must be tough to find feasible litigation. Seriously, how do you defend Saddam and what he’s done? “Excuse me judge, could we perhaps forget about the time my client, Saddam, executed those Shia religious leaders because he didn’t like them?”

In 1988, Saddam used chemical weapons against the Kurds. Nearly 200,000 people lost their lives. Saddam was clearly a force behind this attack. Al-Duleimi had to try and clear Saddam of accusations surrounding these circmstances. Saddam was also accused, and rightly so, of using nerve gas against another Kurdish Village that same year. This resulted in the death of over 5,000 civilians in one single day. Again, the task of proving Saddam’s innocence and arguing for a lessened sentence fell on al-Duleimi.

Other charges that Saddam was faced with include the invasion of Kuwait. At the end of the the first Gulf War after the US had evacuated, Saddam attacked the two groups who had turned against his regime and help fight with the US: The northern Kurds and the Shia Muslims in southern Iraq. These attacks destroyed the habitats of the Kurds and Shia, forcing thousands to flee the country. Again, Saddam’s guilt for such actions remains irrefutable.

Saddam also was charged with killing political activists over the last 30+ years. Nearly 300 mass graves, holding tens of thousands of people have been found scattered throughout Iraq. Undoubtedly, Saddam gave the order to pull the trigger in most, if not all, of the killings in his country. He is also responsible for the kidnapping and killing of 8,000 male Kurds in the Barzani tribe. Saddam is therefore personally responsible for thousands of civilian deaths within his own country. It will be difficult to convince any jury otherwise, though al-Duleimi will have to try again soon. Certainly, Saddam will be trying to appeal the current verdict handed down to him last Saturday. Also, Saddam still must stand trial for genocide charges. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess the verdict: Guilty, and probably with another death sentence.

Given this list of crimes, I don’t have any moral reservations seeing Saddam hung, even though it may incite more anger against the United States. If ever someone was deserving of the death penalty, Saddam is certainly that person.

The pursuit of Saddam came at a high price to our country; it took a over a decade of effort, billions of dollars, thousands of American and Iraqi lives and the reputation of our country. Considering the continued violence in Iraq, I can’t say that removing Hussein from power, or even killing him, will make the Middle East any safer. I do, however, fully believe that the death sentence Saddam is the Iraqi people’s way of serving justice after years of be terrorized.

People wonder why our government was so interested in removing Saddam Hussein from power. Here’s why: He was a brutal, genocidal dictator who abused his people. Maybe that wasn’t justification to go into Iraq, and maybe that doesn’t even justify the means the US took to capture Saddam, but regardless, the man is guilty of nearly every human rights abuse that exists. If al-Duleimi and his team can’t prove Saddam innocent and the people of Iraq want to hang him, then by all means, as Toby Keith says, “Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys, hang ’em high in the streets for all the people to see.”