Middle East: US, British & Israeli heads should roll with Saddam Hussein's Print E-mail
 Monday November 6 2006

Some Arabs: Bush must die too

Jeddah, Nov. 5: Arabs were sharply divided over the death sentence against deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, with some describing the verdict as “heavenly justice” while others highly critical of the US role in the region calling for the American and British heads to roll as well.

“The Americans funded him, supported him, financed him, gave him arms and showed him the way. The Americans should also be hanged for the crime of creating Saddam,” said Mr Abdul Aziz Al-Otaibi, a Jeddah-based Saudi educator. “I think the British and American governments should have also been made to appear with at this kangaroo court and be sentenced for the brutal murder of Iraqis before and after Iraq was invaded in 2003,” said Ms Raeesa Saad, a Cairo-based journalist.

“Hundreds of thousands have died before and after the war in Iraq. Who put Saddam in power originally? Who kept him at the top?” she asked, and answered in the same breath: “The Americans. Hang them.” Mr Abdul Karim Al-Harithy echoed similar views. “Saddam was the dictator who had been put in place by the United States in order to do its dirty work in the region. When the Halabja massacre was taking place, guess who was meeting him, none other than that slimy wrinkled old man known as Donald Rumsfeld,” he said.

One Saudi analyst said the message behind the sentencing is that Washington is determined to continue its mission in Iraq and will not be intimidated by insurgents fighting it. “If there had been no verdict, or if the verdict had been commuted, then it would have consolidated all talk about US failure in Iraq,” said Mr Dawood Al-Shiriyan, a Saudi journalist.

Many Arabs felt that Saddam, as a leader, should have had the freedom to run his country as he saw fit. They pointed to the rise of violence since he was removed from power by the Americans. “If Saddam is condemned to death, then they must make it fair and sentence Mr Bush to death... and they should send Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to death too because of what he did in Lebanon. If this is fair, let Saddam go to death,” said an Amman-based jeweller Mr Ibrahim Huraish.

“If Mr Bush made the world a better place in the past four years, then let Saddam go to death,” he said. “Mr Bush deserves to die as well,” said Rashad Abu Ghaith, a Rabat-based businessman. “The irony is that Mr Bush will never be put on trial like that. He has the license to kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people with no accountability,” he said.