Side Of The Story
By James Donahue
As a U.S.
sanctioned Iraqi court makes preparation for the trial of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, the world is starting to get a
glimpse of the story from Hussein’s perspective.
And his version is quite
different from the story we have been told by the military-fed media.
He reportedly told his
lawyer, Khalil al-Duleimi, that US officials offered to lift sanctions against Iraq
if Saddam would agree to recognize Israel
as a neighboring state. Of course, Hussein said he would not consent to it.
“There were many
offers but they do not know Saddam Hussein and do not know the honest Iraqi who will only live in honor,” he reportedly
Saddam also claims that
the people running the resistance against American forces are former Iraqi army officers. “What is happening now is
not a coincidence or a spontaneous reaction. It was planned before the invasion,” he allegedly said.
The lawyer made Hussein’s
statements public during an interview with this week’s al-Osbou magazine in Cairo.
Perhaps the most interesting
thing Hussein said during his four and one-half hour interview with Khalil al-Duleimi was that the story of his capture by
U.S. forces one year ago was “a
silly fabricated cowboy movie.”
The military said Hussein
was found dirty and hiding in a hole in the ground near a farmhouse near his hometown Tikrit.
But Hussein said the
soldiers came on him unexpectedly while he was at a friend’s house, praying just before sunset.
He said he didn’t
have a weapon near him so he had no chance to resist capture. “If I knew they were near I would have fought them to
death,” he said.
story of his capture makes an attempt to explain away what many followers thought was a cowardly submission to American forces
once they moved in.
Hussein was always regarded
as a ruthless dictator who many believed would, indeed, fight to the death before allowing himself to be captured. His sons
displayed this very behavior when soldiers attempted to capture them only weeks before.
But in the world court
of public opinion, Saddam Hussein deserves his chance to speak out. And if he must be tried, it should be for real crimes
committed against his people during the time he was in power.
It would be wrong to
try him as a war criminal. After all, it was the United States and UK forces that attacked his country, claiming that Hussein
harbored weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were found.
That Iraqi soldiers offered
some resistance to invading forces should not be considered a criminal act. Any nation would do no less when attacked by another