Since the hanging of Saddam Hussein at the beginning of this year, Global Voices has covered what the world has had to say about it, the only group left now is the Kurds. Kurdish reaction was fairly slow to develop. I believe this was because of shock. But don't take my word for it, read what the Kurds have to say….
From Bilal at Better Kurdistan and Iraq:
Saddam Hussein was hanged last night. To many Iraqis his reign looks like distant history compared to how long and bloody post-Saddam Iraq seems. The Iraqi Special Tribunal trying Saddam and his top aides for crimes against humanity meant to offer justice to the victims of his rule. Justice and accountability are what his victims wanted. In our meeting with President Bush last December on Iraqi election day, one angry student retorted that Saddam Hussein must not be given a trial at all but rather executed right away. The President advised him that new Iraq would set an example that even Saddam-like individuals will get a fair trial. Fair or not, thousands of Kurds are denied justice.
Today is Eid Al-Adha, although Shiites will celebrate tomorrow. Culturally and religiously, Eid is a day of reconciliation and feasting. This day has often been a day in which Iraqi governments offer amnesties to prisoners, or allow them to visit their families. Saddam’s execution today breaks that norm, rendering the execution out of place. The date will fulfill Saddam’s wish that he will be a “sacrifice” of the day, in reference to the Eid sheep sacrificing ritual. ….
Above all, the Kurds are cheated. Kurds were Saddam Hussein’s primary victims. He gassed the town of Halabja in 1988 and killed five thousand people, mostly women and children, instantly. Residents of Halabja still suffer form diseases and women from miscarriages. I recently lost a friend who was diagnosed with Leukemia from exposure to polluted soil. Although he escaped the immediate attack, the gas killed him years later. Saddam Hussein’s regime is also responsible for the death and disappearance of thousands of Kurds in the so-called Anfal operation. His bulldozers razed four thousand Kurdish villages. As a Kurd, you were naturally guilty unless proven innocent. Saddam’s treatment of the Kurds is genocide and cannot be excused on any pretext. The trial was a chance to let the world, especially the Arabs, know why we Kurds have issues with Saddam.
But Saddam Hussein was put to death for the killing of comparatively few in retaliation for an assassination attempt while his major crimes are dismissed. After his death, the case of Anfal is automatically closed, and with it the unknown fate of thousands of Kurds.
From Iraqi Thoughts:
I am not unhappy he is dead, I am just saddened how a political party’s vendetta took a whole country’s hate for Saddam and used it to finally do what they have been hoping to do for so long.
May all those who died or have suffered under the hands of Saddam and his stooges rest in peace. Your memories sadly will be only remembered by your families and those Iraqis in the same boat as you but thanks to politics the whole world will never really understand the tyrant Saddam Hussein really was.
Kurdish Aspect simply asked “What do you think?”, here are some of the comments left on his blog:
I am just happy that he is dead and gone. I am just sorry they executed him so quickly. He should have been stoned to death by the survivors of Halabja
I didn't know that! The trial should have continued with the horrendous story of the Kurds revealed to the world!!
Dr. Kamal Artin said…
It is a shame to execute somebody whose expertise was execution. The lesson for him and people like him would have been to rise above his level, to keep him alive, and to teach him and his likes to appreciate life. I am glad it was not done in the name of Kurds.
Mizgin from Rasti expresses anger at the legal effects of Saddam's death:
Of course, they aren't going to try Saddam posthumously. His execution removed him from the defendant's list in the Anfal trial. I mean, come on . . . Legitimacy!
Since the Baghdad government doctored up some “letter” to let Talabanî slip out of his presidential duties, and since it violated its own law by executing on a religious festival, then it could have doctored up something or violated its own law again by keeping Saddam alive until all the other trials were concluded . . . including the Anfal trial.
The Baghdad government is Sadrist and al-Maliki is Moqtada's man. Again, how is it that Kurdistan can remain in thrall to a government that pushed for a swift execution for Saddam's murder of 148 Shi'a, while he was still on trial for the murder of 182,000 Kurds? And while other trials, for the Marsh Arabs and the 1991 uprising, were on the horizon?
Let's face it: Kurds don't rate, especially with the Kurdish leadership, who have beat a hasty retreat instead of demanding justice for 182,000 Anfalized Kurds, their survivors, and the entire Kurdish people.
Scandalous and disgusting!
Hiwa expresses anger over the execution as it shows how weak the new state of Iraq really is.
He asked for a firesquad…instead they hang him!
I have numerously said that Iraq is an illusion and its a too old idea for the British and the US to make a country (even dictatorship) out of Iraq. They [US and UK] have not properly studied the story of Ali and Muawiya nor they had studied properly what Saddam had achieved within the 30 years of his dictatorship. They did not know these facts very well in 1920s nor they know it up until now!
Saddam was executed in revenge for the Shiites he killed from his first day in power to the day he was found by the US soldiers. The ministers were shouting “go to hell” and “long live Muhammad Baqr Assadr”. The Americans have now given the power to the Shiites to execute the man whom the world fought against in 1991 and was still worth of remaining in power.
The last word goes to Vladimir of From Holland to Kurdistan:
Recently Saddam was hanged. But why was he hanged? The Anfal trial will resume on January 8 without Saddam. But Kurds have every right to be worried….
After the hanging of Saddam, suddenly everybody was talking about Halabja and Anfal in America. But Rasti wonders why nobody cared about Kurds, when Saddam was fighting Iran…
And while the whole Arabic world is whining about America and Zionists, the poor Palestinians demonstrate in favour of Saddam Husseyn. They even carry banners of Chemical Ali, the Butcher of Kurdistan. Not only the Americans know how to pursue amoral politics, but also the Palestinians. When a Kurd showed the photo's of killed Kurds to the late Yasser Arafat, he didn't believe the Iraqi regime killed the Kurds. Some Arabs even say that the execution of Saddam shows that the Iranian Mullahs are allied with the Zionists. While the Mullahs like to use that word “Zionist” too, despite that they also oppress Arabs, Kurds, Azeri's, etc. Also the Mullahs like amoral politics.. The Iranian ambassador in Holland was talking about Israeli's killing Palestinian kids in Gaza. I was thinking about the Iranian army killing Kurdish children in peaceful demonstrations.
And why America immediately rejected the ceasefire of the militant organization PKK? Is there a conflict of interests? Why America doesn't force Turkey to accept the Kurdish people and peace? Is it because of the new weapon contracts?
Don't believe me wrong. I am not thinking in a black and white way. It's good that America finally destroyed Saddam. But they should have listened to Peter W. Galbraith during Anfal and Halabja. They should have destroyed Saddam a long time ago.
Kurds should never forget their own mountains..
That is very true, and a sentiment that I got from all of the Kurdish blogs I viewed on this topic…the Kurds need to be true to themselves, and never forget.