Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tariq Aziz's Death Sentence

"Nuri al-Maliki, on the brink of sealing a deal to give him another four years as prime minister, apparently feels confident enough to act on something he has long dreamt of: revenge against Aziz," writes Sami Moubayed, continuing, "Revenge is not a new matter in Iraq, but what is surprising is that Aziz - a Christian - will be hanged for killing Islamists" — Iraq calls time on Saddam's sidekick.

"Many believed that Aziz's religion, his friends in the international community and the fact that his hands are not stained with blood like Saddam would have spared him the fate of former colleagues who ended at the hangman's noose," sugeests Mr. Moubayed. More:
    The fact that he was recently sentenced to only 15 years in prison was seemingly an assurance that Aziz would remain "sheltered" from execution at the age of 74. Many believed that it would have been very difficult for the post-Saddam leaders of Iraq to hang Aziz - a man who was given red-carpet treatment at the Vatican in 2003 - even if they wanted to.

    That would have sparked off too much tension within Iraq itself, especially between Muslims and Christians, and vibrated strongly around the world. During his 2007 Christmas mass, Emmanuel III Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon and primate of the Chaldean Catholic Church, called for Aziz's release, making government authorities in Baghdad very nervous.

    Maliki today, four years into power and preparing himself for another round at the premiership, apparently feels confident enough to take affirmative action on something he has always dreamt of - revenge against Aziz. He knows that he can sign off the death warrant and face little, or no, opposition. Had Aziz been a Sunni or Kurd, for example, whose support is much needed for Maliki for a 163-vote majority he needs in parliament, then hanging him would have been very difficult.
Pepe Escobar writes "Maliki and his Shi'ite Da'wa party had a score to settle with Aziz, and they will believe justice has now been done" — Aziz's story will remain untold. "Everyone else loses badly because Aziz is arguably the only person on Earth who could tell the real story, bit by juicy bit, about the rolling, decades-long American dirty game in Iraq."

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