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Dr Kaukab Siddique | Editor-in-Chief Zulhijja 16, 1428, December 27, 2007. #98

Breaking news: Stop "Press." Latest Tragedy in Pakistan:
[From our Pakistan Monitor]

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated: U.S. Pakistan Policy in Shambles: Serious Consequences Possible, including U.S. military intervention and inner-Pak-army Conflict

December 27, 2007: Peoples' Party leader Benazir Bhutto died of her injuries at 6.15 PM local time after she was attacked in Rawalpindi following a public gathering she addressed at Liaqat Bagh. Four hours later there is confusion about the cause of death. Reports say that she was shot several times by a sniper and died of blood loss. Other reports say that a human bomber detonated near her vehicle and the count of people killed in the bombing has risen from a first count of 14 to 30. The bomb attack was aimed at policemen who were killed in large numbers. There is speculation that government agents used the cover of the explosion to shoot her. Veteran Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir told Fox News in a live feed that Peoples Party leaders are blaming Musharraf for the murder. [The version of the government role is strengthened by the news that Nawaz Sharif's procession was also fired upon in Islamabad and 4 of his people killed.] General Musharraf was unhappy that America wanted to bring in Ms. Bhutto. He could see that he was going to have to share America's favors with her.

Observers agree that Ms. Bhutto went to Pakistan with the backing of the U.S. owing to the failure of General Musharraf to suppress the Islamic forces. Musharraf is despised by almost all Pakistanis. Ms. Bhutto was supposed to sop up support by feeding off the general negativity against Musharraf and thus become hugely popular. Her backers did not realize that Pakistan has changed. Musharraf takes the greatest security precautions while venturing out. Ms. Bhutto was openly abusing the forces of Islam and calling for their physical extinction. She claimed that Musharraf's attack on the Red Mosque and the Women's University were definitely needed and should have been done much earlier.

Just before she was killed, she met Karzai of Kabul and the two resolved to hit the Islamists with the full cooperation of the Pakistan army. Waziristan needs to be wiped out according to Ms. Bhutto's viewpoint.

As we go to the "press" supporters of Peoples Party are rioting in Karachi and several other cities in Sind.
Our analysts say that the Pakistan army could face serious internal unrest because this new situation could lead the U.S. to plan/carry out military intervention in Pakistan's northern areas. America's Pakistan policy is in shambles and the U.S., with Israeli backing, may well react in a knee-jerk fashion. General Musharraf may well be worried now: Will the U.S. keep him in its service or will General Kayani take over. The situation is wide open. India and Israel could play important roles in the moves the U.S. will carry out.

Two older items from PAKISTAN written before the latest tragedy: from Pakistan monitor

Islamic Movement Extends Hand of Friendship and Peace to Christians

December 24, 2007: On the eve of Christmas, Jamaate Islami Pakistan published a message of friendship and peace with Christians and offered gifts to Christian churches. In Karachi, Muhammad Hussain Mahnati, Ameer of Karachi's Jamaat, and a delegation with him, visited the Church of Pakistan, congratulated the Bishop and other clerics on Christmas and gave them cakes and flowers as tokens of peace. The Jamaate Islami leader said that Jesus, pbuh, is not only honored by Christians but by Muslims as well. There is no basis for conflict between the two and the well-orchestrated campaign by special interests to create conflict must be exposed and condemned. Bishop Daniel reciprocated the Ameer's sentiment and thanked him for the tokens of love.

Jamaate Islami on the Move to Boycott Musharraf's Elections

On December 23, Jamaate Islami's national leader Syed Munawar Hasan spoke at a camp set up in Malir, a township in Karachi city, to thank the people of Karachi for the record number of sacrificed animals' hides they donated to the Jamaat on Eid al-Adha. The hides are sold to provide funds for charity given to the widows, orphans and the needy. Munawar Hasan said that Musharraf's election plans are a big fraud. The nation, he said, has rejected Musharraf and all his plans.

[New Trend observers say that JI and Imran Khan's Insaf movement are drawing the biggest crowds and both are supporting boycott. By contrast, Benazir's latest meeting, in Peshawar, was a complete flop. Only a couple of hundred people attended. Nawaz Sharif's meetings are drawing bigger crowds than Benazir's but nothing significant.
[Meanwhile there are reports that 50 U.S. SPECIAL FORCES officers have entered Pakistan to help in military operations in Waziristan. More are expected. On December 26, Karzai of Kabul visited Musharraf in Islamabad. Both have the confidence of the Bush administration and are planning a big strike against the Taliban.

Top Heroes and Heroines of the Year 2007
Prepared by New Trend's Think Tank. Listing does not imply that we agree with every viewpoint of those listed.

1. Khalid Misha'al in Damascus, Syria [for his leadership of Palestinians and refusal to recognize Israel].
2. Abdul Rashid Ghazi, leader of the Red Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, who went down gun in hand rather than accept General Musharraf's overwhelming use of force.
3. Umm Hasan, woman leader of Jamia Hafsa, Women's Seminary in Islamabad, Pakistan, who educated 5000 women and resisted Musharraf's commandos.
4. President Ahmedinejad of Iran for his speech at Columbia University followed up by his speech at the United Nations.
5. Prof. Sami al-Arian and Imam Jamil al-Amin for leadership by steadfastly suffering in innocence [symbolic of all Islamic prisoners.]
6. Ahmed Versi, editor of the Muslim News, U.K., for top notch journalism highlighting the suffering of the Muslims of "Great" Britain. []
7. Minister Louis Farrakhan for his Farewell Address titled "One Nation Under God" calling for unity against oppression.
8. Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, for being the first scholar in the history of Black Colleges to be given an Endowed Chair. [ ]
9. Sis. Karen English for her leadership in the Boycott of Businesses Supporting Israel and her visit to the legendary city of Timbuktu in West Africa.
10. Shaikh Hamid al-Ali, Kuwait, a very unusual preacher who speaks against oppressors and against anti-Islam forces in general
11, 12, 13. Most outstanding Christian leaders loyal to the legacy of Jesus, pbuh:

"Sweat-a-lot" Steve Emerson: Funniest Jew of the Year 2007
by our Media Monitor

He was visibly sweating in his uncomfortable suit and tie but Steve Emerson is still running wild, talking the kind of nonsense which would put him in a mental institution in most western countries. Here are some of his "ideas." He thinks that Muslims are crushing "freedom of expression" by protesting the "cartoons" of the Prophet, pbuh, and by rejecting the teacher who named a teddy bear "Muhammad." He thinks there is a "jihad unit" in Hollywood which is preventing Hollywood from attacking "radical Islam." He thinks ISNA is a terrorist organization and is puzzled that the U.S. Department of Justice co-sponsored the most recent ISNA conference.

The true victims of our era are not Muslims but people like hatemongers Hirsi Ali, Irshad Manji and some lesser known "victims" says Emerson.

Islam hates America. The problem is not Palestine, or U.S. troops in the Gulf or even Iraq and Afghanistan but that from the Crusades till now Muslims have hated "us" says Emerson.

This kind of thinking is not very different from that of the Israeli ambassador during the Israeli attack on Lebanon when he repeatedly claimed [despite neutral, Irish, testimony to the contrary] that Israel had hit civilian targets because Hizbullah was hiding among civilians.

This tirade from Emerson was broadcast by C-Span on December 6, 2007 and again on December 26, 2007. How this kind of garbage, which even the Bush administration has a problem accepting, could be broadcast on a supposedly serious channel [without a Muslim response] is difficult to understand. The only explanation seems to be that C-Span too is run by a Jew, a man named Lamb, seemingly very "neutral." [How they hide their names: Steve and Lamb! Who could guess that they are Jews!]

ISNA-CAIR: The Lowest of the Low: Can they Fall Lower?..................
[from New Trend's Media Monitor.]

In its latest issue, November-December 2007, on page 41, ISNA's magazine Islamic Horizons published a FULL PAGE advertisement urging Muslims to join the FBI. It shows the photo of an FBI Special Agent with a Muslim name holding hands with his wife wearing hijab and carrying a candle. The ad urges: "Become an FBI Special Agent."
Is there a point in reminding ISNA and CAIR that the Qur'an has forbidden any cooperation with the oppressors.
Does hijab have any place in this shameful situation? Under the protection of the U.S. government, these dirty people are soiling Islam and trampling on all the decencies and basic principles of Islam.
ISNA's leaders are renegades. They should stop misusing the name of Islam and misguiding Muslim youth.
[For those of our readers who have never heard of ISNA, it stands for Islamic Society of North America and is closely allied to CAIR. It's a bunch of very rich munafiqueen who have been misusing the name of Islam for many years. They supported a bloc vote for Bush and every Eid they spread confusion and chaos among America's Muslims regarding the sighting of the crescent.]

Letter: In Defense of Native Deen

Thank you for your efforts to provide information via New Trend Magazine. I find this source a valuable adjunct to other alternative sources of news of relevance to Muslims.
Since I know that you had some serious concerns about Native Deen, I wanted to call to your attention their recent, outstanding album entitled Not Afraid to Stand Alone. Through their music, these young men are addressing core issues of relevance to our Muslim youth. I am very grateful for their creativity and dedication to the simple and straightforward message of Islam. Since Native Deen was seriously slandered in earlier editions of New Trend Magazine, perhaps you will now consider giving them the appreciation they are due for bring the authentic message of Islam in a relevant format to the masses of our youth. Native Deen is superb at addressing the application of Islam in the American context. They are filling an important niche and are a true source of inspiration, particularly for our often disaffected youth.

I have know the young men of Native Deen for many many years (back in the MYNA years, before Native Deen even existed). These are young men of integrity and commitment. I personally know the mothers of two of the brothers and the impressive families that nurtured them. I do not doubt their sincerity and as an American I understand something of the restricted environment within which they must work . Yet, they still continue to produce insightful and positive messages for the Muslims. I believe that they have a lot to offer the Ummah, as reflected once again in this latest album . Native Deen represents us well worldwide and their efforts should be supported. Thank Allah, they have not "crossed over" in to the more lucrative secular market as so many other so-called Muslim musicians have done. Native Deen is a homegrown natural resource, gems, whose growth and development have paralleled the maturation of Islam in this country. We are blessed to have them in our midst.

Your sister in Islam,
Fatimah L.C. Jackson, Ph.D.
University of Maryland

Editor's response: Dear Dr. Jackson: Your eulogy for Native Deen shows that you have either not read what was published in New Trend or have misread it. We were not commenting on ND's song and dance nor the extent to which they can enthuse young people. We were referring to ND's work for the U.S. government and the organization of its meetings by U.S. embassies. Evidently this group is part of the Bush administration's attempts to create the impression that Muslims are happy and prosperous in America.The regime is in fact trying to create a new religion called "moderate Islam" into which Native Deen stepped and played. I wonder if you know that Imam Jamil al-Amin, a top leader of the Muslims of America is in prison and has been severely mistreated. The same is true of distinguished U.S. Muslims from just about all ethnicities. In that context, Native Deeen goes out under the aegis of the State Department, thus clearly and shamelessly violating the teachings of Islam. If you have any influemce with this group, speak out against their shameful sell-out. It's a "Native Deal" not a Native Deen.
[Sincerely, Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English & Mass Communication.]

by Rahgeere Saleha

Teddy bears are a symbol of love, cuddliness, warmth and affection for all ages, especially for children. Unfortunately some malicious people have used these symbols of innocence for devious purposes.

In the war between Soviet Russia and Afghanistan, the Russian army dropped hundreds of toys and teddy bears on Afghan soil. When Afghan children ran to pick up the toys and teddy bears they detonated in their hands, near their feet, or in their faces as they bent down to pick them up.
There is a whole generation in Afghanistan of one legged, one armed or blind children who were blown up by a teddy bear. When these children are shown a toy or a teddy bear they cringe with pain and terror. This should be called "the teddy bear syndrome" instead of the posttraumatic stress syndrome.
More recently a non-Muslim teacher employed by a school in Sudan used a teddy bear in a manner that caused hurt and anguish at an emotional rather than a physical level. It damaged the emotional state of the children and their parents no less than the detonating teddy bears.

She was given a contract to teach children, which behooved her to respect the laws of the land even though they were different from her country of origin. She agreed to abide by the laws of the country she was being employed in, and she got the job.

One day she introduced to the class the persona of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) as "The Teddy Bear Muhammad".

This was not a live person named Muhammad such as used by Muslims to name their children in the hope that they would imbue some of the characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). This was an icon used for depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) sort of like a toy character that portrayed Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

This is what I understand from what has been reported but Allah knows best, and may He forgive me if I have made a mistake in understanding the issue.

The perplexed congregation at our local church who could not fathom why someone would be offended by a little teddy bear asked the Imam of our local mosque why was the teacher put in jail? Here is what the Imam said:

"If I am German while I am in Germany I have the freedom to drive more than 100 miles an hour on the autobahn if I so desire. However when I come to the United States and get a license to drive, inherent in that license, is that I agree to abide by the rules of this country and state.

If I then decide to exercise my "freedom" and drive 100 miles an hour on the interstate, because that is what I did in my country, do you think that the US State patrol has the right to catch me, give me a ticket and or put me in jail? Is the State trooper doing his job by doing so?
The question is do I have to abide by the laws of the country I am living in or the country I am from?"

The teacher in Sudan whatever her intentions were (Allah knows best) did not abide by the laws of that particular country and therefore was arrested and put in jail.
Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God and has to be obeyed. In the Quran Allah Subhanawata'ala while addressing Prophet Muhammad says:
"Say (to the people) if ye do love God follow me (i.e. Prophet Muhammad PBUH):

God will love you and forgive you your sins.

For God is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful."

Quran 3:31
And again addressing Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Allah Subhana wa taala says:

"Say (to the people): Obey God and his Apostle (i.e. Prophet Muhammad PBUH) But if they turn back,

God loveth not those

Who reject faith."
Quran 3:32
Muslims do not make photos or icons of God (Allah) and Muslims do not depict Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him in photos or icons.

Reducing the complex personality of Prophet Muhammad to an icon or a picture is a form of disrespect; thus it is strictly forbidden!

In light of the abovementioned verses of the Quran, as I understand them, disrespect of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, is a statement of disobedience and is equivalent to "turning back", i.e. turning away from the Love of God. Losing the love of God is a source of great anguish to the true believer.

Thus those who create, say or act in a disrespectful manner towards Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, knowingly or unknowingly create hurt and anguish in their fellow human beings.
Those who wish to live in Muslim countries have to abide by the rulings of that country and avoid any action that could be construed as disrespect to Allah's word or to His Apostle.
Those who live in non-Muslim lands and are truly civilized can demonstrate their respect for their Muslim friends and colleagues and countrymen by abiding by the etiquette espoused in the Quran.
Allah knows best.

December 22-24, 2007

by Jeff Archer author of "The Mother of All Battles: The U.S. Destruction of the Nation of Iraq" to be published this Spring.

Saddam Hussein was Iraq's leader from 1973 (officially becoming Iraq's president in 1979) to April 2003. His legacy is two-fold. On the one hand, he and the Ba'ath Party were the impetus behind turning Iraq from an Arab nation indistinguishable from its Arab neighbors to the most advanced Arab country in history. From 1973 to 1990, the literacy rate in Iraq rose from 35% to over 90%. Thousands of miles of roads were built and the country was completely electrified. Excellent universal health care, as well as education from primary school to university, was offered free-of-charge. Foreign scholars and writers were invited to visit Iraq and write about the country, as well as the Arab world. The Iraqi government gave them housing and paid their salaries so they could gain and disseminate information. In 1987, the New York Times called Baghdad "The Paris of the Middle East.
On the other hand, after the U.S. attack on Iraq in 1991 that destroyed much of the country, and a 12-year devastating embargo, Saddam Hussein's critics blamed him for the demise of the country that once was the jewel of the Arab world: the country his leadership produced.
Saddam Hussein's name was used by mainstream Western media to depict a barbaric and sadistic person. The scribes conveniently forgot, or did not take the time to learn about, the years in which Iraq was the premier Arab state that offered more human rights to its public than other Arab nations, especially in the area of freedom of religion and the liberation of women.
This is not a history of his regime, but a view of him and his steadfastness after April 9, 2003, the date to which many people refer to as "The Fall of Baghdad."
On April 9, 2003, Saddam Hussein made his last public appearance. He was surrounded by tens of thousands of supporters in Baghdad who raised him up to the roof of his car so he could wave to them all. Then, the car sped away.
Speculation was rampant for the next few months. Was Saddam alive or dead? Was he involved with the quickly-growing resistance? Nobody seemed to know.
Then, in December 2003, we all saw the photos of a disheveled Saddam Hussein after he was pulled out of a "spider hole" in a town near Tikrit. The administration laughed and the U.S. made public jokes about him and his hiding place.
The room was dirty. There was an empty can of Spam. The story was that he was holed up there and was totally irrelevant to Iraq. His day was done and he was now in the hands of Iraq's liberators. What you saw wasn't real. Nothing of this scenario was true.
On March 8, 2005, United Press International (UPI) ran a short press release titled "Public Version of Saddam Capture Fiction." It received little publicity in the U.S., but some foreign news agencies did run the story. I researched and found only one U.S. news outlet that carried the article: WHAM Channel 13 of Rochester, New York.
The UPI press release consisted of quotes from an ex-U.S. Marine of Lebanese descent, Nadim Rabeh. In addition to the U.S. version of the capture date being off by two days, during an interview in Lebanon, Rabeh stated:
I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced. We captured him after fierce resistance during which a Marine of Sudanese origin was killed.
Rabeh recounted how Saddam fired at them with a gun from the window of a room on the second floor. Then, the Marines shouted at him in Arabic, "You have to surrender. There is no point in resisting."
How did we come to see the pictures of the hole and a scruffy-looking Saddam Hussein? According to Rabeh, "Later on, a military production team fabricated the film of Saddam's capture in a hole, which was in fact a deserted well."
The former Marine's account mixes with the rendition Saddam Hussein gave his lawyer when they had their first meeting. Saddam told him that he was captured in a friend's house and that he was drugged and tortured for two days, hence the pictures of Saddam looking bedraggled.
All the major news networks and publications showed pictures of the hole and a beleaguered Saddam: Time Magazine, CNN News, magazines, daily newspapers, etc. You name it and they published it. But, they were all wrong. Not one publication took the time to research the story. They ran the pictures supplied by the U.S. military and parroted the lines they were given.
This was not the first time something similar has occurred. After the 1989 invasion of Panama, the U.S. allowed the press to enter Manuel Noriega's office. He was portrayed as a sexual pervert. In the office were pictures of young boys, a picture of Hitler, red underpants and pornographic magazines.
A few months later, the first Marine to enter Noriega's office was released from the Corps. He eventually talked to a reporter and gave his story of the encounter. He maintained that the contents of the office included only a desk, a telephone, a chair, and a typewriter.
With Saddam, the props were changed. They were made to make Saddam look like a caged animal on the run who only had the basic elements to survive. No one asked questions of what should have been obvious. For instance, how did Saddam Hussein come into possession of a can of Spam? There was absolutely no place in Iraq where Spam was sold. In addition, it contains pork, a food forbidden from a Moslem's diet.
A few months after his capture, a picture was widely distributed that gained much publicity. It showed a bunch of U.S. soldiers standing next to an Iraqi building on which a painted illustration depicted the blowing up of the World Trade Center. The inference was that Iraqis took glee in the acts of the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9-11-2001.
If one looked close, it was evident that the soldiers were standing on the base path of a disused baseball field. There were no baseball fields in Iraq. Upon closer scrutinizing, the trees were typical southeastern U.S. types that are not indigenous to Iraq.
The photo was bogus. It was filmed in the U.S., but, the harm had been done. Many news agencies had distributed the picture. Its contents inflamed U.S. citizens even more about the Iraqi people.
When Saddam was captured, U.S. authorities said he was a spent force and he had no say in the ever-growing resistance. This was another propaganda exercise because subsequent information shows he was heading the resistance and called many shots. For instance, on Paul Wolfowitz' first visit to Baghdad, he stayed at the Hotel al-Rashid. A rocket fired at the building killed a U.S. colonel on the floor just above that of Wolfowitz, who was visibly shaken by the incident. Saddam Hussein personally ordered that strike.
Many Iraqis challenged the scenario of Saddam's capture. The U.S. administration thought that by humiliating him, the Iraqi public would discount his presence. Just the opposite occurred. On the evening of the announcement of Saddam's capture, pro-Saddam Hussein rallies sprung up. His supporters, who, instead of looking at him as a humiliated ex-leader, showed their admiration for him because they knew the U.S. story of his capture was fabricated. Students in schools brought pictures of Saddam to class. In one instance, U.S. military personnel surrounded a Baghdad school and apprehended a few dozen 14-year-old students, whom they tortured for a few hours.
The image of a cowardly Saddam giving up without a fight did not set well with Iraqis. A retired colonel in the Iraqi army sent me the following responses to the capture:
Saddam's inside wear was very clean, which gives the impression he was not in a hole.
At the time they said the captured him, no dates were available, but the trees they showed in the films had fresh dates on the palm trees and this was not possible.
My house is in the Adhamiya and I can say that I saw Saddam after they announced the fall of Baghdad. I saw him myself. He was standing on the bonnet of a car. He was giving smiles to the people around him who were encouraging him by their loyalty, which they always had.
As I know, Saddam was on top of the battle at the airport.
What I heard was that he was on top of many assaults against the Americans.
Iraq Screen published an article shortly before Saddam Hussein's assassination. The author interviewed an Iraqi officer of the Republican Guard who participated in the battle for the airport in Baghdad in April 2003. The officer recalled:
While I was busy shooting with my colleagues, all of a sudden, we found Saddam Hussein with a number of his assistants inside the airport, we were really surprised because we did not expect such a thing, but Saddam went forward and took an RPG and put it on his shoulder and began to shoot by himself. We gathered around him and begged him to stay aside and leave us fighting because if we would be killed, we are common officers, but if he is killed, we would lose our leader. Saddam turned to us and said, "Look, I am no better than any one of you and this is the high time to defend our great Iraq and it would be a great honor to be killed as a martyr for the sake of Iraq."
From various sources, we now have a totally different story from the one force-fed to us by the U.S. administration. Instead of Saddam Hussein being a coward who fled and was caught in a hole in the ground, he was now the president, who, under siege, met publicly with his people on April 9, 2003 (video of this was shown on U.S. television) after personally being involved with several battles against the invaders, and who created a network of resistance while tens of thousands of U.S. military people were looking for him.
Shortly before his hanging, Saddam spoke of his days on the run with his lawyers. For nine months, he openly conducted the resistance, many times right under the noses of his would-be captors. He told of swimming in the Tigris River or using a small boat if he needed to maneuver in the area.
One thing is sure. Most 66-year-old men would be contemplating retirement. But, Saddam Hussein lived off his wits, the land, and with comrades for nine months, all the time coordinating a resistance against illegal invaders of his country. Most men half his age would not be able to withstand the physical challenges of such a routine.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government is in possession of all of Iraq's records prior to April 2003. Not one word will be mentioned that will contradict the U.S. rewriting of Iraq's history. At best, we will have to rely on anecdotal accounts and eye witnesses. It is neither the best nor the most accurate form of history, but it's all we have now.
On November 5, 2006, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging. The verdict came after what could possibly be called the worst travesty of justice ever seen in a courtroom. It is hard to conceive how a man of his age endured more than a lifetime of hardship, torture and personal bereavement in just three-and-a –half years without losing his mental faculties or selling out to his opponents.
In July 2003, Saddam Hussein saw photos of his two dead sons on television. Their bodies were ridden with bullet holes. His 14-year-old grandson was killed along with his sons in an hours-long attack on a house by hundreds of U.S. military personnel in Mosul, northern Iraq.
For his first few months in captivity, he was not allowed to see a lawyer. In that time, he was tortured and questioned. He also was offered deals by the U.S. that would have obtained him a "get out of jail free" pass if he cooperated and gave the captors information about the resistance. He never capitulated.
Saddam Hussein was not allowed to see his family. Most of his correspondence to them was either not delivered, or highly censored. By now, most human beings would be willing to say anything their kidnappers desired.
In 2004, Frank Morrow, producer of one of the finest political shows ever seen on U.S. TV screens, Alternative Views, was asked about Saddam's plight in comparison to that of another president kidnapped by the U.S., Manuel Noriega. Morrow discussed how Noriega collapsed in a few days of U.S. incarceration and spilled his guts. Morrow then stated, "Saddam is made of sterner stuff."
On his first day in court, Saddam was a few minutes late. The judge asked him why he was not on time and Saddam told him that the elevators of the building were not working. The judge then said he would ask the Americans to try to fix the faulty lifts. Saddam looked the judge in the eye and said, "Don't ask them. You tell them. You are an Iraqi." The judge was silent. The accused gave him a lesson in citizenship.
This was Saddam Hussein's first court appearance and it was televised. The U.S.-appointed collaborators thought by televising the trial, he would be held in humiliation by the Iraqi public. The ploy backfired. Saddam's chastising of the judge intrigued the viewers. In future sessions, the sound of the broadcasts were cut if the judge did not want the public to hear what Saddam had to say. The first judge must be given credit for fairness. It appeared that he was giving both sides time to present their cases. Then, he resigned. He publicly stated that the Iraqi government had pressured him and given him instructions not to be impartial with Saddam. The next judge was a travesty and he made it be known from his first day that there would not be an honest trial for Saddam Hussein.
We have read page-after-page of the illegality of Saddam's trial in various media. The anomalies are for too many to address here. However, with each preposterous turn, Saddam kept his ground and never capitulated to the court.
For months, every conceivable scenario emerged: Saddam was dragged out of court; his lawyers were kicked out of court; defense witnesses were tortured by the court; the judge destroyed a videotape that clearly showed the head prosecutor was lying; and Saddam and a few of his comrades went on hunger strikes.
Still, he showed up in court with the wit and physical appearance of a man decades younger. All the atrocities committed against him never made him appear to be desperate and he never showed signs of caving in.
Several times, Saddam was approached by U.S. officials to make a deal. The Iraqi resistance had grown to a formidable foe that was on the verge of forcing a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and the U.S. knew that Saddam still held enough power to persuade a major portion of the resistance to lay down its weapons. Instead of accepting an offer for his freedom on some small island in the Pacific, Saddam retained his dignity. Other Ba'ath Party members who were imprisoned were given chances to be freed and made wealthy if they testified against Saddam. They all refused to sell out.
When the verdict of death for Saddam was announced on November 5, 2006, many groups, individuals and governments were outraged. They tried to get the U.N. to intervene, but to no avail.
Many quotes came forth from foe and friend of Saddam. The most preposterous came from Nouri al-Maliki, the so-called Iraqi prime minister:
This ruler has committed the most horrible crimes. He executed the best scientists, academics and thinkers.
That statement was outrageous, but many people who read it will believe it. For the preceding year, hundreds, if not thousands, of professors, scientists and doctors were killed in Iraq by agents of the Maliki government. During Saddam's time, these professionals flourished and were the pride of Iraq. Maliki added them to the long list of fictitious victims of Saddam Hussein's rule.
The announcement of the verdict backfired. The U.S. thought it would further erode Saddam's importance to the Iraqi public, but just the opposite occurred. The website posted this message shortly after the announcement:
We learned that demonstrators are all over Iraq in protest of the sentence. In Baghdad, American soldiers are busy painting over the slogans that people wrote on the walls and in intersections.
The U.S. media failed to show photos of these incidents, yet the international press displayed many. Within a few more hours, the demonstrations escalated and U.S. vehicles were targeted by the crowds.
The only hope that Saddam Hussein had to stop his date with the gallows was an appeal from his defense team to an appeals court. The defense had a time limit in which to file the appeal, yet the court that tried Saddam did not give his defense the necessary information to file the appeal. Weeks went by without the court even giving the defense team a summary of the charges. When Saddam's team received the necessary information, it only had a few days to file an appeal. The defenders had to create an appeal in a few days that normally would take a month or two to construct. Every obstacle was put in place to keep justice from seeing even a ray of daylight.
The appeals court took two days to read 1,500 pages of documents presented by the defense and then issued a denial for the appeal on December 26, 2006.. No court in the world can decipher this number of pages in such a short time, not even a legitimate court.
Despite there being no time limit for the appeals court to reach a decision, it made one in two days. The next step was to affix a date for the execution. It had to be within 30 days of the announcement of December 26th.

2007-12-28 Fri 22:03:31 cst