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Oysters and Foie Gras and, By the Way, Saddam Was Hanged

by Nidra Poller , PJM Paris Editor saddamchirac.jpg Saddam Hussein, second from left, and Jacques Chirac, right, confer in Iraq's French-built nuclear power plant in the 1970s. The general tone of French media today is world weary--they hung Saddam, the violence continues, ferry boat accident off the coast of Java, foie gras and oysters...and wise guys. Ho-hum they hung Saddam: subdued reactions in Iraq, severe condemnation in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Hamastan and, most vehemently, in French think tanks. Europeans do not believe in capital punishment, democratic nations do not practice capital punishment, but then again, it wasn't really the Iraqis who hung Saddam, it was the Americans, it was George Booooosh. And hanging Saddam is a sign of Booooosh's weakness (he should know that democratic countries don't execute criminals). Besides how uncouth to do it on the dawn of this supremely holy day

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December 30, 2006 - 12:15 pm

when Muslims commemorate the Sacrifice. Saddam will become a hero and a martyr. He went to his death with calm dignity. The Arab street isn’t going to like this.

Humph, okay the Americans, the Iranians, and the Israelis approved… but that just goes to show you. The trial was not fair. Sunnis won’t swallow it: a Kurdish judge sentencing the Great Sunni Saddam to death? Pffft! An Iraqi in America says it’s a great day, but we have Iraqis in France and they agree with our local think tankers: the whole thing was botched.
As a matter of fact, French media were near-unanimous yesterday in predicting that Saddam wouldn’t he hung for weeks, maybe never. I knew he would be hung at dawn but I didn’t write a letter to Le Monde to set them straight.

No one dared to pretend that Libya, Saudia Arabia, and Hamastan are against capital punishment, but their indignation was not any the less righteous for it. The trial was a hoax (says one of Saddam’s lawyers), and besides, what about the hundreds of thousands of other victims of his great dictatorship? Now they won’t be vindicated, there won’t be any more trials.

One think tanker explains: of course they didn’t want to go into the details because it would reveal Western support, primarily American, for Saddam. Yes, Chirac too, but we don’t have to dwell on that. Not when we have new images of mangled bloody charred bodies in the latest car bomb attack in Baghdad. Ha ha ha — the violence continues. More American military deaths in Iraq than civilian deaths on 9/11, continuing Shia-Sunni violence in Iraq, Boooosh lost the midterm elections, nothing good will come of this barbaric hanging. Oh yes, Saddam was a rough & tough killer. But the French media have never told a tenth of what he did, and now that he is dead, don’t expect any retrospectives.

France 3, so dignified that the newscaster almost sprouted wings, chose NOT to show certain images of the hanging (the part where they put the rope around his neck).
Condemnations flowed thick and thin from NGOs, the Vatican, residents of Tikrit, a correspondent in Jordan, a specialist on conflicts.

One talking head, looking down on the whole sordid affair, opined that Saddam was a has-been, the new heroes are Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad… So this reporter blew her top, beat her chest, whooped and hollered at the glassy screen: “Don’t you get it, numbskull? We’re going to kill them too!”

The old refrain “They still haven’t found Osama Bin Laden” was not played today. Maybe they think the grim reaper harvested him… without a trial. No one thought to mention that Saddam was hung privately, unlike his victims who swung in public squares, when they weren’t fed alive into giant shredders, hacked to bits in front of their raped children, tossed from tall buildings…

All the torture stories had been used up…for Pinochet.

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