Skip to content


TARIQ AZIZ: VILLAIN OR VICTIM?

The decision to deliver a death sentence to Tariq Aziz has caused a stir in the international community.

By Mark Seddon

The decision passed down by Iraq's high tribunal to sentence Tariq Aziz, former foreign minister to death, has caused a stir in the international community. However, it is unlikely many, if any, will speak out against the decision

So what really lies behind the decision by Iraq’s high tribunal to pass a death sentence on Tariq Aziz, long serving Iraqi foreign minister and number two to Saddam Hussein? The decision has caused shock waves around the World, largely because the sentence has the feel of vengeance to it. The Iraqi High Tribunal took what must be a highly unusual step in effectively rescinding the earlier judgments against him. For Tariq Aziz’s twenty seven year sentence has effectively been reduced to a matter of months by his death sentence. Aziz has now been found guilty of “the persecution of Islamic parties”, whose leaders were assassinated, imprisoned or forced into exile.

One of Saddam’s main targets was – according to the high tribunal – the Islamic Dawa party of current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi’ite Muslim. Presumably there was enough proof to show that Tariq Aziz was involved with this persecution as well, and if so we can be fairly certain that retribution has indeed played a part in his death sentence. How ironic then that many Western Governments seemed so content for Saddam’s regime to contain Islamic parties at the time. But don’t hold your breath; it seems fairly unlikely that there will be calls for clemency from Washington and London.

Tariq Aziz is of course a Chaldean Christian, who along with the Assyrian Christians, have suffered terribly since the War, with more than half of their number now living in exile. Being the only Christian in a secular Ba’athist dictatorship was a factor apparently exploited by Saddam, with veiled threats being made periodically to Aziz’s family. I remember being in Iraq and hearing that Aziz feared Saddam, and that he was only too aware of the fragility of his family’s safety.  Which is not to excuse Aziz for “following orders”, but it may go some way to explain why Aziz stayed in Baghdad even when it was obvious to him, if not Saddam, that America and Britain were deadly serious about invading. It was even rumoured at the time that Aziz was playing a double game towards the end – certainly that was my view when he was first incarcerated when the war ended. I fully expected him to be released in five years and retire to a bungalow in Beirut.

I reported from inside Iraq on two occasions just before the war began. I remember seeing Aziz in the foyer of the Al Rasheed hotel in Baghdad, playing court to the Nationalist Russian leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the late Austrian far right leader, Jorg Haider.  Eventually my requests to interview him paid off. I was taken to the Foreign Ministry in a blacked out limousine, into an underground car park, and up in an elevator to the echoing corridors. Aziz was sitting alone in a large armchair, Iraqi flags to his left and right puffing on an extra large cigar. He told me that “I have met your Mr Heath and Mrs Thatcher, but not your Mr Blair”.

“Please tell Mr Blair that we have no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq”, said Aziz. “Please tell him that he is welcome to come here, or send anyone who wishes to see for themselves”. I wasn’t sure just how serious Aziz was with his offer, particularly since  each attempt over the preceding week to be allowed to visit some of the sites identified by Western intelligence as containing WMD were turned down with ever more ludicrous excuses.  But having interviewed the former head of the UNSCOM weapons inspections team, Scott Ritter at some length, I was pretty sure that Aziz was telling the truth about WMD when he said Iraq didn’t have any. At the time I was also an elected member of the UK Labour Party’s ruling National Executive, so I did pass the message on to Tony Blair, who looked at me quizzically. He later joked to junior Foreign Minister, Chris Mullin that “the Iraqis must be getting desperate if they are talking to Mark Seddon”.

Some months after the war ended, I began wondering what had happened to Tariq Aziz. After all he had handed himself over to the Americans when they arrived in Baghdad. I finally managed to track his wife and two sons down to a hotel in Amman, Jordan, where they were being looked after by Chaldean Christians. Mrs Aziz was distraught, as she had learned that her husband had suffered a heart attack in custody. She had finally managed to trace Tariq Aziz to a prison holding camp near Baghdad airport, and had but a very short note scrawled by her husband saying “Don’t worry, I am ok”, which had been delivered to her by the Red Cross. One of Aziz’s sons was already contemplating moving to America to qualify as a dentist, although I recall advising him at the time that he might need to change his name before he could get a visa, as ‘Saddam Aziz’ was unlikely to go down well with US Homeland Security.

Tariq Aziz is 74, and in poor health. He has been for a long time. Given his sentence, it seems unlikely that he will ever leave custody, except in a wooden box. But vengeance is clearly a powerful motivating force. Nor should he expect much help from many of those Western politicians who used to pay homage to him back in the 1980s, when Iraq was an invaluable ally against the Ayatollah’s Iran. I even remember seeing pictures of Donald Rumsfeld watching Iraqi rockets being fired on the Fawr Peninsula – rockets he had been very keen to sell them. Perhaps Aziz, who could tell the whole story of Western involvement in Iraq, before, during and after the war, is simply too embarrassing and potentially compromising a figure to be allowed to live out his days in prison.

Mark Seddon is a writer and broadcaster. He is the former United Nations correspondent for Al Jazeera English. He currently writes for among others, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Mail, Spectator, New Statesman, and Private Eye. He is a former editor of Tribune.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Source: Al Jazeera

View the original article at Veterans Today

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Middle East.

Tagged with , , , , .

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. Or if you need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install and other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.



css.php