|Man in a Desert||
A court in Iraq has condemned former foreign minister Tariq Aziz to die. He was convicted of involvement in the killing, during the Saddam era, of members of the Shiite Dawa Party which is led today by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. This is the same Maliki whose security forces stand accused, as a result of the documents published by Wikileaks, of the torture and murder of Iraqi civilians.
In all my years in journalism hearing about the reports of extra-judicial killings, torture and atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's regime not once did anyone raise the name of Tariq Aziz as linked with anything remotely close.
But with Iraq the way it is I am not surprised. These are the same people who saw fit to execute Saddam on the first day Eid al-Adha, a sacred day begun with prayers to God where the only shedding of blood permitted is that of the sheep sacrificed in the tradition of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). Think of an execution taking place early on Christmas Day. Note that I'm not commenting on Saddam's guilt or innocence.
"Did I commit a crime against any civilian, military or religious man? The answer is no... All decisions were taken by president Saddam Hussein. I held a political position, I did not participate in any of the crimes that were raised against me personally. Out of hundreds of complaints, nobody has mentioned me in person."
Tariq Aziz in an interview with the Guardian in August.
A man on a long journey through a perpetual desert.
The opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the views of any of my employers, past, present or future.