The invisible Clashes of Civilization. By S. Mohammed Irshad*
The manner in which Saddam trialed and executed signifies the modus operandi of civilizational clash i.e. Civilization Vs Barbarism. We should remember how Duranberg trial took place and how Pinochet trialed and how Milasovich trialed?. They had been trialed in a civilized way; rule of law of international court of justice was strictly followed. Defense councils were allowed to appear. Moreover, the trial had extended long while the accused enjoys better imprisonment. In Saddam case what exactly followed was a barbaric traditional method of execution. Humiliating word hear in video with strong anti-Sunni rhetoric indicates the political goal of execution.
Humiliation at the time of execution, filming of execution and painful method of execution are unlawful in western world. We must remember Oklahoma case, the convict was executed with deadly poison which ensure death within seconds no image was filmed even to put a psychological warning to suicide bombers. This is a clear breach of civilizational code; but it becomes a breach only when it applies to west and not in Iraq or any other regions i.e. it went on establishes that western model of law is unsuitable to Iraq. Moreover, the US administration has completely negated the democratic values of the Muslim world. Of course according to Islamic jurisprudence a convict must be punished provided he/she has to undergo fair trial and crime accuses against him/her must be proved beyond any doubts. Even this very traditional rule of law of Arab system is violated. Besides, Saddam execution restores the earlier barbarianism on Arab rule of law. It signals unending clashes between the Arab/Muslim worlds and West. A country follows barbaric rule of law never compatible to modern values and good governance. So cultural diversity and civic code of such a region never occupy a civilizational process. Thus, it legitimises the invasion in a way. Now, the invaders can justify the act by establish that “they plan to introduce modern rule of law to Iraq”. Nobody can deny this theorisation.
After the execution, the role of international court of has re-defined. It seems that this establishment is not for maintain justice across the world; but only to offer fair and moderate trial to those who wage Coup against the native government with US support. In that sense Saddam should have given a chance to appeal the international court of justice; since the crime he had committed was planned by US. Infact he could have enjoyed a fair trail if he had continued his loyalty to the US administration. The court is only for de-legitimise the US crime.
Moreover, perhaps the ongoing Shia-Sunni conflicts in Iraq pave the way for western foreign policy to intervene. This conflict is essential for US administration to carry over the post-Cold war political economy interest. From 9/11 to Saddam’s execution one can easily read this policy. Since it projects as a war for enduring democracy; democracy got new definition i.e. a lethal weapon in a unilateral war. No democratic government and organisation can justify what Saddam did to Kurdish people; and no democracy is able to stop (ing) the genocide in Iraq. This is infact a challenge to democracy too. The democratic rights of Shias become a weapon sharpened by invasion on void reasons. Still there is no evidence to prove that Shias in total had brutally suppressed during the Saddam regime; and nor any evidence to prove their protest has been backed by Iranian government as has been projected by western media.
The ambiguity still persists indicates that as a dictator Saddam might have suppressed any such Shia upraise yet he could not have done this without the support of a global power. This is evidence from the huge arm purchase of Saddam regime from US including nuke. Yet it is confusing that why UN and US could not find any WMD in Iraq prior to war? So either Saddam used all those weapons against Shias or it was a false arm deal. It also justifies the western view of democracy in Iraq; democratic values could have stopped the brutalities. So, one can justify the invasion by saying that it wants to restore democratic principles; yet on the contrary with the execution of Saddam, the democratic right of Sunni’s gone in vain. As the interim government is run by Shias and Saddam executed on a day of Id, the Sunnis become suspicious to the interim government; it has been widely termed as a Shia revenge on Saddam’s past crime. Even if the interim government does not engage a hatred rule, it is hardly possible to think that Sunnis would support the present government. The two cultural identities with mutual hatred would pose challenges to democracy in Iraq. So the war is becomes ‘an operation ending democracy’ than operation enduring democracy in Iraq.
The disappearance of even the distance possibilities of democracy makes the upsurge of Shia-Sunni conflicts inexorable. However, the ongoing Shia-Sunni conflicts have forced to imbibe new cultural identities though it has no such historical precedence. This is infact has its root in historical struggle to capture power. Beyond that both Shias and Sunnis have inherited unique religious identity of Islam yet majority of Islamic countries and Muslims in general have never perceives this as a matter of religious divide. Moreover for those who truly attached to the monotheism of religion; it’s the thing of very long past and has nothing to do with the faith of Islam. However this conflict can carry out far reaching political significance in the ongoing war of Civilisation. Indeed the war put the sectarian conflicts under the theory of crisis of Islam in confrontation with the western values. The manner in which Saddam executed signifies this. The world has been divided after the execution at least in terms of rule of law. The western domination on the rule of law has been strengthened in a way. The execution also signifies racial supremacy of US over Iraq. It send out the view that US laws should not get polluted via Iraq conflicts i.e. US law for US only and invasion is a social responsibility – divide again divide and not rule but creates slaves; because to get ruled one has to be civilized.
There are many dictators were executed in history; perhaps Saddam’s would mark in history as the product of US foreign policy. The imperialism (US foreign policy in practice) wants to have a weak enemy after the disappearance of socialist block. Thus, the theory envisages that weak enemies should be come up only from the resource based communities; and that have to barbaric in terms of rule of law and governance. This is what US did in Iraq with the help of the sectarian conflicts. This is the theory of new ‘world order’.