What the Media has Deliberately Concealed
This article was first published by Global Research on January 31, 2007.
“On the Holy day of Eid, the world watched in horror at the barbaric lynching of President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, allegedly for crimes against humanity. This public murder was sanctioned by the War Criminals, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair.
The entire trial process was a mockery of justice, no less a Kangaroo Court. Defence counsels were brutally murdered, witnesses threatened and judges removed for being impartial and replaced by puppet judges. Yet, we are told that Iraq was invaded to promote democracy, freedom and justice.”
(Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, 30 December 2006)
The barbaric lynching of Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, was a choreographed event, a carefully staged U.S. sponsored PSYOP, with a view to triggering social divisions and fomenting sectarian violence within Iraq and the broader Middle East.
In its coverage of the execution, the international media, in a highly convoluted fashion, combined the transcript of Saddam Hussein’s execution with “recollections” of so-called witness statements.
Moreover, the transcripts were often presented to readers without context or explanation. More generally, the translations from the Arabic were the object of manipulation and media distortion.
The execution of the Iraqi leader was carefully timed to occur during a sensitive time for Muslims. The execution fell during Eid ul-Adha, a holy day for Muslims. The date of the execution is perhaps one of the most compromising signals that the execution was indeed a psychological operation (PSYOP) launched by the United States.
The execution date was deliberately chosen during a sacred period for Muslims to exploit a divide between Shiite and Sunni. This sacred day was marked on Saturday, December 30, 2007 by Sunni Muslims in Iraq and was observed a day later on Sunday, December 31, 2007 by Iraq’s Shiites.
This is a strategic difference in dates that the execution of Saddam Hussein sought to expose and exploit to create sedition and division between Iraqis and Muslims. The day of the execution was deliberately chosen by its U.S. sponsors to occur on Saturday, December 30, 2006, the day that Sunni Muslims observed Eid ul-Adha.
The execution took place on December 30, with a view to enraging Sunni Muslims against Shiite Muslims in Iraq and the Middle East. Concurrently, both the media and official U.S. statements pointed to the Shiite Muslims (and the so-called “Shiite government”) as being responsible for the execution.
Aside from the religious context, the execution was also illegal under the Iraqi legal code and constitution. This has been articulated by Rizgar Mohammad Amin, an Iraqi Kurd and one of the former judges in the questionable trial of Saddam Hussein.
The execution was carried out, as a psychological weapon, to usher in sectarian violence and division throughout the Middle East. The timing also coincided with several announcements and news reports of war plans by the United States and Israel in regards to Syria and Iran.
It is no coincidence that shortly after the execution the U.S. President identified Syria and Iran as the enemies of Iraq and raided an Iranian Consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The media disinformation campaign pertaining to the execution was coordinated with the instruments of war propaganda emanating from the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence.
In the immediate wake of the execution, the global networks of the corporate media went into full gear to propagate the misinformation that the Pentagon wanted to convey to the general public.
The translated transcripts of Saddam Hussein’s last words, which had been scrupulously manipulated and distorted, were fed into the global news chain.
Presented below is the Global Research translation from the Arabic original audio-video believed to have been recorded on a cell phone. Also presented for purposes of comparison are several other “translations” from the same Arabic original.
Transcript: Our translation from the Arabic original
Background voices, which are very hard to hear, are having a conversation in the background and someone calls someone else in the execution chamber by “Ali” or is looking for “Ali.”
Saddam Hussein: “I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God.”
Saddam Hussein: “Oh God.” [saying this in preparation, as is Middle Eastern custom, as the noose is put around his neck]
One voice leads customary Muslim prayer (called a salvat): “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”
All Voices, including Saddam Hussein, repeat the customary prayer: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his companions/household [family].”
A group of voices: “Moqtada…Moqtada …Moqtada.” [Meaning the young Shiite cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr] …
Saddam with amusement: “Moqtada…Moqtada! Do you consider this bravery?” [This can also be translated as meaning “Is this your manhood?”]
Several individuals say several times: “To Hell [hell-fire]!” [This can be translated as “Go to Hell!”]
Saddam Hussein mockingly replies/asks: “To the hell that is Iraq!?”
Others voices: “Long live Mohammed Baqir Al-Sadr.”
Single Voice: “Please do not [stop]. The man is being executed. Please no, please stop.”
Saddam Hussein starts recitation of final Muslim prayers: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed is the Messenger of God. I bear witness that there is no god but God and I testify that Mohammed…” [Saddam Hussein is suddenly interrupted without finishing his prayer with the opening of the trap door.]
Several Voices: “The tyrant [dictator] has collapsed!”
Other voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohammed and his household (family).”
Single Voice: “Let him hang for eight minutes.”
Many conversations continue in the background about Saddam Hussein.
Note on the Original Video
The Global Research translation is based on an Arabic video. The release of this video was in all likelihood part of the U.S. sponsored intelligence operation. The video was allegedly taken from a cell phone camera belonging to one of the executioners. Viewer discretion is advised; the video is gruesome and upsetting in nature and does not resemble a state-run execution. To view click here
Corporate Media Translations
Below are several transcripts of translations. Some of these transcripts demonstrate a major deviation from the original (Arabic) word by word dialogue. A look at the CNN or BBC versions of the video clearly reveals a deliberate attempt to distort Saddam Hussein’s statements and portray the Shiite Muslims of Iraq as those behind the Iraqi leaders hanging in Baghdad.
The corporate media’s translations add or interject what was reportedly said by Saddam Hussein to what was recorded.
The Fox News transcript fails to even give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words. It only gives an ominously detailed translation of the start of the video. One should ask is there a reason why the full transcript was not given and why this partial transcript was portrayed as the transcript of the execution in its entirety.
Fox News Transcript
A new videotape surfaced Monday on the Web appearing to show the body of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein after he was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006. This is the translation of the audio conversation on that 27-second video among individuals with access to the body and someone apparently using a cell phone camera:
(Inaudible)— Abu Ali
Hurry up! Hurry up!
— Hurry up!
— Let’s go my friend…Come on man!
I’ll fix it up for you.
— I am coming. I am coming.
— Just a moment, one moment
— I am coming. I am coming.
— Abu Ali, Abu Ali… You take care of this.
— Ok let’s go, let’s go
— Come on my friend! Come on my friend!
Ok, I am coming. I am coming.
The BBC’s transcript fails also to give a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s last words, besides painting the executioners as savage Shiites. Nor does the BBC report acknowledge Washington’s role in ordering this execution.
Moreover, Saddam Hussein’s last words about Iraq being turned into a living Hell are conveniently omitted. The BBC transcript also uses phrases that portray the executioners as Shiites. This is done by the chosen reference in the phrase referring to Prophet Mohammed’s family and the statement “And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies,” which is a reference to Imam Mahdi, a Muslim figure, that Shiite Muslims’ distinctly place special emphasis on in regards to most Sunni Muslims.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Transcript
Translation of Arabic subtitles accompanying the latest execution footage as broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station:
[Saddam] Oh God.
[Voices] May God’s blessings be upon Muhammad and his household.
[Voices] And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.
[Voices] Moqtada [Al-Sadr]…Moqtada…Moqtada.
[Saddam] Do you consider this bravery?
[Voice] Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.
[Voice] To hell.
[Voice] Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.
[Saddam] There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad…
At this point the video stops and the sound of the trapdoors opening is heard in the background.
The Independent (U.K.)
The Independent, a British daily, that gives a fairly progressive view on international events seems to have also carried a version of the translation of the transcript of the execution of Saddam Hussein that has omitted Saddam Hussein’s last words indicating that Iraq has been turned into a “Hell on earth.”
The Independent (U.K.) Transcript: Dictator’s last words
Saddam: “Oh God.”
Voices: “May God’s blessings be upon Mohamed and his household. And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.”
Voices: “Moqtada [al-Sadr] … Moqtada … Moqtada.”
Saddam: “Do you consider this bravery?”
Voice: “Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.”
Voice: “To hell.”
Voice: “Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.”
Saddam: “There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Mohamed…”
Analysis and Implications
Internationally and especially in the Arab World and the Middle East, the barbaric lynching was casually presented as a Shiite Muslim initiative, when in fact the Anglo-American occupation forces were in control of every phase of this gruesome venture.
Ironically, the individuals and leaders who played a major role in ordering the lynching of Saddam Hussein are now saying quite emphatically that they were opposed to his execution. Prime Minister Tony Blair is reported to have stated that “the manner in which former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was executed was ‘completely wrong.’”
Meanwhile, the dictators and autocratic leaders of the Arab World have also jumped aboard in expressing their opposition to Saddam Hussein’s lynching.
Criticism expressed by the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite family in Jordan, and President Mubarak of Egypt, amongst others, constitutes an empty form of posturing geared towards raising their popularity amongst their own citizens.
The Role of the Iraqi Puppet Government
In these various reports, there has been a deliberate and calculated attempt to place the responsibility for the execution of Saddam Hussein squarely on the shoulders of the so-called “Iraqi government,” without acknowledging that this government cannot act without the consent of the United States. The Iraqi government, which is best described as a U.S.-controlled puppet regime, is invariably portrayed in press reports as a “Shiite Muslim government” or a “Shiite Muslim-dominated government.” This is also an integral part of the U.S. PSYOP designed to break down solidarity between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims against the Anglo-American invaders and occupiers.
The present Iraqi “government” is an appendix of the U.S. Occupation administration and gets it orders from Washington and London. It is neither Shiite Muslim in character nor is it a real government. With regards to its powerless composition, it is almost evenly divided between Iraqi Kurds, Shiite Arabs, and Sunni (Sunnite) Arabs.
To expose the manufactured portrayal of power in Iraq, one should look back at the composition of Iraqi government institutions during the era of Saddam Hussein. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Shiite Arabs had a greater representation than Sunni Arabs within the civilian bureaucracy as well as within the security and military apparatus, largely because of the demographic realities of Iraq.
But this fact has long been forgotten. Nothing has changed in regards to the composition of the bureaucracy, administrative bodies, security forces, and military apparatus of Iraq. Prior to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, about 60% of the Iraqi military were Shiite Arabs. This 60% fought against neighbouring Iran which is a predominantly Shiite Muslim nation.
In reality, the real divisions in the Middle East are not based on or around religious, sectarian, and ethnic considerations, but on those nations and forces, which either oppose or support the Anglo-American agenda in the Middle East.
The media focus on sectarian divisions is intended to divert the attention of public opinion from the fact that the U.S. and its Coalition partners are the root cause of anarchy and violence, resulting in countless deaths and atrocities in Iraq.
Saddam Hussein’s Last Moments
In his last moments, the words of Saddam Hussein were very compelling. When he was told to “go to Hell” by his executioners, the Iraqi leader replied, “[You mean] to the hell that is Iraq!?”
Who turned Iraq into a living Hell? Who is to be blamed? These words were so powerful that several major media outlets conveniently omitted them from their translations, including the BBC and CNN. Any meaningful revelation or coverage of the correct final statements of Saddam Hussein could have severe and negative implications for the Anglo-American military roadmap in the Middle East. “To the hell that is Iraq!?” could become a powerful political slogan, serving to rally public opinion throughout the Muslim World against America’s imperial ambitions.
The Iraqi leader’s final words carry great weight because they describe the situation created in Iraq under military occupation. This final statement could also have political ramifications in the U.S. and Britain, as public opinion becomes increasingly aware that these last words, “the living Hell,” describes what Iraq has been turned into, under U.S. and British military occupation.
The late Saddam Hussein’s words could have strong implications for rallying resistance in the Arab World against the U.S.-U.K. occupation of Iraq. In this regard, the Arab mainstream media has played a calculated role in furthering the Anglo-American military agenda by shifting the blame for Saddam Hussein’s execution onto the Shiite Iraqis.
Outside the Arab World, if allowed to be heard freely and unadulterated, Saddam Hussein’s last words (“To the hell that is Iraq!?”), which describe the realities of an occupied country, could potentially backlash on the legitimacy of the U.S. administration and its indefectible British ally.
The mainstream sources, which reported his statement conveyed the impression, through a highly distorted and convoluted analysis, that Saddam Hussein was blaming the Shiite Arabs and the “Shiite dominated Iraqi government” for destroying Iraq. But nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence amply confirms that since the early days of the occupation of Iraq the United States and Britain have not only created a situation of insecurity, but have also been involved in covert acts of violence, including random massacres and suicide attacks directed against civilians.
This deliberate media portrayal of an emerging “Shiite ascension” in Iraq and the Middle East is part of a multifaceted strategy geared towards creating tensions within the predominately Muslim populations of the Middle East. It is a typical “divide and conquer” strategy, which is supported by the long tentacles of the intelligence apparatus of the United States. The hidden agenda is to trigger “civil war” and to redraw the map of the Middle East. The ultimate objective is the domination of the Middle East by the United States, Britain and their coalition partners, including Israel and proxy Arab leaders. The active collaboration of the frontline Arab governments, which have military cooperation agreements with NATO and the U.S., are also tied into this agenda.
Divisions and animosity within their respective populations is what has allowed these pro-U.S. Arab authoritarian figureheads, which increasingly act as proxies, to remain in power.
Since the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon, the coalition building phase of the military roadmap has been launch. The United States has been constructing the “Coalition of the Moderate,” which includes Israel, Saudi Arabia, Mahmoud Abbas, the Lebanese government, Egypt, the U.A.E., Turkey, and Jordan. While this has been going on there is a continuous attempt to build public consensus in support of dividing Iraq and military strikes against Syria and Iran. The media in North America, Europe, and the Arab World have played an important role in demonizing the Syrians and the Iranians.
As the United States gears up for the next stage of the Middle East war, the drive to divide the populations of the region now encompasses a broad area extending from Lebanon and Palestine to the Persian Gulf.
The life of Saddam Hussein was used by the United States as firewood to further fuel discord and division in Iraq and the Middle East before the next phase of its military roadmap, which is directed against Iran and Syria.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a writer based in Ottawa specializing in Middle Eastern affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Center for Research on Globalization (CRG).
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