Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saddam Hussein's concept of justice

Sar Shalom

One of the many books covering the changes in Iraq from before to after Saddam Hussein's ouster is Joseph Braude's The New Iraq. Among the topics covered in this book is the rebuilding of Iraq's justice system in the post-Saddam era. In describing this task, Braude started with a description of Saddam's concept of justice. Rather than present an overriding theme, Braude presented an anecdote to illustrate how Saddam thought the courts should pursue justice.

Summarizing from my memory of having read it several years ago, one time, while Saddam was traveling, he got hungry and started looking for a food stand that would provide him with something to eat. One street vendor, on seeing him pass by, said "O Saddam, to whom I owe my life, let me provide you with something to eat." Saddam placed an order, which the vendor fulfilled. After being impressed with the meal he had had, Saddam asked the vendor if there was anything he could do to pay him. The vendor replied that it was enough that Saddam provided for his life. After much back-and-forth, Saddam finally got the vendor to open up that he had a dispute with someone in the courts. The courts resolved that this vendor would get what he wanted from the process.

There are some similarities in some counties in America when it comes to tort law. In particularly plaintiff-freindly counties, all that's needed to secure a favorable verdict is to demonstrate that the plaintiff was injured and some involvement of the defendant. In other counties, those that are defendant-friendly, any plaintiff who does not match the profile of the surrounding community has no chance to prevail, no matter what the facts are. Either way, facts are irrelevant, it is simply a matter of doing "justice," for the plaintiff in the former category and for the defendant in the latter.

Such is the case of how the international community pursues "justice" when Israel is involved. From their perspective, Israel is victimizing the Palestinians by expropriating the land that is "rightfully" theirs. Thus whenever a case comes up and there is an opportunity to ameliorate the suffering Israel "imposes" on the Palestinians, the attitude becomes "facts shmacts, do what is necessary to justify the result."

This phenomenon occurs in both official international fora, such as the ICJ, and in the international media. To take one of the most recent example from international fora, the UNHCR voted to investigate Israel's "crimes" in connection with Operation Protective Edge. For the UN, it was enough that Israel was attacking targets in Gaza and that innocents were dieing. What standards Israel should be compared against for target selection and precautions were irrelevant. After, "justice" has to be done for the Palestinians.

Similarly, in their coverage of Operation Protective Edge, the international media don't bother looking in to Israel's claims as to what is at the targets or comparing Israel's precautions against killing civilians to anyone else's precautions. It is simply a matter of doing "justice," and if a distorted picture leads people to be more interested in pursuing "justice," then that what is needed.


  1. Rouhani: ‘This Festering Zionist Tumor Has Opened Once Again’

    Iranian president adopts violent rhetoric towards Israel
    As Western leaders such as President Barack Obama seek to get closer to Rouhani, his regime has armed terror groups such as Hamas and sought to spread regional chaos.

    “The reality is that under Rouhani, Iran has increased its support for terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah thanks to the sanctions relief” provided to Iran under the terms of the interim nuclear agreement

    this fake moderate, Muslim supremacist, Khamenei acolyte has revealed his true colors.

    feckless Obama has given these theocratic tyrants billions in sanctions relief, nevermind they fund hamas, Islamic jihad, and hezbollah.

    Israel needs to bring Hamas to it's knees to take care of it's western flank in case they'll have to strike iran, (to the east), preventing these islamist fanatics from obtaining a nuke.

  2. CUFI to Kerry: Stop Bolstering Hamas and Support Israel

    Massive media campaign launched to promote U.S. support for Israel

    One of the nation’s leading pro-Israel groups has launched a massive media campaign, buying ads in major newspapers and beginning a letter campaign to stop Secretary of State John Kerry from allying with Hamas over Israel in the ongoing Middle East conflict.

    Christians United for Israel (CUFI), a nearly two million member strong movement, has bought full page ads in the New York Times and other top publications calling on the White House to “stand with Israel” and not “hand Hamas a victory,” according to both the ad and letter to Kerry.

    great stuff

    Adam Kredo is a great columnist

    1. One of the key mistakes that we have made has been in deriding and hissing contempt at organizations like CUFI.

      We need to embrace those people as allies even as we do whatever we can do to mitigate and soften some of their more... egregious inclinations.

      What I have been reading in recent years is that the Evangelicals are becoming more woman friendly, more gay friendly, and more environmentally concerned due to the Judeo-Christian notion of "stewardship" of the land.