Hanging will harm the US interest

The editorial “Another kind of justice: Saddam’s hanging not in Iraq’s interest” (Jan 1) rightly points out that “Saddam’s hanging does not meet the ends of justice. After all, his trial was a farce” which he received from the coalition that had caused the death of over 600,000 Iraqis.

Though Saddam, a ruthless dictator and tyrant, brought unimaginable suffering to the people of Iraq, Kuwait and Iran, he deserved a fair trial. Sadly, he was found guilty on November 5 in the case of executions of residents of Dujail after an attack on his motorcade there and sentenced to death by hanging. But a trial on the far more sweeping charges that Saddam directed the killing of 50,000 Kurds in an organised ethnic cleansing campaign is still under way and will continue despite his execution.

In this context, former Supreme Court Judge Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer aptly said, “the death sentence pronounced by a counterfeit court cannot carry conviction”. Yes, “the hanging reflects shortsightedness, which will harm the interests of the Iraqis as well as of the United States.”


This is the time for the people of world to stand with the people of Iraq, whose sufferings seem to know no end and save the country from the civil war between Shias and Sunnis.



Even as former Iraq President Saddam Hussein has been peremptorily executed, the Iraq Study Group Report acknowledges the Bush Administration’s failure to restore peace in Iraq. However, the report neither discussed about the invasion of Iraq nor does it talk about the weapons of mass destruction — the US’ false pretext for invading Iraq.

The report does not specify who should be blamed for the mess in Iraq. Why has Iraq been brought to this situation? Should the US be blamed for this anarchy? The report is silent on these questions.

The report does not offer any ray of hope to the people of Iraq. It just gives a way out to the US combatant troops to leave the country as early as 2008 because that is the only option left to them due to a no-win situation and very little hope of a dignified exit. If such a study could have been done before launching the invasion, Iraq would have been saved from this horrific devastation. In addition, we would have saved the lives of about thousands of innocent civilians and destruction worth billions every week.

Also, the US could have saved the lives of hundreds of soldiers. According to estimates, the US is spending $ 2-billion a week, which is the American taxpayers’ money. In reality, there will be little change until the US reviews its policies for the better.

MOHD SALAHUDDIN,Mulund (W), Mumbai


The hanging of Saddam Hussein deserves to be condemned. Really, it was all a mock trial. The execution may immortalise Saddam as a hero in the eyes of all those who clearly smelt lack of credibility in the whole process of law that tried the former Iraqi President. Sunnis in Iraq may become more violent and insurgent. A sort of civil war between the Sunnis and the Shias may erupt to further worsen the socio-political situation in the country.

Moreover, Saddam’s hanging is a serious blow to the reconciliatory process which Iraq needs badly. It is sad that the US did not intervene immediately to save the situation. It must know the democratic-minded people across the world still question its right to invade a sovereign country. Even the UN was bypassed. People ask, “Where are the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) detected by the US, in Iraq?”

According to an estimate, more than six lakh people have been killed since the invasion and possession of Iraq. Who is responsible for these killings if no WMD has been traced in Iraq? Saddam’s hanging violates the principles of justice, humanity and peace.


Integration must

Premvir Das’ article, “Integrated in defence” (Dec 14) was interesting. While opposing the integration process in the Defence Ministry with the three Service Headquarters, he has discussed the US and the UK systems. If we could shy away from trying either of the two, do we have an indigenous system?

Given the option of following either the US or the UK system, we ought to have moved in for the integration process. This will help clear most modernisation plans pending for a long time. The problem of obsolescence or depletion processes, a perennial problem in all the three forces, will also be taken care of.

There is an ever-increasing demand on our forces to take care of insurgency and terrorism operations. How to guard the seas against penetration of arms and weapons. We live in an age of specialisation. Science and technology move faster and it is incumbent on the government to move with the times. We have to take care of security threats. We must move ahead and be
vigilant always.


No airport at Halwara, please

In the reported tussle between the Defence Ministry and civil authorities regarding the setting up of an airport at Halwara, the Air Force authorities have taken the correct position by opposing the proposal. I also support their stand that there should not be an airport near an Air Force station which is also used for fighter airplanes.

Rajasansi Airport in Amritsar is adjacent to the Pakistan border. No one can say when Pakistan will suddenly turn hostile towards India. Moreover, Rajasansi is not in the centre of Punjab.

The best place for an international airport is Phillaur and not Halwara. Once former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal thought of shifting the Punjab capital to Phillaur. Over the years, the political leadership has made many mistakes. It should not make yet another mistake by setting up an airport at Halwara.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana 



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