SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

US must judge its own actions in Iraq

Who encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed which led to the death of a million and a half people? And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? It was the US administration.

No wonder, the Americans, who controlled Saddam’s weird trial, forbade any mention of this in the charges against him. Let us ask those who still support this war and believe that the US should “stay the course” - and who are gloating over Saddam’s execution - to judge their own slaughter of innocents in Iraq.

They used the same standards that they used against the poster boy of evil, who was executed for killing 148 people. They may not be worse, but are definitely not better. When will they take their turn in the dock?

K. PADMAVALLI, Hyderabad


 

II

I have two important questions: many kings and emperors ordered brutal killings of their enemies, their blood relations and innocent people for centuries all over the world. None of them was hanged or shot dead. Surprisingly, their monuments are erected, their samadhis and mazars are respected as national heritage symbols. The roads and buildings are named after them, just because Bush was not born then.

Secondly, which court will try President Bush and his partners for ruining not only Iraq but Afghanistan on the pretext of the presence of weapons of mass destruction and other flimsy grounds?

Dr BALBIR SINGH BHASIN,New Delhi

III

Saddam was hanged for allegedly killing 148 people by the present Iraqi Government, a US puppet. But what about US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and others who are responsible for the killing of over two lakh innocent Iraqis? As aggressors, they have tried to interfere with the sovereignty of the state which is against international law. Moreover, it was no valid ground of intervention.

PRIYANKA SHARMA, Pathankot

IV

Saddam Hussein never bowed before President Bush and dared to defy the numerous US warnings. He maintained dignity during the last moments of his life and dared to die bare headed by refusing to wear the black mask just before his execution. Saddam indeed is a martyr. He was always a problem for the Bush Senior and Junior.

MANJEET HANJRA, Shahpurkandi

V

The debate on Saddam’s execution exposed the double standards of Communists, religious fanatics, intellectuals and politicians who justified the killings of 148 Shias by Saddam on the pretext that they were a threat to Iraq. In the same breath, they plead for presidential clemency to Mohammad Afzal who attacked Parliament - the citadel of Indian democracy!

YOGESH DEWAN, Ludhiana

VI

Why do some people praise Saddam? He was never a pillar of non-alignment, secularism or anti-imperialism. He attacked two non-aligned countries - Iran and Kuwait. He oppressed the Shia majority in his own country. He was the US’ blue-eyed boy when he attacked Iran and used poisonous gases against the Iranian troops.

He proved be to a notorious adventurer when he invaded Kuwait. This made the Arab countries invite the US to head the coalition. In history, Saddam will be remembered as a ruthless despot.

R.S. BISWAN, Mohali

VII

At the time of his execution, Saddam, with the Quran in his hands, showed rare courage by remaining unruffled on seeing the gallows. Had he ruled Iraq with the Quran in his mind or shown the same courage while fighting the invading US forces either by surrendering himself to save the lives of innocent people of Iraq or by sacrificing his life, he would have become a martyr.

In India today, politicians quit office only when they are confronted with criminal charges in a court of law on “moral grounds”. Till then, they are least bothered about “morality”. Our government’s claim that Saddam was not given a fair trial, therefore, was not unexpected.

H.R. SHARMA, Shadhial

Pension commutation

After the implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission report, the period of release of commuted pension in view of the prevalent higher rates of interest and returns on government schemes was raised from 12 to 15 years. The limit of pension commutation was raised from 30 to 40 per cent and most retiring persons were turned to commute pension up to 40 per cent.

This was very favourable, lucrative and tempting because of the higher rates of interest in government schemes such as the monthly income scheme. However, since the rates have come down from 13 to 8 per cent in such schemes, the government in the interest of fair play and natural justice, must suitably bring down the release period from 15 to 10 years. The authorities should take into account the hardship faced by senior citizens.

P.S. SIDHU, Patiala

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