"Chemical Ali" Executed by Hanging in Iraq

Ali Hassan al-Majeed, aka "Chemical Ali" has been executed by hanging in Iraq.

A cousin of Saddam Hussein, Ali had been convicted of genocide and murder. He was sentenced to death in several trials. His last conviction and sentence was a few weeks ago.

Ali remained in U.S. custody from 2003 until yesterday, when the U.S. turned him over to Iraqis to be killed.

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    It's (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 11:46:32 AM EST
    kind of hard to pull up any sympathy for this.  Frankly, though, they only got to execute him once, yet he killed thousands of people and hurt thousands more.  Doesn't seem like a fair trade.

    What's the dues fee (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:25:07 PM EST
    for green lighting an Iraq invasion that killed, maimed, traumatized and displaced tens-of-thousands of people?

    When do the war crimes trials start for those who, with malice of intent, insured that Iraqi children in the nineties suffered and died needlessly due to the overly harsh sanctions we helped impose?


    Completely irrelevnt to the post (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:28:57 PM EST
    Chemical Ali was responsible for gassing and killing his own people, including thousands of children. He was sentenced to death 4 separate times. I will not lose sleep because this man no longer walks among us.

    This has nothing to do US foreign policy.


    You must have missed the memo - (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:31:12 PM EST
    everything is about Bush. Or Rove. Whatever. Same thing.

    Sloppy thinking there (none / 0) (#14)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:52:01 PM EST
    And Bush and Rove weren't in the game in the nineties.

    That was the-greatest-administration-that-ever-was-or-ever-will-be.


    Or Reagan. Whatever. Same thing. (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:00:46 PM EST
    Whatever is right (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:08:45 PM EST
    sorry to rain on that pure and righteous and free of hypocrisy parade.

    Yes. Thanks to you (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:15:00 PM EST
    the scales have fallen from all our eyes.

    That's only the first layer (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:23:52 PM EST
    and you're welcome.

    Maybe (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 01:15:27 PM EST
    But we aren't talking about that in this post.

    Completely relevant to the post (none / 0) (#5)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:37:07 PM EST
    that some people are on higher moral ground than Moses at Siani in regard to our officially sanctioned enemies (as instructed) and morally developmentally disadvantaged about the actions of their own nation. Just as Im sure Ali, Saddam and Hitler were.

    Talk to his own people (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:41:19 PM EST
    they are the ones that convicted and executed him

    You might be right... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:43:55 PM EST
    about this having nothing to do with our policy, if it wasn't our policy to have something to with it.

    I'll shed no tears for this murderer, but I might shed a few for the USA being party to barbaric executions.


    Err... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:48:31 PM EST
    s/b "our policy to have something to do with it"

    This is exactly the type of case (none / 0) (#7)
    by CST on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:41:55 PM EST
    that makes the anti-death penalty argument hard.

    That being said, I still think we should have let him rot in a cage.  So long as he is out of power, out of the public, and under lock and key - I do not see the need to execute.

    It's not about sympathy for the accused, it's about a belief in what the role of the government is in situations like this.  I think the role of government is to protect the innocent from further persecution.  Not to enact revenge.  Revenge and retribution is never possible for someone who killed so many, and should not be the goal of prosecution.

    Except (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:44:47 PM EST
    "We" did not try nor sentence him.  It was the Iraqi government and he was tried under Iraqi law.  We just had him in custody.

    fair enough (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:45:40 PM EST
    in that case - substitute "they"

    point remains.


    Well, but now (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:48:04 PM EST
    You want to impose your views and mores on a sovereign government. I thought we didn't want the US to do that?


    The 1988 poison gas attack on the village of Halabja, which earned al-Majeed his nickname, was part of the Anfal campaign, in which the Hussein regime killed at least 100,000 Iraqi Kurds. The campaign is believed to be worst poison gas attack on civilians ever.

    Al-Majeed was sentenced to death separately for his role in putting down a Shiite uprising against Hussein in 1991, and for his part in putting down a Baghdad revolt in 1999.

    Estimates of the Shiite death toll in the 1991 rebellion range from 20,000 to 100,000. Al-Majeed was convicted of playing a key part in the slaughter during the revolt in southern Iraq that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

    One of his co-defendants in the Anfal case, Sultan Hashem, is a prominent Sunni leader who is considered a key player in efforts to reconcile the country's once-dominant Sunni community with the Shiite majority that now wields political power.

    Hashem was also sentenced to death, but Iraq's Sunni Arab Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi has long refused to sign his execution order. That delayed the execution of al-Majeed and another defendant as well.

    Iraqi law requires all three members of the Iraqi presidency council -- the president and two vice-presidents -- to sign execution orders. It does not say what happens if they do not sign.

    Did I say that? (none / 0) (#15)
    by CST on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:55:51 PM EST
    I am allowed to have an opinion on the actions of other countries.

    That does not mean I wish to "impose" my views on them.  It means that I disagree with what they are doing and I would prefer they change of their own accord.

    I have never been opposed to "soft power".  I think it's much more effective and benefitial than other kinds of power.  I don't think spreading culture is the same thing as "imposing" it though.

    I know what he did, I'm not defending his actions anywhere.  Frankly, I think it just makes my first point all that much clearer.  These are the cases that make it hard to oppose the death penalty.  That doesn't mean one stops opposing the death penalty.


    Sure .. (none / 0) (#16)
    by nyrias on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:58:16 PM EST
    your view is abundantly clear. You are opposed to executing people no matter what atrocity they have committed.

    A view, i may add, not shared by me, and probably not most Americans.


    Generally the more theocratic (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 03:05:32 PM EST
    or totalitarian a state is, the more immured the people are to the psuedo-public-cleansing ritual of execution.

    I dont see any evidence forthcoming from the "personal responsibility" crowd that executions teach anyone anything about THAT -- unless these people actually believe that people in the U.S (for instance), would be even MORE violent, ill-informed, superstitious, obese etc if we HADNT executed hundreds of people in the last few decades..

    Executions -- and barbaric prisons, brutal law enforcement, tough-on-crime demagogues are justice
    "fixes" for a hoi palloi who've been conditioned  to be unable to distinguish between farsighted, enlightened policy and any drastic action in response to untoward events.


    Obviously your view is not shared ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by nyrias on Mon Jan 25, 2010 at 12:46:40 PM EST
    by many.

    Revenge or not, justice or not, execution is a fairly common response to crime, particularly abroad.

    Plus, the middle east is not exactly squeamish about punishing people. For example:


    Lashes for a school girl? Iraq is not out of the norm here.

    The people demand "satisfaction" and they are getting it.