In an editorial (6.1.07) by the Keskisuomalainen’s foreign news editor (central Finland news daily), Tapani Luotola, takes a swipe at both the Iraqi government and US president G.W.Bush over the handling of the execution of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. The foreign news editor starts off by quoting the US administration’s Press Secretary, Tony Snow as saying:
“He murdered hundreds of thousands of people. That’s why he was executed.”
Which he then denounces as being totally false, due to Saddam being tried only for “the deaths of 148 Shiia, not for hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.” Well, what Press Secretary Snow actually stated was this:
“And I think — it’s interesting because there seems to be a lot of concern about the last two minutes of Saddam Hussein’s life and less about the first 69 in which he murdered hundreds of thousands of people. That’s why he was executed.”
What galls the most, is that Tapani Luotola and his foreign news dept, as well as the entire Keskisuomalainen editorial dept., have been openly against the US led Coalition implementing UNSCR 1441 from the very beginning (resuming hostilities against Iraq). The height of their hostility towards the US was shown in its pages the very next day after the fall of Baghdad. In spite of thousands of rejoicing Iraqis whacking the statue of the hated dictator with the soles of their shoes, the Keskisuomalainen found it neccessary to also print the following headline: “Tens of Iraqis demonstrate against the presence of Coalition forces.”
Then to read Luotola’s editorial in which the foreign news editor “KVETCHES and MOANS” that Saddam’s trial was unfair, Saddam was not tried for all the other crimes he committed, as well as the way Saddam was treated in the last few minutes before being “dispatched” from the land of the living, goes way beyond the pale.
This kind of “mansy pansy” editorializing, is “par for the course” for the Keskisuomalainen, being one to many times guilty of “wanting its cake and eating too” (such is the rewards of clinging to the fiction of its neutrality). Lets face it, if Saddam’s fate was left up to the editorial department of this Finnish newspaper, he would still be in power, free to terrorize his country with impunity. No justice would ever reach Saddam, other than in the form of a “coup d’é·tat “, with another Baatist thug obtaining power after placing a bullet into Saddam’s brain.
Calling the execution of Saddam Hussein “macabre”, Tapani Luotola misses the bigger picture. When considering the region of the world in which the execution took place, Saddam Hussein was treated with far more consideration than most would have been (warning, graphic picture). Regardless of the fact that it didn’t meet Western standards of decency, it surely was more decent than the way Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife were “dispatched” in the former Soviet block state of Romania (the EU’s newest member). Or what of Italy’s former dictator, Benito Mussolini, and the speedy trial he received and his public display after execution (warning, graphic picture) at the hands of an enraged Italian mob. By comparison, Iraq’s highest court and the way it sent Saddam Hussein to his death was something that they should be applauded for, not condemned.
Luotola goes on to lambaste the US for past mistakes in its dealings with the Hussein regime, all the while he and his paper have been longing for the same type of “realist” politics to return to the forefront in US foreign policy. Talk about being conflicted, (entertaining two diametrically opposed thoughts at the same time) I am almost certain that the Keskisuomalainen editorial staff throws its support behind the laughable ISG report, that the disgraceful James (F the Jews) Baker III “spear headed” late last year.
To top things off, the EIC of the same newspaper, Erkki Laatikainen editorializes in the very same edition, the fiction that, “US/Finnish relations are on target”. I guess Erkki has missed the past six years that has seen the current US President visiting the Baltic region twice, skipping Finland altogether. Or that both Finland and Sweden’s Institute of International Affairs (foreign policy) have openly stated that Finland’s foreign policy as (stagnated during the whole six year period of the Halonen presidency) being virtually nonexistent.
But hey, I must be a realist as well, because I don’t hold any expectations over the Keskisuomalainen changing its spots any time soon. *L* KGS
Update: More on Saddam’s hanging in the NYT here.