The Trial of Saddam: The Shame of America's Mainstream Media

I confess a feeling of outrage. On January 8th, the Special Iraq Tribunal continued in Baghdad—Saddam’s usual high-backed seat now, of course, empty. He and his lieutenants were charged with the genocidal killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in the late 1980’s—a crime much more massive than the killings of 148 men and boys from the town of Dujail that had led to the tyrant’s precipitous execution.

The scene, as described by mainstream U.S. media—particularly the dramatic account of John Burns in the New York Times– was riveting. But my outrage stemmed not so much from the damning recorded evidence of Saddam and his thugs chilling talk of using chemical weapons against their own people, as from the fact that the American media –including the Times—continues to resolutely ignore what for Americans should be the most outrageous aspect of the Kurdish slaughter: the complicity of the West—particularly the governments of Ronald Reagan and George Bush pere–in that atrocity.

I admit my survey is far from complete—and welcome correction—but I have yet to see any recent piece by American reporters about the trial in the mainstream U.S. media that spells out the connections between the U.S. (and other great powers) with the horrific years of Saddam’s reign.


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