The U.S. Media Plays Along With the Farcical Trial of Chemical Ali

Like a distant historical footnote to the bloody tragedy raging in Iraq, the trial of Saddam Hussein’s cousin, Chemical Ali, and 14 other former lieutenants of Saddam, began this week. The prosecutor accused them of perpetrating “ among the ugliest crimes ever committed against humanity in modern history.”

In a just world, George H.W. Bush and James Baker would also be in the dock.

Chemical Ali and his cohorts are being charged with the slaughter of tens of thousands of Shiites following the failed uprising of 1991. It is the third trial before the Iraqi Special Tribunal for crimes against humanity committed during Saddam’s reign.

But, from the beginning, the Tribunal has been a uniquely Kafkaesque affair: first because of the total disconnect between the drama being played out in the court room and the slaughter going on outside the heavily fortified Green Zone. Secondly, by the fact that the horrific history of the 1991 repression is being recounted as if it occurred in an international vacuum. No mention whatsoever of the complicity of the United States and President George H.W. Bush in those bloody events,

Though the British Press has made some mention of America’s role, as far as I can make out, the major American media –and that includes the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, CNN and the Associated Press— have not made even the faintest allusion to the U.S. involvement.

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