Saturday, August 18, 2007

Should Raghad be extradited?

The Iraqi government has issued an arrest warrant for Raghad, Saddam Hussein’s daughter. She is being accused of working to support the insurgency in Iraq. Currently, she and her family are living in Amman.

The Jordanian press says that the warrant does not require them to turn her in. This is despite an agreement between the government and Iraqi security officials to exchange wanted individuals. Naturally, most people instinctively would reject repatriating the woman.

I have written before defending Jordan maintaining good relationships with the various Iraqi parties. However, this request seems to cross the line. As the Iraqi government looks for scapegoats to blame for the miserable security situation that they have, they have already lost legitimacy themselves with large segments of their population. Jordan should not attempt to take the Iraqi government’s side for both pragmatic and moral reasons.

From the pragmatic perspective, it will be supporting a clearly losing side. Moreover, a good relationship with the Sunnis is an asset both to Jordan and to any long term reconciliation process in Iraq. There is no obvious reason to alienate the Sunnis, and there is little to convince anybody that Raghad is actually a factor in the Iraqi liberation movement.

From a moral perspective, it is more likely than not that she will be executed after a kangaroo trial, just like her father. There are no guarantees of a fair trial, and it would be morally reprehensible to have anything to do with such an outcome.

Jordan still seems to be vacillating about executing Sajida Rishawi. It is possible that her sentence will be commuted for humanitarian reasons. How could we justify commuting the sentence of a known terrorist, and send a politically expedient scapegoat to her death at the hands of lawless militias?

26 Comments:

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

They wouldn't do it, and if they did, MY GOD hell doors will open on the government and ...

Saddam is loved by many jordanians, and it is one of the reasons that maybe the government and the... still has some support..

I don't about sajida, but the thing is bigger and more complex that the humanitarian aspect, I would rather look at it as don't touch us we don't touch you, or maybe it is a way to buy us some more security, I don't know if this security will be fake or real, but what I know it is a GOD damn difficult position..

Maybe they can balance the thing out, by keeping raghad and commuting sajida's sentence, if they want to score high points in jordan they should keep both:)

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

kahalf I messed up real bad with the spelling which is not unusual :)

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger Don Cox said...

I have been hearing for a long time that she was organising the Baathist resistance. As those people killed many Iraqis both before and after the invasion, it is not surprising that the Iraqi government would want to try her. I don't think the trial would necessarily be unfair. Saddam's trial was as fair as it could be, allowing for his constant attempts to disrupt it.

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger Qwaider قويدر said...

I thought there was an international treaty against extraditing political prisoners who seek asylum if their return means their death

I'm not sure why she didn't seek refuge in a place that wouldn't even think about such matters. Like Denmark or the Netherlands!

Keeping her and family safe in Jordan is a logistic nightmare. And might be in the best interest of Jordan to "encourage" her to leave. I'm sure many countries would welcome her on humanitarian reasons. And maybe for once we stop being at "Booz el Madfa3"

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Mohanned: I think that a case can be made for sparing Rishawi, since she appears to mentally retarded.

Don: If she were in the UK, there would be no way she would be extradited under these circumstances.

Remind me how many times they had to change the judge to get the desired result with Saddam.

Qwaider: I have no problem with encouraging her to leave, as long as assurances for her safety are given. It would be too bad if what happened to her husband would happen to her as well.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

Oh snap, so a woman living in amman under surveilance is managing the insurgency in iraq, thats more rediculous than the reason bush used to invade iraq! Dude, jordan has a strategic interest to build excelent relations with the sunnies in Iraq and not only that, jordan I think(if they still have some brain cells) shouldn't give her back because this will increase the fussing of jordanian people, fuel rise is coming, the elections fiasco has not cooled down yet, shawerma wars and water pollution, I think the government in jordan has toooo many plates on it's table to deal with before making maliki and his bunch in iran happy!

Exporting Iraq's government failure to jordan will not work, the only hope I have that jordan doesn't import this failure by mistake..

Shawerma Don?

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Why not put her on trial at the Hague, then? The Iraqis are accusing her of international crimes (including terrorism and mass murder), so why not? Wouldn't that be fair? And if the Iraqis have the evidence they suggest they do, a trial in the Hague would result in a conviction.

Mohanned, do you really think its' in Jordan's "strategic" interest to alientae at LEAST 80% of Iraq's population, in the name of maintaining good relations with Iraq? And how many of the 20% of Iraqis who are Sunni Arabs truly support the Baathists?

Jordan may have a reason for trying to keep Iraqi Baathists close, but it's not to maintain "good relations" with Iraq.

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Oh, and one more thing... how many of the 20% of Iraqis who are Sunni Arabs are actually still in Iraq? That's about 5 million people. How many of the 2 million (at least) Iraqis who left Iraq already are Sunni Arabs? How many of the 6 million (at least) Iraqi regugees who are currently trying to leave Iraq, are Sunni Arabs?

I'm guessing there are probably as many Iraqi Baathists in Jordan as theer are in Iraq, right now. Which may explain why this is such a big potential problem, no?

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Craig: I have no problem with an international trial. This with the caveat that such trials are not necesarily fair. The case of Abdelbasit Megrahi comes to mind.

It is important that Jordan has good relations with the Sunnis, even though your calculations clearly show that there are none left in Iraq. I wonder who keep planting those IOD's.

 
At 11:24 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

It is important that Jordan has good relations with the Sunnis, even though your calculations clearly show that there are none left in Iraq. I wonder who keep planting those IOD's.

I made no calculations. I asked how many of the 5 million Sunni Arab Iraqis who used to be in Iraq are still there. Your sarcasm is duly noted, though. I share your concern with wanting to find out who is planting the IEDs. Raghad Hussein is actually accused of being behind some of that, is she not? Perhaps if and when she goes on trial, we can get the question at least partially answered.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

Craig, it is not 20%, the most conservative stat is 30% not includeing kurds who are sunnies by the way..

And yes it is very important for jordan to have relations with Iraq sunnies, or else how do you think zarqawi was killed? Those sunnies are our strategic depth against who you and I know, the US realized this and now I think they are arming the sunnies..What happened in Iraq is ethnic cleansing, the country and its cities now are defined by the sect, mixed neigbourhoods are noe gone..

And craig, you are smarter than that, Ragad saddam is not in jordan because we are challenging the US of A,and I think you know that without your country permission she wouldn't be in jordan..Raghad is a local card as much as she is an international one..Iraq government has failed.Period. And this is a simple stupid way to export their failure, syria and Iran I think is more resposible than jordan in whats happenning in Iraq. The iraqi president admitted that jordan and kuwait are the only ones helping regarding Iraq security, the US of A admits that jordan's role in fighting terror is pivotal, so please let us do our business because I think we know what we are doing(at least thats what I hope for)

:)

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12:04 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Hi Mohanned,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Iraq

Ethnic groups: Arabs 75-80%, Kurds
15%-20%, Assyrian, Iraqi Turkmen or other 5%

Religions: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%


I don't know how you can get 30% of Iraqis are Sunni Arabs, from those figures, but if that's what you want to go with, no skin off my nose :)

If at least 60% of Iraqis are Shia Arabs and at least 30% are Sunni Arabs (as you say), then it would almost seem there isn't anyone else in Iraq except Shia and Sunni Arabs, no?

I know that the Kurds are Sunni, but they are not Arabs. They are not aligned with Sunni Arabs in Iraq. In fact, the Sunni Arabs of Iraq are their worst enemies. Particularly the Baathists.

But it would seem that doesn't matter, since your figures indicate there aren't any Kurds in Iraq :O

Those sunnies are our strategic depth against who you and I know, the US realized this and now I think they are arming the sunnies..

Yes, US is arming and supporting some Sunni Arabs. But not the people Raghda Hussein is accused of supporting. We are actually supporting Sunni groups who are willing to go AFTER those folks.

What happened in Iraq is ethnic cleansing, the country and its cities now are defined by the sect, mixed neigbourhoods are noe gone..

I understand that. I'm questioning why Jordan wishes to get become a partisan in Iraq's sectarian problems. Is that really in Jordan's national interests? I suppose it might be, if Jordan intends to get actively involved after the US withdraws.

 
At 12:28 AM, Blogger Mohanned said...

I think any stats won't be relevant to the issue here :)

Jordan is not taking anysides, but at the same time there are issues that will be difficult for you americans to understand unless you come from the same region:)

The question here:Is ragahd responsible for the sectarian vilonce in Iraq? My opinion No, because simply she can't and it is just a way the Iraqi government is trying to export their failure.

Now the other issue, I don't know if this will be news to you, but many jordanians and palastenians LOVE saddam, he bought a lot of power in jordan before the gulf war, he bombed israel with a couple of rockets and was made a hero just like hasan nasralla:) (off topic, arabs love to create heroes) as a matter of fact he gave palastenian privilges in iraq more than Iraqies themselves..

Now in jordan it is out of the equasion that we go after people's hearts and make them hate someone or else we kill them as in iraq, jordan needs to deal with these issues with extra care if we want to maintain our stability..

It is simple man, if you fail blame others, and thats what the iraqi government is doing right now, or else bush would be demanding that jordan gives up raghad, but he knows that she is worthless, she is just a figure that saddam lovers will look up to and loose some of their anger..

:)

 
At 1:59 AM, Anonymous onzlo said...

I think the issue is pretty simple, Raghad, who had no official role in Iraq before the war, came to Jordan seeking asylum, which she was granted.
Handing her over to the current Iraqi government would ver likely mean that she will be executed and will almost certainly mean that she will be given an unfair trial and be tortured. So under the current circumstances I don't even think the extradition of Raghad should even be up for discussion.

 
At 2:08 AM, Anonymous hamede said...

onzlo thank you.

 
At 5:13 AM, Blogger Mohanned said...

from elaph:

It is out of discussion regarding raghad the jordanian spokesperson said.Period.

http://www.elaph.com/ElaphWeb/Politics/2007/8/256701.htm

 
At 1:38 PM, Blogger Don Cox said...

"jordan has a strategic interest to build excelent relations with the sunnies in Iraq"____It has a stronger interest to build good relations with the Iraqis as a whole, rather than with one minority group. What would most benefit Jordan is a stable, democratic Iraq. So Jordan should avoid anything (such as supporting one party) that might prolong the present sectarian conflicts. The people who most benefit from a weak, divided Iraq are the Iranian and Syrian governments, and perhaps the Turkish government.

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Maleeha said...

I think that extraditing Raghad will not only affect the relations between Jordan and the Sunni people in Iraqi, but it will also widen the gap between Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq and lead to an irreversible civil war, which is, in my opinion, the purpose behind such a warrant and request.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

But Don,
What if the other part is in bed with Iran?What if the other part has death squads embeded in the army and the police? The current government is the most racist, and they are sleeping with iran publicly as if there is no one is looking..

And don't worry, jordan has saudi arabia and most of the gulf countries to support our back, not to forget the US of A.

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous Alurdunialhurr said...

The only people that should be brought to International court of Justice are Bush and his cabal ,after 4 years of occupation, mayhem, killing fields and whole sale destruction of Iraq,Bush and his cabal deserved to be extradited to the Hague.

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous batir said...

I care less about Raghad but the best interest for Jordan is not to be a part of the sectarian massacres in Iraq. If Jordan turns Raghd to the Maliki government then we will be the pro-zionist, anti-resistance traintors of the Arab World. let someone else feel the heat.

 
At 6:33 PM, Anonymous alurdunialhurr said...

Batir,,,And who told you ,you are not Pro-zionist,Anti-resistence,and here is king Abdullaha urging the Americans to keep their accupation of Iraq.

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger Don Cox said...

"If Jordan turns Raghd to the Maliki government then we will be the pro-zionist, anti-resistance traintors of the Arab World."_____Zionism has absolutely nothing to do with the case. The accusation is that she has been involved in financing Baathist resistance to the elected (and fully recognised by the UN) government of Iraq. Jordan would not be expected to extradite her for trial without some kind of hearing or trial in Jordan, and I'm sure she has plenty of money for lawyers. She may be able to show that the accusations are false. If the "Arab world" supports violent resistance to the Iraqi government, then the Arab world is wrong. If the Iraqis don't like their government, they can vote for a different one at the next election - or, sooner than that, public opinion can press the MPs to pass a vote of No Confidence.

 
At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Cox above wrote the only comment that makes sense, all the others don't have any clue of what they are talking about.

 
At 12:12 AM, Anonymous batir said...

Anonymous, I guess you are the custodian of wisdom in this universe! How unfortunate that you will not grace us with your identity!

 

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