Saddam’s deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, issued a statement on 1 January, mourning his ‘brother’ and calling for unity.
‘The criminal evil hands of the US administration, its British allies, the Zionists and the Persian safawis (Shi’ites) assassinated one of the nation’s historic and great leaders; a defiant brave knight who refused to lower or bow his head to the infidels, tyrants, oppressors and aggressors.
‘He confronted the overwhelming wave of evil, striking the best example of steadfastness, sacrifice, valour, heroism, dignity, honour and defiance. . .
‘Let the enemy occupier and its agents know that assassinating a leader will only strengthen the will of the Ba’ath Party and its great people and glorious nation, and increase their determination to escalate their jihad and struggle until the enemy is destroyed, the dear nation is liberated and the state of faith, freedom, democracy and civilization is established. . .
‘Let the criminal enemy, its powerless allies and lowly agents go back to the history of this glorious nation which is filled with giving, creativity, courage and adherence to principles, values and ambition.
‘Let them look at how this nation and its defiant people, headed by the people of Iraq, chose to give rivers of blood and convoys of martyrs, symbols and leaders rather than destroy their principles, values and freedom. . . .
‘I call on dear brothers, the courageous leaders of jihad and the brave fighters in all jihadist groups to work seriously and sincerely to establish the jihad and resistance front to which our people and nation have been aspiring in all their military, political and media spheres.
‘This is in order to pool efforts and make good use of resources with a view to speeding up the destruction of the enemy and liberation of our beloved homeland.
‘Honourable sons of our nation, parties, organisations and movements, unify the struggle and step up your courageous and victorious resistance so that we can carry out the execution verdict against the occupiers and their agents.
‘Peace was upon you, leader, when you resolutely confronted the storms of evil and darkness.
‘Peace was upon you when you fulfilled the trust, for which the price was your family, your property and your own life.
‘We pledge to Almighty God, to you, and to all the nation’s martyrs and great leaders that we will remain sincere protectors of the eternal, divine message until Almighty God grants us His solid victory.’
Saddam’s lawyer has called for lawsuits over the filming of the execution.
Ziyad al-Khasawnah said: ‘First, I have to say that the rush to execute Mr President was due to the fear from considering other cases, like Al-Anfal and Halabjah.
‘The Iranian side is responsible for Halabjah, as it was the Iranian army, not the Iraqi army, which possessed the cyanide gas.
‘This is established now with the Pentagon and all relevant bodies.
‘Consequently, the rush to execute Mr President was due to the fear that facts might be uncovered if he remained alive. . .
‘If they were afraid of Mr President – who was assassinated and we deem a martyr – they should go to an international tribunal so that all facts can be revealed and the criminal can be held to account and punished instead of levelling accusations at other people without any legal evidence. . .
‘The Yemeni president and the Qatari emir intervened to persuade the US Administration to postpone the execution, lest it provoke the feelings of two billion Muslims on Id al-Adha.
‘However, the US administration and the occupying government in Iraq ignored the feelings of two billion Muslims and carried out the execution on the morning of the Id.
‘It astonished all Muslims throughout the world, either those who agreed with the president or those who disagreed with him because this constitutes denial of humanity and the sacredness of the soul.
‘If we go back to the filming of the execution, when they were chanting before this man: “Moqtada, Moqtada” and “Saddam to hell” – Prophet Muhammad stood up to show respect for the passing funeral of a Jew because his soul belongs to God.
‘Those who claim to be Muslims failed to appreciate the sacredness of man and his soul.
‘They levelled accusations and insults at him even during the execution. The US administration does what it wants, without taking the feelings of any person into account. . .
‘Lawsuits should be filed against the US administration and the bodies that carried out the execution. . .
‘The execution should not be filmed in the way it was done. Consequently, the filming hurt the feelings of humanity more than the execution itself did.
‘Therefore, there has been physical and moral harm to the president, his family and those who love the president.
‘The physical and moral harm is known worldwide. All the criminals who committed crimes against the Iraqi people and the Arab nation and who hurt Muslims feelings throughout the world should be held to account.’
The ex-prime minister of Malaysia slammed Saddam’s ‘barbaric lynching’ by ‘war criminals’ Bush and Blair.
‘Barbaric, sadistic and a public murder,’ was how former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad described the execution.
Dr Mahathir said the execution was sanctioned by US president George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom he labelled as war criminals.
He said the sadistic act of broadcasting the execution to the whole world was a travesty of justice and meant to demonstrate the imperial power of the United States and served as a warning to peace loving people that they must either bow to the dictates of the Bush administration or face the consequences of a public lynching.
Dr Mahathir, who is a member of International Committee for the Defence of Saddam, said the former president’s lynching was also an insult to all Muslims as it occurred on the Holy Day of Id when Muslims devote themselves to prayer and forgiveness.
‘It is all too clear that the war criminal Bush has no sensitivities whatsoever for Muslims on their pilgrimage to Mecca.
‘This barbaric act is a sacrilege,’ he said and the entire trial process was ‘a mockery of justice in a Kangaroo Court’.
‘Defence counsels were brutally murdered, witnesses threatened and judges removed for being impartial and replaced by puppet judges.
‘Yet, we are told that Iraq was invaded to promote democracy, freedom and justice.’
Dr Mahathir, a vocal opponent of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 when he was prime minister, said what happened now was that a peaceful country had been turned into a war zone.
Over 500,000 children died as a result of economic sanctions, and the latest findings by the medical journal, Lancet, revealed that over 650,000 Iraqis had died since the illegal invasion.
He also accused Bush of killing more Iraqis than President Saddam ever did.
‘If President Saddam Hussein is guilty of war crimes, then the world must find Bush, Blair and John Howard (Australian prime minister) equally guilty and the International Criminal Court cannot but prosecute these war criminals,’ he said.
He said the inaction thus far by the International Criminal Court against Bush, Blair and Howard exposed its double standard when it did not hesitate to prosecute war crimes committed in Darfur, Rwanda and Kosovo.
‘If we support human rights and justice, we must condemn this barbaric lynching of Saddam Hussein.
‘There can be no excuse whatsoever for this injustice under any circumstances. Bush and the puppet regime in Iraq have made a mockery of the rule of law,’ he said.
The Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) in Iraq said the execution took place ‘at the instructions of the occupation and in implementation of its wishes and desires and the desires of some of its allies abroad and in the country.
‘Therefore, the whole issue is a purely political one that has not taken into consideration the interests of the Iraqi people.’
The statement added that choosing the Islamic day of Id al-Adha for carrying out the execution showed that it was based on hatred and various forms of hate and eccentric desires.
The statement called on the Iraqi people to learn a lesson from that incident and to preserve their national unity and not to give the chance to those who are weaving schemes against Iraq, ‘so that we can look forward to a day when our faithful sons, and not the occupation, can implement a fair verdict against those who are torturing our Iraqi people and killing their sons, stealing their resources, desecrating their holy symbols and selling out Iraq’s sovereignty.
‘They are doing all these things under the slogan of rescuing Iraq from oppression, while they are the source and basis of oppression.’