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LONDON — It was not the Iraqi government but its American masters that chose to execute Saddam Hussein in a great rush as soon as the first sentence was confirmed, thus canceling all the other trials on far graver charges that awaited him. The current Iraqi government had nothing to hide if those trials went ahead; the U.S. government did.

Cast your mind back to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Washington’s pretext for war then was Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, with barely a word about bringing democracy to the downtrodden Iraqi people. But to persuade us that Hussein’s WMD were a threat to the whole world, we were told a lot about how wicked he was, how he had even “gassed his own people.”

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