For those who need to be reminded: Who were the Ba'athists?
I find it very funny that some U.S. analysts don't get why De-Ba'athification is such an emotional issue in Iraq. The video above was shown a couple of weeks ago during one of the ongoing trials against the leadership of the Ba'ath Party. I had never seen it before. I can tell you that it was one of the most poignant moments that I have had during the whole time I've done this; 'this' meaning since the start of my work against Saddam. I couldn't find the way it was originally aired, without the music in the background, so this version will have to do. While the video was being shown in the court as evidence (...one of the men seen cheering at the end is a defendent) the sobs of the mother of one of the victims, called to the court as a witness, can be heard. Then, out of nowhere, the judge lost it: he berated one of the defendents for averting his eyes, as if he could not stand the hideousness of the images. He asked, "Are you pretending that you didn't see what was happening then? That you didn't hear what was happening?"
To me, the judge's outburst should go down as an important moment in human consciousness, for the whole world to learn from, not just Iraqis. Let tyrants everwhere be on notice, you too may be shamed someday.
The images, gestures and clothing of the Fedayeen Saddam (...about 50 of the barred candidates for this election were members of Fedayeen Saddam) evoke what we later saw Zarqawi and Al-Qaeda doing, as they too cut off heads and held them up as trophies.
Just remember that a government, with a seat at the United Nations, was doing this to its citizens. That was the Ba'ath. Those were the Ba'athists. That is why people are still pissed.