Written by Harry Porter

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

image for Community service sentence urged for Saddam
Saddam - 'That's him, he took my goldfish...'

Social workers will be calling for Saddam Hussein to be put on probation and given community service if found guilty at his trial.

The first social inquiry reports have been lodged with court officials and these paint a depressing picture of the dictator's childhood - and one the Iraqi social services believe must be considered as mitigating circumstances.

Kimberley Achmed, of Baghdad's social work department, has already lodged a protest with the Interim Government's chief prosecutor, claiming a trial is inappropriate due to ‘past and present traumatic experiences'.

Ms Achmed, who heads the city's children and families' team, has compiled a dossier supporting her case but the key points are already in the public domain having already appeared on the internet in an essay posted in 1986 by a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

These include:

• The young Saddam was promised a puppy on his name day but, by mistake, received an American-made M-16 from the US Embassy

• Had his goldfish stolen at a fairground in Tikrit by a Kurd

• Was dropped from his primary school's football team in favour of an Iranian whose father had bribed the coach

• Lost his high school sweetheart to the son of a Kuwaiti oil magnate

• Gave up a promising military career at the behest of the West to seize power and become an ally in the Middle East, then later abandoned.

Ms Achmed also details how Saddam had his excesses nurtured and pandered to by Britain and the US - while receiving copious amounts of weapons of mass destruction as one of the two Western-favoured sides in the Iraq-Iran war.

"I know social services are out of step but I believe the evidence proves that Saddam's atrocities were acts of displacement," she said.

"This was a troubled child who grew into a troubled man. There is no excuse for what he has done but we need to understand why it happened."

In normal circumstances, even before a trial, a motion would be put forward recommending family therapy. However, in Saddam's case this is not feasible, particularly due to his sons' deaths in a shoot-out with coalition forces.

It is understood Ms Achmed believes community service, in the form of working with children or pensioners, could aid Saddam's rehabilitation. Re-training in a trade, such as carpet fitting or crater landscaping, is also recommended.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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