Saddam Hussein Hanged

It has been broadcast on nearly every television news station, radio station and printed on the cover of my morning paper: Saddam Hussein Executed!

It has been broadcast on nearly every television news station, radio station and printed on the cover of my morning paper: Saddam Hussein Executed!

Saddam Hussein was one of the most vicious men in power. He was hanged in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah at 6:05 a.m. local time (10:05 ET).

An MSNBC article gives details of his hanging:

Saddam Hussein, among the world’s most brutal dictators, struggled briefly after American military guards handed him over to Iraqi executioners. But as his final moments approached, he grew calm. Dressed in a black coat and trousers, he clutched a Quran as he was led to the gallows, and in one final moment of defiance, refused to have a hood pulled over his head.

While Iraqis and Shiites danced in the streets and shouted out cheers celebrating the dictator's death, the Sunnis in the town of Tikrit "lamented his death".

“The president, the leader Saddam Hussein is a martyr and God will put him along with other martyrs. Do not be sad nor complain because he has died the death of a holy warrior,” said Sheik Yahya al-Attawi, a cleric at Saddam Big Mosque.

His conviction was sealed by the testimony of Ahmad Hassan Mohammed Al Dujaili on December 5, 2005. He gave a moving account of the torture in Dujail in 1982. 148 Shiites were killed in the reprisal killings that followed a botched 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in the Shiite town of Dujail.

Obsidian Wings writes:

I have nothing to say about this. I can't possibly regret his death, but there's something ghoulish about the reporting today, which was like a death watch. Or maybe I just happened to tune into the news at all the wrong times.

I agree there is something morbid or ghoulish about the story and the celebration of one's death. Even though Saddam was a horrible, cruel man it's almost surreal to me to read about the public celebration of Saddam's death in Iraq.

However, for the pain and trauma he caused 148 Shiite families 24 years ago, they have every right to cheer. His hanging is only justice for the violence, hatred and attacks he brought forth to his victims.

Gateway Pundit writes:

A fitting end... The Butcher of Baghdad dies in his own torture chamber.

While I am not sad that Saddam is dead, I can't help but wonder if he was given the easy way out. It seems as though his death was quick and painless. It pains me to admit he should have suffered a little longer, but I also wonder if many Americans feel the same way.

Bark Bark Woof Woof writes:

My stand on the death penalty has been stated previously and simply, but for those of you who don't remember, I am one of those who does not believe the state has a right to take the life of a citizen. Capital punishment is revenge, not justice. Executing Saddam Hussein will do nothing to erase the bloodshed by him or anyone else, and it will only provide propaganda to our enemies, proving that we are as barbaric as those we label as such, and it will provide political capital to those who will say that our soldiers died for a worthy cause -- a death for deaths.

True, the bloodshed and violence may not be avenged by the hanging of Saddam Hussein, but isn't it a step forward for the Iraqis? They have taken charge of the trial of Saddam as well as the execution of Saddam. Isn't this telling their country they can be trusted to run their own government? Isn't this setting an example for insurgents and future potential dictators?

President Bush stated:

“Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial — the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime,” in a written statement released by the White House after Saddam's execution.

“Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq,” Bush continued, “but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror.”

Posted by Dana J. Tuszke at December 30, 2006 8:54 AM
Comments
Comment #200858

Dear Saddam,

Rot in hell.

Dave

P.S. I don’t believe in the death penalty and don’t believe this will change anything. To quote some dumb guy “it’s only a comma” anyway.

Posted by: Dave1-20-2009 at December 30, 2006 9:06 AM
Comment #200862

What has Saddam’s death accomplished? Has it brought back those who tried to kill him who he them ordered killed (most likely with weapons proveded by “friendly” allies like the US)? Does it bring back the children who died under US sanctions? Does it bring back the almost 3,000 American soldiers who have died in the misguided US war in Iraq? Has it made whole the 20,000 wounded, many who have been maimed for life with blindness, amputations, and brain injuries?

Exactly what did it accomplish????

Posted by: Lynne at December 30, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #200863

Here’s an interesting take from Joshua Marshall;

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/011729.php

“This whole endeavor, from the very start, has been about taking tawdry, cheap acts and dressing them up in a papier-mache grandeur — phony victory celebrations, ersatz democratization, reconstruction headed up by toadies, con artists and grifters. And this is no different. Hanging Saddam is easy. It’s a job, for once, that these folks can actually see through to completion. So this execution, ironically and pathetically, becomes a stand-in for the failures, incompetence and general betrayal of country on every other front that President Bush has brought us.”


I would venture a guess that we won’t have Saddam to kick around any more.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #200864

And this from the Guardian;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1979094,00.html

“Burhan al-Chalabi
Thursday December 28, 2006
The Guardian

The imminent execution of Saddam Hussein is nothing but a smokescreen - a diversion in a series of diversions that will do nothing to address the price of the occupation of Iraq. If the Bush administration truly wanted to curb the cycle of bloodshed, it would come clean and share with the US public, the Iraqi people, and the international community the real goals of this disastrous neoconservative adventure.”


This just keeps getting better and better.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #200865

What is wrong with people???
Lynne
Should Saddam got away with killing hundreds of thousands of people? It is not all right to let him go to do it again and now he cannot. This was the right thing to do and now maybe the Iraqis can move on and rebuild their country. The punishment fit the crimes.

Rebuilding Iraq is going to time, money and the desire of the Iraqi people.
Today execution was just taken out some of the trash in the way.

Posted by: steve at December 30, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #200866

Rocky
the funny thing about conspiracy is that you have to know things that you don’t. Exactly how do you know there is something to come “clean on” if you don’t know what it is???
There must be some “hidden goals” because there must be more. Does it ever stop???

Posted by: steve at December 30, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #200867

Steve,

Is justice truly served?

Saddam was tried in Iraq because that was required by Iraqi law.

Who wrote the law, and when and where was that law enacted?

Why weren’t Saddam and his co-conspirators tried in the International Court?

Why the rush to execute him?

Certainly you don’t think this will make things “all better” in Iraq.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #200868

To put a finer point on it;

This whole affair smacked of an old west “fair trial, followed by a first rate hanging”.

Does anybody with any intelligence at all believe this would turn out any differently?

What/who’s ends does this serve?

What has actually changed?

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #200870

was it illegal to kill people in Iraq when Saddam killed them???

and as to the question of the “rush to execute”, this trail was going on for two years and now it was concluded. How long do you wait one day, one month, one year, or a decade??? Once again you state there was a rush but the trail was over along with the appeal (and this is more than Saddam gave the kurds).

Do you think that Saddam would have been found not guilty in an international court?

No things are not going to be all better in Iraq but once again Iraqis have a historic monment for change lets see if they seize it.

Posted by: steve at December 30, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #200871

Are you saying the American old west was full in just hanging by the proper authorities?
(this is a bad argument)

Saddam was found guilty because he was!

He got what he deserved. I would expect guilty people to be punished and not get off or escape.

Posted by: steve at December 30, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #200872

Lynne

0.47% - that is the total amount of Saddam’s arsenal provided by the U.S. Yes most of the people he killed were killed with modern weapons supplied by allies like the Soviet Union and other communist states, as well as the French, Chinese, Brazilians etc.

You complain about the sanctions and you complain about the U.S. invasion. Your solution must have been to let Saddam alone.

Rocky

Saddam had it coming. I do not know if it will solve any problems, but it is better that he is dead.

He was not tried in an international court because there was no international court that had legitimate jurisdiction. If someone murders his wife in Phoenix, we do not send him to France for trial. Saddam was tried an convicted of murders specific to Iraq. He had lots of other crimes too, but that is the specific reason he was kicking at the end of the rope a few hours ago.

The experience with international tribunals has not been so good recently. Consider Milosevic. He managed to live until he died of natural causes and seemed to be gratified by the opportunity to speak to the world every day.

I was satisfied when Moussaoui got life w/o parol instead of death. It was fitting that this evil little shit would just rot in jail and be forgotten. Saddam would not have gone quietly into that good night. He needed killing, to use the old west term.

Posted by: Jack at December 30, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #200873

Jack,

“Saddam was tried an convicted of murders specific to Iraq. He had lots of other crimes too, but that is the specific reason he was kicking at the end of the rope a few hours ago.”

Surely don’t mean to imply that he pulled the trigger himself. He also invaded Kuwait, and his armies inflicted atrocities on the Kuwaitis.

Oh, I forgot, this was just about crimes against Iraqis.

Yes, Saddam was a bad guy, and bad guys meet bad ends, and they deserve to.

I just see this as a trial by a kangaroo court, and the end was inevitable.

Why did we bother with the process?

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #200875

Rocky,Lynne
What do you think the Iraq people should have done with Saddam? Let him out on probation,do some community service, maybe anger management classes? or perhaps rehab? Saddam got his just rewards for mass murder of his own people.

Posted by: dolan at December 30, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #200876

dolan,

“Perhaps we should have locked him up with the remains of his dead sons and thrown away the key.”

My thanks to the rude pundit for that thought.

The perception of the verdict being inevitable made for his end being a fait accompli.

That Saddam’s lawyers were murdered, makes me wonder if this is Mr. Bush’s will, or the will of the Iraqi people.

Only time will tell if we made him a martyr for someone else’s cause.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #200879

Rocky

Do you believe the conviction of Saddam Hussein was a miscarriage of justice?

Re crimes, it is very often the case with multiple murderers or serial criminals that they are tried only for one or two of their crimes. As in this case, the prosecutors choose a case that is clear and easy to prove. In this case, Saddam was very personally involved. That is why they chose this one. It is true that in some of his other crimes would have been more difficult to prove the direct link. That doesn’t really matter. He was guilty of this crime. This crime is enough to justify his conviction. It makes no difference if you cannot prove other crimes.

I do not know if we made a martyr out of this terrible guy. There are some people who consider Hitler a martyr and they are the same type. You know that if we defeated Hitler today, many people would call his exectution unjustified.

Anyone who considers Saddam Hussein a martyr is either evil or craven. I do not care if we have millions of people who think that way, every one of them is wrong.

Posted by: Jack at December 30, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #200882

Jack,

“Do you believe the conviction of Saddam Hussein was a miscarriage of justice?


No where have I said that Saddam’s end wasn’t justified.

There is, however, the perception that we (America) pushed this trial, and execution through for our own self interests.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #200883

Lynne
Exactly what did it accomplish????

For one thing it took a magot off the face of the earth. Low lifes like Hussein don’t deserve to live. Guys like him aint even human.
Execution won’t bring back the folks a murderer killed. And asking if it will is a very poor argument. It’s punishment for the crimes committed.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 30, 2006 1:44 PM
Comment #200886

steve
He got what he deserved. I would expect guilty people to be punished and not get off or escape.

You fail to understand. Saddam had a bad childhood. He was mistreated as a kid and was only expressing himself. We need to understand his trauma and rehabilitate him. After all he’s not really a bad guy. He’s just misunderstood.
Now back to reality. Saddam got just what he deserved. The only problem I have is it took so long.
Two years of trial? Thirty day to appeal? At least the Iraqis got the appeals process right. We need to learn from them on that part. Now they need to shorten the trial time.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 30, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #200902

WOW!!!! WE WON!!!!!


You know what….. so what? I hope you got some kind of thrill out of it. To me the whole thing is pretty anticlimatic.

And just to throw a monkeywrench in the works, he sure did a better job running the country than we have. And it felt super to see that the original judge had to be replaced to get it done. How democratic.

This whole war. This whole thing. Has been such a steaming pile.

Posted by: Max at December 30, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #200906

Saddam’s dead and rotting in hell.Vengeance/revenge is an important aspect of arab people,hence the victims families and other innocent’s affected by him are probably satisfied.

Posted by: Pontificator at December 30, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #200910

Rocky

I only wish that it was true that people around the world really believed we would be dealing with our enemies that way.

Maybe it is time to change the way we portray ourselves. We try to be nice. The Arab street disrespects us.

Maybe when asked about Saddam getting his neck stretched, we should just say, “Yeah. You want some of that too?”

I am right now watching a history channel story of the defeat of the KKK in Arkansas. The Iraqi insurgents are a lot like the KKK. Some people need killing.

Posted by: Jack at December 30, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #200912

The only interesting aspect of the execution is the timing. Why now?

The execution escalates the civil war. Shias & Kurds rejoice in their revenge. Sunnis vow revenge in turn. An unusually large number of people die today in the violence of the civil war. Totally predictable.

Key word? Escalation. If reports prove true, we are about to add addiitonal troops in a “surge,” which is a euphemism for escalation. The execution provides cover for this escalation.

But why escalate tensions now? No one believes additional troops will help the situation in Iraq, yet we hang Saddam anyway, knowing it cannot possibly result in anything other than increased violence… as if Iraqis need a high profile example of revenge!

Why would the US intentionally escalate the civil war? Why add tens of thousands of troops? Why deploy an additional carrier task force?

Posted by: phx8 at December 30, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #200914

Jack,

“I only wish that it was true that people around the world really believed we would be dealing with our enemies that way.

Maybe it is time to change the way we portray ourselves. We try to be nice. The Arab street disrespects us.”

We may deal with countries (maybe for awhile), but truly what do rouge groups have to fear from the U.S.?
Surely groups like al Qaeda don’t fear America. They can move from country to country, wherever they can roost for a while. They have no true bases of operation, they need none. They can live in caves, their communication can be done by word of mouth, and meetings in clandestine places.
Ammo and weapons are cheap.

Putting the “fear of God” really has worked in Pakistan, and Syria, and Iran… right?

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #200915

Sorry,

that should be rogue groups.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #200928

Rocky

Yes, those groups can move around and communicate freely in the knowlege that the NYT will tip them off about any developments that might trip them up and if they get caught the ACLU will prevent us from punishing them and if we chase them all they need to is drop their weapons and claim to be praying in the mosque.

Posted by: Jack at December 30, 2006 7:22 PM
Comment #200929

Jack,

“and if they get caught the ACLU will prevent us from punishing them and if we chase them all they need to is drop their weapons and claim to be praying in the mosque.”

Only if they are American citizens.

Posted by: Rocky at December 30, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #200934

A minor point: Considering the multitudes tortured, killed, slaughtered and gassed by this supposed victim of American imperialism, his death served a moral good and Society had every right to take it. Having terrorized his people for so long, his death is easily justified if it allows even one Iraqi to sleep better thinking there is one less evil which could return. A very small payment on a very large debt. Saddam wished his life into the abstract, symbolic dimension of Leader of the Arab World. Now his miserable life which created so much misery for others has found meaning in a death symbolic as well as real.

Or, we could have Ramsey Clarked him for several years of high moral pretense and hot air….and then killed him so far after the fact, or let him live to fill the nightmares of thousands.

The world of Islamic fundamentalism is not a place of swallow tail coats and rational compromise— a place where we diffidently have to worry about dainty feelings or “winning them over”. Zealots only accept victory or death.
These lunatics live on death…their own or someone else’s.

Posted by: Eugene at December 30, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #200939

Eugene,
Right. Executing a person is a moral good. Well, with 600,000 Iraqis dead since we deposed Saddam, that must qualify as freaking moral greatness. Like Kurtz says in “Heart of Darkness”:

Exterminate the brutes!

Yeah, what a great idea, encouraging Iraqis to settle past wrongs by executing enemies. That”s the ticket!

Do you realize the best case scenario- the bestcase- is that Iranian allied Islamic fundamentalists will rule Iraq? That is what our soldiers are fighting and dying for- making sure the party of Islamic fundamentalists, SCIRI, led by al-Hakim, with his Badr Brigade enforcers and Death Squads, keeps power.

Posted by: phx8 at December 31, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #200940

Phx8,
“Past wrongs” meaning hundreds of thousands of mostly innocents dead? Would that also include the gunning down of 8 year olds in Beslan? Or the wives and mothers tortured in Falujah? Forgive, forget, get on with it. I understand the people of Nanking still mourn their losses so many years later; they’re waiting for such blessed forgetfulness as you suggest. The tearful Iraqi man on CNN whose brother and father are bones in some filthy sand pit….what do you give them besides your patronizing “We know what’s best for you” moral guidance?
Would that we all had your omniscient, trendily skeptical, and self fulling crystal ball for Irag’s future.

Posted by: Eugene at December 31, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #200942

Careful with that Axe, Eugene.

My apparent omniscience might seem like magic, but I assure you, I do not possess a crystal ball, merely information accumulated through reading, surfing, and remembering the First Gulf War.

“Cobra II” is a great read about the invasion of Iraq from an almost purely military point of view; “Imperial Life in the Emerald City” presents a recounting of the CPA & living inside the Green Zone; and although it has been out a while, and although Bob Woodward may be dislikeable for a multitude of reasons, “State of Denial” is surprisingly readable- all are available at your local library.

But here is a tantalizing conundrum: Did Saddam Hussein create Iraq, or did Iraq create Saddam Hussein?

Posted by: phx8 at December 31, 2006 1:45 AM
Comment #200945

The politically correct anti-Bush crowd was working to keep Saddam alive.

Getting him into an international court was a left wing rouse to get him tried in a court that could not put him to death. It’s that simple. Save Saddam, defeat Bush.

Other libs in the US pressed a court case asking a US court to forgid the US government to turn Saddam over to the Iraqis’.

Protestors were already showing up on the streets globally. Had Saddam not been executed soon, I suspect many millions would have come out in a global frenzy to defeat Bush by saving Saddam.

Eurpean nations that supported Saddams rip off of the food for oil program and thus HELPED SADDAM TO KILL by taking away food and medicine…these corrupt nations were demanding that the UN stop the killing of Saddam. At least when they are bought they stay bought ehh?

So lets not pretend that the libs were worried about injustice, Saddam not being tried for all his crimes, something wrong with the trial, etc etc etc.

It was about the cultural war to take down America. It was about the left seeking to see that Saddam never hanged in IRaq for his crimes as a way of defeating Bush.

Posted by: stephen L at December 31, 2006 2:05 AM
Comment #200946

Have read Cobra II and State of Denial along with probably some of the same sources you have…as have many of us. Both books were colorful assertions of a point of view, obviously journalist’s presentations rather than an historian’s— so much based on the usual suspect “anonymous sources”. Given the lack of media objectivity rampant from all sides, they don’t go much beyond “interesting”.

Regardless, Saddam remained an unholy monster whose death served a greater social purpose. Alexander, when faced with the “conundrum” of untying the impossible Gordian Knot, simply cut through it with his sword. Not to appear primitive or “reductionist” or oblivious to “nuances”, one can endlessly examine your question of which came first, but it may not be relevent.

No redneck, pick-up driving know-nothing here, but sometimes we would be better served by an FDR or a General Sherman than a quibbling Ramsey Clarke.

Posted by: Eugene at December 31, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #200947

Stephen L,

That does not make sense. How would life imprisonment for Saddam constitute a defeat for Bush? Personally, I think a lifetime of solitary confinement would be worse than death.

Posted by: phx8 at December 31, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #200948

I agree With Phx8 lock him up and throw the key Away.. pure solitary confinement three to four years he would have hanged himself..

Posted by: Rodney Brown at December 31, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #200970

Ultimately, Saddam’s sentence isn’t our decision. Safe to assume a majority of the Iraqi’s who, as a whole, seem to have a harsher perception of justice than we do, wanted him dead.

Their despot, their justice, thier call.

Posted by: Obie at December 31, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #200975

phx8

Are you the only person left who believes the 600,000 myth?

Posted by: Keith at December 31, 2006 12:12 PM
Comment #200981

Keith,
Apparently not.

The scientific methodology behind that number was developed by the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, and they still stand behind their methodology. The same methodology has been used in many previous conflicts and disasters, and the methodology has never been disputed before Iraq.

“Our total estimate is much higher than other mortality estimates because we used a population-based, active method for collecting mortality information rather than passive methods that depend on counting bodies or tabulated media reports of violent deaths,” said Dr Burnham.

The widely quoted Iraq Body Count, an independent estimate, gives a death toll since the invasion of about 50,000. No other mortality study anywhere near as comprehensive as the Lancet survey has been published, largely because of the difficulties of gathering accurate information in a country beset with armed groups and fearful of outsiders.”
www.ft.com/cms/s/274e150e-5945-11db-9eb1-0000779e2340.html - 56k -

By the way, the linked site includes its own link to the actual Lancet study.

You may not like the number, Keith, but that does not change its validity. Until somone else actually goes in & conducts a another study based on physical evidence or death certificates, the Lancet one is far and away our most reliable source for estimating violent deaths in Iraq.

Posted by: phx8 at December 31, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #200985

I believe that the democrats are going to run deficit budgets and do nothing to balance the budget. I’d like to see a thread started on the budget promises made by the democrats, what they really meant, and what they now mean now that the democrats have won.

And I’d add this, Pelosi has already indicated she will proceed in year 2007 for the first 100 hours with last years spending level. Ummm, wake up folks, last years spending level was a DEFICIT level that she indicated was evil. She said no new deficits spending, and here we are, after the eleciton with Pelosi talking about her new deficits.

I can understand why the left will not start a thread on Pelosi, the democrats, their budget promises, but someone on this side, for crying out loud, start a thread, put those democratic party budget promises out in the open, lets force the libs to talk about deficits they claimed were wrong only a few weeks ago and no longer want to talk about.

Lets keep this going, lets hold Pelosi accountable for government deficit spending, lets build some pressure to get the democrats to do the right thing and stop deficit spending.

They are in control now, they are the ones that have to be responsible, lets demand that they do it.

Posted by: Stephen at December 31, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #200986

A Possible Way Forward in Iraq

In my opinion, there is only one way forward in Iraq. No additional troops are required for this and it’s a way the US can support (politically) in both parties. I’m surprised I’m not hearing this put forward by either party.

First off we must admit that the present Iraqi government has failed. It’s not just a matter of not making progress fast enough….it’s a matter of losing control and things going backwards and falling apart. Once we acknowledge to ourselves the reality of the Iraqi governments failure, it’s easier to choose a genuinely new approach which acknowledges the political realities here in the US after years of war in Iraq..

Why did the Iraqi government fail? In my humble opinion, it’s because those who really control the Iraqi people, the religious leaders, do not accept the present form of government. And they NEVER will accept the present form of government.

The only way forward in Iraq is to put the religious leaders in a room and ask them to come to come to an agreement with each other about how to create a government which they support. Then we leave the room. We leave them with NO pre-conditions. They must choose the way forward and it will be the Iraqi way not the US way. We do not contaminate any part of the solution because that would allow some to brand it a US dictated plan. If we can accept what they come up with and they want us to stay awhile and help them implement……..we can stay and help. If their plan is not acceptable to the US, we leave.

But it’s time to give up on US plans for how the Post Saddam government of Iraq will work and request that the religious leaders and any real political leaders of Iraq put forward THEIR plan for Iraq. If they decide not to decide…then we leave because they have clearly chosen war. But if they can actually come to an agreement on one Iraq, two Iraq’s, 3 Iraqs, whatever…if their armed religious leaders can order their troops to stop killing each other because they now have the government their religious leaders want….then perhaps we can still help them out going forward to establish their government..

Forget the Bidden plan, the commission plan, the Hillary no-plan, whatever. It’s time to make one last effort to help the Iraqi people to be better off when we leave it than it was under Saddam. For that last effort, I say we try to let the real political power in Iraq (the religious leaders) determine what to do, if they can. Put the opposing religious parties under one tent then we stand down, leave the tent, let them stand up and confront each other in a search for peace and power.

Clearly we can’t hand Iraq a democracy. They have proven incapable of accepting it. So that means they will only have as much democracy and human rights as their religious leaders give them…it’s time to acknowledge that and bring them in to put an end to this civil war, if they are willing.

If the new plan is just to put more troops on the streets and to keep pushing a government and a democracy their leaders have clearly rejected….then we will most likely fail. The time for making that vision work has slipped beyond us.

Yes, cut and run is failure. I feel the Iraqi people deserve better, they deserve one last effort by the US to stop a civil war. If their religious leaders, who control the events between themselves choose war, then we leave. If they form a compromise Iraqi government of their choosing, then we can help. I think America would go along with this plan to offer them one last chance to have our support, in their choosing a new direction to create a nation. Let the entire world know, we are offering them one last opportunity, and that if they choose war, we will not stand in the middle of it. They might surprise us, they might choose peace over civil war

Posted by: Stephen at December 31, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #200992

phx8

The timing thing you broght up.

Three things.

There holiday

Iraqi law says you can’t hang someone after they turn seventy. In sixty days he would have turned seventy.

Lock him up and throw the key away. In 2, 3, 5 years someone may want to release him.

Posted by: tomh at December 31, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #201023

Saddam’s death is the removal of a cold-blooded murderer from the face of the earth, or more impotantly, the risk of his return to power if his loyalists should succeed.

Death is the greatest way to defend the innocent from those that prey on them.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at December 31, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #201025

What I saw in my newspapers was shameful. Saddam, a vile murderous psyhopath, still a human being. Perhaps I still retain enough of my Christian upbringing to see my fellow child of God, in all of his depravity, yet still my brother. Nothing would have been lost by incarcerating him for the rest of his days.

On the future of Iraq? Well, his fellow psychopaths are vying for the top spot. This current vileness is about nothing but naked power. And whoever prevails, will dictate the future of Iraq. We may well look back on Saddams days wistfully. Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it. Western countries blundering in ignorantly into places they know little of are just as likely to make things worse as to make them better.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 31, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #201027

Stubborn,
“Death is the greatest way to defend the innocent from those that prey on them.”

Spoken like a true jihadist.

The idea is to break the cycle of violence.

Tomh,
Good points about the holiday. Ironically, it supposed to be a day of forgiveness. I have never heard the part about age limits for executions. Maybe it is an Islamic thing.

Stephen,
Really interesting comment. I wish it would happen, but I suspect we “stayed the course” too long for this to be an option anymore. The ISG suggested something similar on a regional basis, but the Bush administration flatly rejected talks with Syria & Iran. That seems too stupid to be true, so I would assume talks are occurring anyway, only through back channels. I dunno. Maybe not.

There are four Ayatollahs in Iraq, but three of the Shia Ayatollahs refuse to involve themselves in secular matters. Only al-Sistani, the Grand Ayatollah, willingly addresses wordly concerns, and although he has been a voice for peace, his clout has been undercut by the continuing cycle of violence. Iraqi Shias turned away from him, and looked towards militias for their security.

From the Iranian and the US point of view, there is one odd man out- ad-Sadr. I have seen opinions that, if elections were held today, the Sadrists would win. Unlike SCIRI & Dawa, al-Sadr is not tainted by involvement with Iran or the US. He is stridently anti-American & anti-Persian, and he really, really hates the Jews. File that one under the law of unintended consquences.

One sub-conflict in the civil war pits al-Hakim and the Iraqi Army against al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army. The winner of that one will probably be the next ruler of Iraq. One thing they share in common: Both want to put the hammer down on the Sunnis.

An additional problem would be the difficulty of involving secular ex-Baathists. A secular, Sunni government would be ideal, but, ummm… well, we overthrew them. Oh well.

Civil wars can end in negotiated endings, but more often than not, it is only a temporary solution. Most civil wars end in an overwhelming military victory for one side or the other.

It is not hard to see where Iraq is going. Eventually, the Shias will slaughter the Sunnis until they unconditionally submit.

The Saudis abruptly withdrew their ambassador a few weeks ago. I am guessing they have reached the same conclusion, and it is highly unsatisfactory one for them.

Well, I hope you are right & I am wrong, but it is very difficult to see any reason for optimism.

Posted by: phx8 at December 31, 2006 6:27 PM
Comment #201034

I heard it said that we should not blame the Iraqis too much. If the US had unemployment rates at 50-80% for three years we would have a civil war going too. Probably right.

Posted by: BillS at December 31, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #201040

Bills

Where do you guys get this numbers? the number I have seen at the extreme are 25% and thos include a large percentage of Iraqi’s looking for work for the first time.

Posted by: Keith at December 31, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #201041

Sorry

I meant “these” numbers not “this”.

Posted by: Keith at December 31, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #201050

phx8,

I’m not sure I’m optimistic at all. But I think we should make the effort, I think we owe them the effort, if they refuse or fail, then I don’t see what elese can be achieved. WE give them one last chance and tell them take it or we leave you to your civil war. Perhaps some who refused to get involved before would see the need. In my opinon, the mostly likely outcome is they refuse to meet, or come to no agreement, in either case, we then leave because that clearly means the civil war proceeds.

I’m going to be most interested, as is everyone, to see what Bush offers up.

In my opinon, he needs to offer a way forward and a way out if the way forward fails.

Posted by: Stephen at December 31, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #201119

On the timing of the execution:

“The important Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha was due to begin over the weekend. For Sunnis it began on Saturday the 30th of December. For Shias it begins on Sunday the 31st. According to tradition in Mecca, battles are suspended during the Hajj period so that pilgrims can safely march to Mecca. This practice even predated Islam and Muslims preserved this tradition, calling this period ‘Al Ashur al Hurm,’ or the months of truce. By hanging Saddam on the Sunni Eid the Americans and the Iraqi government were in effect saying that only the Shia Eid had legitimacy. Sunnis were irate that Shia traditions were given primacy (as they are more and more in Iraq these days) and that Shias disrespected the tradition and killed Saddam on this day. Because the Iraqi constitution itself prohibits executions from being carried out on Eid, the Iraqi government had to officially declare that Eid did not begin until Sunday the 31st. It was a striking decision, virtually declaring that Iraq is now a Shia state.”

from www.iraqslogger.com

Posted by: phx8 at January 1, 2007 6:00 PM
Comment #201148

Jack,

I was satisfied when Moussaoui got life w/o parol instead of death. It was fitting that this evil little shit would just rot in jail and be forgotten. Saddam would not have gone quietly into that good night. He needed killing, to use the old west term.

Yep, I guess many people didn’t wanted Saddam to speak too openly loudly. This includes France, I should confess. I don’t know if *he* needed killing, but *we* needed killing him, for sure.

The schedule, however, was weakly choosed.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 2, 2007 4:29 AM
Comment #201180

I felt especially proud when I watched the execution online, via illegal camera-phone footage, Saddam being taunted by masked shiite hangmen while a crowd of shiites chanted Al-Sadr’s name. Have we instilled one hell of a democracy over there or what? There is a big difference between a system that serves the interests of justice, and one that serves the interests of the ruling party. This is not to say that Saddam could not be tried and executed legitimately. Only that what I saw looked a lot more like an angry lynch mob exacting revenge in furtherance of a blood feud than it did a legitimate act by a government seeking only to act in the interests of justice. I think the world community is inclined to agree with me assessment. The Iraqi government is already embarrassed, but ironically, the gov’t officials seem more upset that someone disseminated illegal footage than they are about the mockery of justice that actually ensued.

Jack-

We all know that you hate Saddam, but your comparisons of insurgents to the KKK, and other analogies are just designed to confuse rather than shed light. Your comments in this thread demonstrate the use of emotion over rational thought. I don’t care how much rightiousness you stake claim to, nor how you try to justify a bad act with previous bad acts. The reality is that this whole trial and execution were flubbed in a way that screams illegitimacy and corruption. If that alone doesn’t concern you, then maybe its best you keep the hell out of politics altogether. There is, in fact, a big difference between Saddam and Adolf. And there is also a huge difference between doing things for the right reasons in the right way, and doing things shamefully and haphazardly. All it took was one video to show exactly what even the most supposedly transparent and formalized Iraqi proceedings basically amounts to: a civil war with a governmental seal of approval.

Maybe your KKK analogy would have been more useful in this context rather than comparing them to insurgents…who do not have really anything whatsoever to do with this topic by the way.


Now couple this with constant stories like this one today in the Daily News:

“In western Baghdad, the U.S. military said it raided an Al Qaeda safehouse and killed six terrorists.

But a prominent Sunni politician whose office was in the building told CNN the raid killed two of his guards and a family of four that lived next door.

Salih al-Mutlaq, who was on TV Friday criticizing the Iraqi government’s rush to execute Saddam, said his political enemies gave the U.S. false information to “settle scores with me.”

He insisted he had no ties to terrorists, explaining, “Al Qaeda killed my brother.”
(full story at http://www.nydailynews.com//front/story/485063p-408298c.html)


What impression is the reasonable and objective observer left with? And no, Jack, only a moron would believe that these pieces can only add up to the conclusion that the US media is biased and treasonous. A truly objectiveand rational person sees these things for only what they really are, which may not be entirely clear (possibly even distorted), but certainly goes in the direction of grave concern. You seem to only see what you want to see: that Saddam is dead and that can only be good regardless of surrounding circumstance. Its just too bad life isn’t that simple…especially in that part of the world. And when we are spending hundreds of billions…well, you should get the idea.

I’d appreciate any response to actually address my points and be longer than one sentence. Otherwise, please don’t bother.

Posted by: Kevin23 at January 2, 2007 1:36 PM
Comment #201190

Kevin23,
The gift that keeps on giving… Sunnis broke into the Shia Golden Mosque in Samarra, carried around a mock coffin for Saddam, and chanted slogans. That is about as provocative as it gets.

People are being awfully quiet about that crowd of Sadrists at the funeral. As I said before, Al-Sadr would probably win elections if they were held today. It is hard to believe the situation can get much worse, but like I said, Iraq is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Posted by: phx8 at January 2, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #201557

Kevin
Do you know the history of the KKK? Not the KKK of the 1930s, but the original one? It was an insurgency where the former ruling class sought to undermine the rights of their former slaves using terror. That sounds a lot like the Iraqi insurgency to me.

I think we have to try to put things into context that those of us who know some history can relate.

Yes, I do hate Saddam to the extent that I can hate a person I do not personally know. I do not think there is any doubt that he is guilty of this crime and many others. The trial was conducted reasonably.

If you oppose the death penalty in all cases, you probably have a complaint. If not, you do not. But in any case, you have no business defending Saddam.

As for the Sunnis in Iraq, they should be ashamed of themselves if they favor this bad guy.

Posted by: Jack at January 4, 2007 10:40 PM
Comment #203101

Jack-

The fact that you believe my point to be a defense of Saddam shows me you could give two shits about paying attention when you read. And are you accusing me of not knowing my history? You ought to watch that snobby mouth of yours sometimes. I’ll take you to task any day of the week my friend. History is a passion of mine, and you are insulting me in a very personal way. Watch yourself!

Posted by: Kevin23 at January 13, 2007 8:21 PM
Comment #203103

And no, the ORIGINAL KKK was not a great analogy for the Iraqi insurgency. It is an entirely different animal to effectively perpetuate enslavement of a race of non-uniform and imported peoples than to begin a long term invasion/infiltration and occupation.

And the Saddam hanging was a mockery of justice. My saying so requires no pre-requisite position on the death penalty. You should know better.

Posted by: Kevin23 at January 13, 2007 8:32 PM
Comment #206712

So he was hanged, weird i was happy that he died he was so bad so we might win the war.

Posted by: Michael at February 5, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #381293

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