Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saddam Hussein has gone wherever dead psychopathic dictators go, but his baleful influence lives on.

During his execution last Saturday, a spectator using a smuggled cell phone took a clandestine video of the execution which revealed a hideous miscarriage of justice. Mr Hussein was taunted by the spectators, who turned the execution into a gruesome spectacle. In the end, what should have been a grave and solemn affair symbolizing the end of the dictator's life, punishment for his crimes, and the primacy of law in the new Iraq turned instead to an ugly demonstration of partisan vengeance that can only serve to rally support for Hussein's legacy and prolong the violence and misery that torture what's left of Iraq. And, naturally, the video almost immediately turned up on Al Jazeera and the Internet, ensuring that its influence would be felt across the Middle East in endless rotation.

While Mr Hussein certainly deserved his punishment (see my blog entry of December 28th for more thoughts on that), his shabby treatment in his final moments was inexcusable and bodes ill for the future of Iraq. What could have been an example of the rule of law was instead a further example of the insanely violent passions that were unleashed by the US invasion of Iraq. Instead of providing closure to an ugly era, the botched execution of Mr Hussein has only thrown more fuel on the fire of sectarian violence that has turned Iraq into a sewer of mindless religious and tribal hatreds.

And we're stuck in the middle, with no good way out.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's my take on the bottom line for Saddam's execution:

It was done for the same reason ancient (and some relatively recent, such as Elizabeth I) monarchs executed their rivals:

It eliminates the possibility of their accession to power. This was always done in the case of deposed monarchs, and it usually took the steam out of restorationist movements.

Nobody in their right mind is fighting to restore Saddam to the Throne of Thugs.

In time, his movement will fade.


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