12/30/06 05:00 AM: Saddam Hussein is Dead
Saddam Hussein (right) shaking hands with former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
In case you haven’t read enough commentary about Saddam Hussein, here’s some more.
Around 10 PM EST (6 AM local time in Baghdad), the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was hanged. Much like the “mission accomplished” speech of 2003, it is likely that this event will have little to no effect on the current civil war going on in Iraq. President Bush can pat himself on the back for turning yet another corner, and we can tout how the Iraqis are well on the way to a democracy. Or something.
It is up for debate whether or not Saddam had a fair trial, and I suppose the larger question would be if such a thing was even possible. Of course he was going to be executed, if not by a U.S. missile than by hanging or firing squad or something else. And of course some will cheer this event, and others will curse the U.S. for disgracing Iraq even more.
I don’t cheer the death of Saddam, and perhaps in some way it was good for the Iraqis to have this day. Personally I am not a big fan of using death as punishment, and I am a bit skeptical that a new mythical outpost of freedom can be borne out of an execution. Just seems like the wrong foot to start on.
The prospects for anything except more violence in Iraq are dim, and this just seems to me yet another death. Did he deserve it? Probably. More so than those who covertly supported him at the same time he was committing such atrocities? Who knows. If we are lucky, maybe the United States won’t be responsible for as many deaths in Iraq as Saddam was. But, of course, we aren’t even keeping track of such things.
One dictator down. Lots more to go. When did this become our job? As much as I wish everyone would live in peace and we could have global prosperity, how much of a price should we pay for more failed attempts at that goal—a goal which is more than likely unattainable. There’s a lot of work to do here at home. I, for one, would like to see us get started on that. The rest of the world (dictators and all) will be still be there. Those who hate us will still hate us, but maybe those who used to respect us will come around again. We may need their help again, you know.