Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam hanged

Saddam Hussein was hanged last night. Why am I not cheering? A thuggish strongman who caused so much misery but who could have done so much good. I wonder if his killing will improve things in Iraq. Somehow I doubt that the justice of the victors will prove much - I hope it does.

Update: This NYT article carries both possible responses to whether or not the death will improve things - Sunni who see vengence as the response and Shia who see a diffusing of the power of the Sunni militia.


civitas said...

This is a victory for the Iraqi people. A long overdue one. Most dictators the world over get away with their crimes. Saddam didn't.

Anonymous said...

the video of the killing of Saddam

Great stuff!! Enjoy!!

hc said...

OK anonymous thanks. I did watch it. But it is ghastly - should be viewed by all supporters of capital punishment.

Anonymous said...

Iraq under Saddam undoubtedly qualifies as a leading criminal state. In February 1998, Secretary of State Albright had repeatedly invoked that Saddam was guilty of the ultimate atrocity, “using weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors aswell as his own people”. In an angry response to a question about US support for Suharto, Indonesia`s former dictator, Albright asserted “It is very important for us to make clear that the United States and the civilized world cannot deal with somebody who is willing to use those weapons of mass destruction on his own people not to speak of his neighbors”

Some very nice words but Albright failed to mention, and commentators have been kind enough not to point out, that the acts we now find so horrifying did not turn Iraq into a rogue state. Commentators have also failed to note until very recently that Reagan and Bush I had forged unusually warm relations with the mass murderer. There were no passionate calls for a military strike after Saddam gassed the Kurds at Halabja in March 1988, quite the contrary, the US and UK extended their support for the murderer.

The doctrinal system has it that Saddam`s crimes were essentially unknown, so we are now properly shocked at the discovery and must make clear that we cannot deal with the perpetrator of such crimes against humanity. However this postulate is fraudulent. UN reports in 1986 and 1987 condemned Saddam`s use of chemical weapons. US embassy staffers in Turkey interviewed Kurdish survivors of chemical attacks and the CIA had also reported them. Human rights groups also reported these atrocities.

Washington`s support for Saddam reached an extremely when they were prepared to overlook the Iraqi airforce attack on the USS Stark which killed 37 crewmen, a privilege otherwise only enjoyed by Israel when the USS Liberty was attacked. It was Washington`s decisive support for Saddam, well after the crimes that now shock the administration, that led to Iranian capitulation to Baghdad and Washington.

Saddam was also called upon to perform his duties as a client state which included the training of several hundred Libyans sent to Iraq by the US so they could overthrow the Qaddafi regime.

It was not Saddam`s massive crimes that led him to the gallows, but his disobedience. His major crimes were committed while he enjoyed warm relations with the US.

hc said...

cak, I agree that the US hypocrisy is obvious. And the attempt to turn the execution into a mass media csignal that a major victory has been achieved in Iraq is foolish - it won't work.

Saddam was a murderous thug but I am interested to see whether his execution will have positive effects. I doubt it - already he is being described as a martyr by some.

Anonymous said...

That video is funny