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December 29, 2006

Saddam Update

Shakes again.  Al Hurra is reporting that Saddam has been executed.

UPDATE: Posting at The Washington Monthly, Steve Benen points to Josh Marshall's analysis, which Steve calls "the most accurate and poignant I've seen," and I totally agree:

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.

...This is what we're reduced to, what the president has reduced us to. This is the best we can do. Hang Saddam Hussein because there's nothing else this president can get right.

And I'm not even sure that this is "getting it right." Leaving aside any debate about the ethics of capital punishment for a moment, I'm not remotely convinced that turning Hussein into a martyr to satiate our need for vengeance is the wisest strategic decision in the long run. In my estimation, there was every reason to lock him up and throw away the key, and, beyond that, little about which to be certain. And death is well fucking certain.

December 29, 2006 | Permalink


That old saying that death comes in 3s has certainly held true this December with James Brown, Gerald Ford, and now Saddam Hussein. So James Brown is to be buried in a 24 karat gold coffin, Gerald Ford, as a former President, will lie in state before being buried in his home state of Michigan, and the Iraqis don't know what the devil to do with Saddam's body. They do indeed have a problem.

Posted by: Observer | Dec 29, 2006 11:45:10 PM

My concern is differernt. What bothers me here is that this was a kangaroo court when we said we were trying to build a democracy in Iraq. I know the locals didn't believe us, but this kind of thing should have been handled by the world court at the hague so that diplomatically we could have gotten other countries involved. Instead, we are once again going it a lone. It just seems stupid to me since he could have been indicted for war crimes.

Posted by: akaison | Dec 29, 2006 11:47:31 PM

Yawn. So Bush finally got the guy who tried to kill his daddy. Big deal. I wonder what the Mighty Righties are going to start beating their breasts about now.

All this was at the cost of almost 3K American lives and tens of thousands of injured Americans--to date, of course. And not to be forgotten--although more than a few Americans would prefer to do--at the cost of hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis, of course.

One would have thought that, to give Saddam's execution the maximal impact on the American psyche, the Bushies would have had him executed either before Christmas or after New Years, not between Christmas and New Years when few Americans are paying attention to much of anything. It appears that the Bushies have lost all appreciation for the wonders of public relations.

Posted by: raj | Dec 29, 2006 11:54:45 PM

Anyone who wants the Hague to try a case will consider Milosevic, who mercifully died before he put that bench full of doddering geezers into their own respective coffins. The Hague is the biggest joke in the so-called International System, with the UN breathing down its neck.

Posted by: daveinboca | Dec 30, 2006 12:40:01 AM

Anyone who wants the Hague to try a case will consider Milosevic, who mercifully died ... The Hague is the biggest joke in the so-called International System

Tell me about it. What kind of joke of a legal system drags on for so long that the defendant dies during the legal process?

Posted by: Constantine | Dec 30, 2006 1:11:17 AM

Ouch. Constantine FTW.

Posted by: August J. Pollak | Dec 30, 2006 8:44:51 AM

Yeah, what has the UN ever done for anyone, anyway?

Posted by: DivGuy | Dec 30, 2006 9:31:03 AM

Saddam was executed for retaliating against the Kurds after a failed assasination attempt in 1982. So, if I got the logic right, we killed Saddam for killing people because they tried to kill him. And we made our point how? (Oh, I know it wasn't officially "us", it was the Iraqi government, but puhleeze, does anyone around the world really believe that?)

Great. Just what Islamic extremists need - another martyr.

Posted by: Rareflight | Dec 30, 2006 2:42:54 PM

and a relatively secular sunni martyr, at that.

Posted by: Nads | Dec 30, 2006 2:46:26 PM

I may be wrong, but if SH had been tried at The Hague, there would not have been a death penalty, no?

I'm betting Bush found Saddam's hanging to be surprisingly unfulfilling. I hear Peggy Lee in the background at Crawford, singing "Is That All There Is?"

Killed someone else for Christ, eh?

And I, too, found it ironic that he was hanged for retaliating against an assassination plot. He might have over-reacted, but I think it would have been better to wait for the verdict in the gassing the Kurds case.

Finally, Saddam got one last zinger in, about the Persians taking over Iraq from the Arabs. So our worst enemy (that would be Iran at the moment) wins again because of what we have done. Law of unintended consequences and all that.

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