Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Fat Lady Sings -- Death of a Tyrant

Found via a comment left at Wampum, this is worth keeping.

Saddam is dead. They hanged him just a few hours ago. That he deserved to die is true - Saddam Hussein was a sadistic sociopath; but there are many who deserve execution in our world today. I don’t like that we had a hand in it. I don’t like that it was video-taped for the slavering masses – his executioners shown dancing around the body, firing guns into the air. What makes them any different from all the others celebrating torture and death on the streets of Baghdad? His death makes me feel dirty; and it shouldn’t. But then I felt dirty when the bullet riddled bodies of his sons were shown all over the TV. This is America – not ancient Rome. Americans don’t parade dead bodies down Main Street – or at least we didn’t used to. But then it seems there are a lot of things we do now that used to be considered abhorrent. Frankly – I’m surprised they only hanged Hussein without drawing and quartering him as well. But who knows? Maybe when its Ahmadinejad’s turn we’ll have him eaten by lions.

And yes, I have added her to my blogroll. This is a creature after my own heart.

President Bush doesn't seem to have any qualms about either the execution or its consequences, moral or otherwise. This from the NT Times...
Before the hanging was carried out in Baghdad, Mr. Bush went to sleep here at his ranch and was not roused when the news came. In a statement written in advance, the president said the execution would not end the violence in Iraq.

A YouTube video to the event didn't take long. I don't care to embed the link but you can see it at Zayed's blog, Healing Iraq.
The fear is evident on his face as he struggles to appear calm. He reportedly tried to resist when American soldiers handed him over to Iraqi guards, but then grew quiet and calm as he accepted a fate that was expected. The last moment appeal to a U.S. judge by Saddam's lawyers to stay the execution was rejected.

The Shi'ite executioners and witnesses were reported to have danced around Saddam's corpse after he was hanged while chanting Shi'ite religious slogans. The same situation was reported from the Green Zone by Al-Arabiya TV reporters who said members of the current Iraqi government were also celebrating. Iraqis took to the streets in Sadr City, Najaf and Basrah. Some carried portraits of Muqtada Al-Sadr and Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, the new strongmen of Iraq.

Protests took place in Tikrit, Baiji, Fallujah, Ramadi and Garma, but so far there have been no violent reactions. Instead of visiting relatives or going out to parks, people had to stay home out of fear. According to an Iraqi law expert interviewed on Al-Arabiya TV, It is against Iraqi law to schedule an execution on an official or religious holiday, but he conceded that this was obviously a political decision.

I hope the execution of the tyrant brings relief to the families of his victims.

Michael J. Kelly, a law professor at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, Nebraska, argues that the trials of Saddam Hussein should continue posthumously. He makes some very good points. Time permitting, read his whole post.
...although the great tyrant is dead, his trial should continue - even if posthumously, on the question of guilt for the Anfal campaigns. His co-defendants in that trial will remain co-defendants, but his counsel should remain at table. The law that will come out of it is important, and the quality of the trial, such as it is, will only be heightened if Saddam's more sophisticated counsel remain in the game instead of leaving it to the counsel of his co-defendants alone. Moreover, Iraq's Kurds deserve to have their
victimhood, and Saddam's role in it, as legally recognized as the Shi'ite population. To be sure, the full extent of Saddam's atrocities will not be as completely appreciated as if he physically stood trial for all his crimes. But at least by letting the Anfal trial move forward, the IHT would finish some of what it started.

H/T Grotian Moment blog.

The comments thread at that site makes for interesting reading. No need for me to elaborate here. Readers can find it themselves and come to their own conclusions. Unlike most threads, this one seems to come from several intelligent people who know what they are talking about.

From a Muslim commentator:...All moslems today felt insulted by the assassination of our President Saddam Hussein on this particular day. I wish you knew arabic to read some of the comments. The general idea is this : Eid Al Adha which is the Greatest Feast, because in Islam there are two main Eids, one is Lesser "Eid al Fetr" that is "break-fasting" which comes after Ramadan, the month of fasting, and this Eid which comes after a major event i.e. the Pilgrimage. In both Eids and especially the Greater, it is forbidden to kill, fight or spell blood "other than the lamb". It is a Feast of reconciliation and forgiveness. Imagine to kill Saddam Hussein who is a moslem and viewed by all arabs and moslems as a legitimate ruler, and by many as a hero, at such a day. We all "even by people who do not like Saddam" consider this planned with intention to insult the Arabs and Moslems.

From Paul Wolff...Today, all Muslims are thinking about the Feast of Sacrifice. Astonishingly, the first sacrificial lamb was none other than Saddam Hussein, the ousted President of Iraq. He was executed at about 6:00 this morning,...The Iraqi people have today sacrificed Saddam Hussein to God. Not unlike the symbol of Jesus, said to have given his own life and died for our sins. Yet like Saddam, Jesus had little choice in the matter. The timing of Saddam's death suggests more than martyrdom - it suggests he may someday be viewed as a prophet.Blasphemy? Of course it is, but don't blame it on me. I didn't pick the execution day, and only explain how this event may be viewed by many Muslims, today and in the future. Has this occured by accident? By an odd twist of fate?...

Also from the Muslim commentator... there is evidence from the pics which are displayed that his body was mulitated after death. Is this what American Justice is ? is this what you call "human rights" ? remember? he was a POW !! what is more they refuse to give his body to his family , perhaps to cover the violiation done to his dead body.Mr. Curtis ,as his lawyer,what are you going to do about these abuses of his rights living and dead? why do not you go to the UN and speak to the members, perhaps you can shame them, or speak to the Red Cross. Do not just talk to us here, we are helpless.

It's still not too late for decisions making an international public relations disaster even worse.

Update, Sunday morning:

Zayed's blog now has another link to a cellphone video making the rounds, which shows the "drop." Someone left the link in my comments section and I removed it. A soundtrack records what was being said at the time and Zayed furnishes the following translation and remarks:

Saddam (as the noose is put around his neck): Ya Allah (Oh God).

Someone in the audience: Mercy be on those who pray for Mohammed and the household of Muhammed (Everyone repeats the prayer, including Saddam) -

Executioner and two people in the audience: And hasten his return (the Mahdi), curse his enemy and grant victory to his son, Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada! (This is a common Sadrist chant.)

Saddam (smirking): Muqtada?

NSA Muwafaq Al-Rubai'i: To Hell!

Saddam: (laughing)

Prosecutor Munqidh Al-Far'awn: Please, no.

Muwafaq Al-Rubi'i: Longlive Mohammed Baqir Al-Sadr!

Someone in the audience: To Hell!

Saddam (solemnly recites the Shahada prayer): I witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Mohammed is the messenger of Allah. I witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Mohammed is the- (trap door is opened).

Audience: Prayers for Mohammed and the household of Muhammed.

Someone: The tyrant has fell. May Allah's curse be upon him.

Someone: No. No. Stay back.

Someone: Leave him for 8 minutes. Don't take him down.

Someone: Everyone. Stay back.

There was no denouncing American and Persians after his last prayers, as this New York Times story says, but perhaps that was before he was led to the gallows. It utterly disgusts me that Sadr's supporters have infiltrated every level of the state, and that the witnesses, including Iraqi government officials, have made this look like a sectarian issue. They were doomed to repeat Iraqi history by hanging their former oppressor and labeling it as justice. In a perfect situation, Saddam's execution would have united Iraqis, but thanks to the actions of the new Iraqi rulers, it will only serve to divide further. I doubt any of them will prevail as much as Saddam did, though.


The Fat Lady Sings said...

How absolutely and utterly appalling. I can hardly believe that the United States of America has its hands buried in something so antithetical to its own Constitution. My god! What have we become? Is this America or the USSSR?

Anonymous said...

im writting a sophmore research paper on the tyranny of Saddam. It is so facsinating. my psycological analysis(which is not professional) is that saddam leared meathods of tyranny as a child and growing up under the circumstances he was put through.Justice can be sought in other ways than death. we are killing someone for killing. This simple fact makes the american people no better than him. murder is murder!!!!

Hoots said...

My own objections to capital punishment have cluttered up this blog ever since I began publishing.
and lots more.