Saddam Hussein has been executed.

Saddam Hussein is Dead

Are we any better in his death?

44 Comments

  1. Short answer NO – long answer NO.
    We have missed a chnace to put an end to the killing, the war, the breeding of religious martyrs.
    To execute him today – Eid ul-Adha – during which Muslims commemmorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for Allah and as others of the Muslim faith celebrate Eid ul-Adha as it marks the end of the Pilgrimage or Hajj for the millions of Muslims who make the trip to Mecca each year – is crass, indelicate and totally abhorrent.
    Today is a day when I would prefer not to be a member of the human race.

  2. Saddam’s death acts as specific deterrence.
    I don’t feel sad for Saddam. He had a fair trial and appeal. He probably fared better than did some of his subjects when he was torturing and raping people.
    At least Saddam didn’t suffer the fate of Nicolae Ceausescu. That dictator enraged people so much they formed a firing squad and shot until the wall fell over.

  3. Saddam’s death acts as specific deterrence.
    I don’t feel sad for Saddam. He had a fair trial and appeal. He probably fared better than did some of his subjects when he was torturing and raping people.
    At least Saddam didn’t suffer the fate of Nicolae Ceausescu. That dictator enraged people so much they formed a firing squad and shot until the wall fell over.

  4. Nicola!
    I agree with you. The killing of Saddam was a US-sponsored assassination and it was a monkey show from the start. We wanted him dead and we pressed the Iraqi “justice system” to bend to our will.
    If the tribunal trying Saddam had been international, I would feel differently — but then again — the US could never allow an international tribunal because a death sentence isn’t an option for a finding of guilt. We wanted him dead out of revenge for the first Iraq war and we’re just as guilty as he is in the greater scheme of the world.
    We created sympathy for Saddam in many was — and that’s hard to pull off for a killer and a murderer — but there you go. “Mission Accomplished.” Saddam will be a martyr in 20 years.

  5. Nicola!
    I agree with you. The killing of Saddam was a US-sponsored assassination and it was a monkey show from the start. We wanted him dead and we pressed the Iraqi “justice system” to bend to our will.
    If the tribunal trying Saddam had been international, I would feel differently — but then again — the US could never allow an international tribunal because a death sentence isn’t an option for a finding of guilt. We wanted him dead out of revenge for the first Iraq war and we’re just as guilty as he is in the greater scheme of the world.
    We created sympathy for Saddam in many was — and that’s hard to pull off for a killer and a murderer — but there you go. “Mission Accomplished.” Saddam will be a martyr in 20 years.

  6. Chris —
    In what way is Saddam’s death a deterrence? Do you think Iran will back down in fear of the same end result? Will Syria?
    Saddam used to be our ally. He fought Iran for us. We supplied him with arms and lots of money. We could’ve turned him back into our favor with the same pressure we used to kill him.
    With Saddam in power and on our side, the Middle East was not as eruptive or damaged as it is today under our direct hand.

  7. Chris —
    In what way is Saddam’s death a deterrence? Do you think Iran will back down in fear of the same end result? Will Syria?
    Saddam used to be our ally. He fought Iran for us. We supplied him with arms and lots of money. We could’ve turned him back into our favor with the same pressure we used to kill him.
    With Saddam in power and on our side, the Middle East was not as eruptive or damaged as it is today under our direct hand.

  8. Yes, it is sick, Joe. I have to say, though, that it is necessary and they should’ve shown it all on live television.
    Television host Phil Donohue was against the death penalty so much he felt every execution should be televised so people can really see the heartache and devastation killing someone has on all of us in a state-sponsored execution.

  9. Yes, it is sick, Joe. I have to say, though, that it is necessary and they should’ve shown it all on live television.
    Television host Phil Donohue was against the death penalty so much he felt every execution should be televised so people can really see the heartache and devastation killing someone has on all of us in a state-sponsored execution.

  10. We backed Sadam until he invaded Quait. We supplied to poison gas he used against the Kurds and did nothing at the time. Henry Kissinger was responsible for more deaths than Sadam. Read The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Cristopher Hitchens. Like all bullies we killed Sadam because he was weak, from a weak country that has been defeated 25 times in the past. If anything we are showing that we will leave more powerful tyrants alone. Weird how so many people root for the home team, home country and fail to see they are prejudiced, dualistic, simplistic and bloodthirsty at heart. As stated in the above mentioned book “The ancient philosopher Anacharsis, maintained “Laws are like cobwebs; strong enough to detain only the weak, and too weak to hold the strong.”

  11. Well said, fred! I will check out the Hitchens book. He is a great writer.
    We should have been strong enough to realize Saddam’s great value to us in the long run. If he’s weak, we can prop him up instead of leading him to ruin!

  12. David- We should have been strong enough to not reduce the Native American population from ten million to 300,000 for openers. i saw a bumper sticker the other day, which offered a nice twist to the familiar anti anti- war movement of the ’60’s that said “America- Love it or give it back.” Pretty far out also that Hitler was the man of the year on the cover of “Time” magazine in 1938. One doesn’t have to be too brilliant to see what’s going on, but no one is able to do anything much about it. i guess some started, but they didn’t last long.

  13. Hi David,
    Saddam has been specifically deterred by the Iraqi legal system from committing future bad acts.
    A definition of specific deterrence:

    Specific deterrence focuses on punishing known deviants in order to prevent them from ever again violating the specific norms they have broken.

    I’d rather not have a death penalty, because I try to be consistent in my beliefs regarding the sanctity of life. Actually, I wouldn’t mind if we outlawed the death penalty to set an example for a more peaceful society.
    But, even though I know the death penalty is wrong, I can’t feel too much sympathy for Saddam and I can understand the desire for the Iraqi people to seek revenge upon him for all of his bad actions against them.
    Saddam’s execution wasn’t orchestrated by our government.
    It was something that was destined to happen as soon as Saddam lost control of his government and had to contend with all of the people he had turned into silent enemies over the course of his brutal dictatorship. Even if he had been tried at the Hague and had been sentenced to a house detention in some villa in a remote location, I’m sure some Kurd or someone else who had suffered under Saddam would have found him.
    Even if he had been treated to all of the procedural safeguards international law could provide with trials and appeals in the Netherlands, I’m sure he would have fared the same as Slobodan Milošević who died before his war crimes trial could be completed.
    Saddam set the course for his destruction by his own destructive actions.
    It’s too bad he couldn’t have been sentenced to ADX Florence for the rest of his life. That would have been a worse fate than dying a quick death.
    Maybe the Iraqi people let Saddam off too easily.

  14. Chris- Don’t you see the contradiction that we embrace and are at one with leaders such as Noriega, Bin Laden, Sadam, Hitler- milk them dry and then say we are separate from them, and they should die or be imprisoned, and put ourselves on a lofty plane all of a sudden as if their rise had nothing to do with us?.

  15. Chris- Don’t you see the contradiction that we embrace and are at one with leaders such as Noriega, Bin Laden, Sadam, Hitler- milk them dry and then say we are separate from them, and they should die or be imprisoned, and put ourselves on a lofty plane all of a sudden as if their rise had nothing to do with us?.

  16. If we had wanted Saddam to live, we would have had to put him into ADX Florence to keep him safe from all of his enemies.
    Many people in Iraq’s Shiite majority were eager to see the execution of a man whose Sunni Arab-dominated regime oppressed them and Kurds.
    Before the hanging, a mosque preacher in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Friday called Saddam’s execution “God’s gift to Iraqis.”
    “Oh, God, you know what Saddam has done! He killed millions of Iraqis in prisons, in wars with neighboring countries and he is responsible for mass graves. Oh God, we ask you to take revenge on Saddam,” said Sheik Sadralddin al-Qubanji, a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
    Emphasis added.

  17. If we had wanted Saddam to live, we would have had to put him into ADX Florence to keep him safe from all of his enemies.
    Many people in Iraq’s Shiite majority were eager to see the execution of a man whose Sunni Arab-dominated regime oppressed them and Kurds.
    Before the hanging, a mosque preacher in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Friday called Saddam’s execution “God’s gift to Iraqis.”
    “Oh, God, you know what Saddam has done! He killed millions of Iraqis in prisons, in wars with neighboring countries and he is responsible for mass graves. Oh God, we ask you to take revenge on Saddam,” said Sheik Sadralddin al-Qubanji, a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
    Emphasis added.

  18. Hi Pareidoliac,
    If I was in charge of the government, I’d try to figure out ways to conduct foreign policy without propping up dictators and other bad actors.
    But, the fact that we supported Saddam because we didn’t like Iran doesn’t excuse Saddam from the crimes he committed against his people.
    I say we switch from dependence on foreign oil so that we don’t have to become entangled in all of the foolishness that people get involved in when they are in the Middle East.

  19. Hi Pareidoliac,
    If I was in charge of the government, I’d try to figure out ways to conduct foreign policy without propping up dictators and other bad actors.
    But, the fact that we supported Saddam because we didn’t like Iran doesn’t excuse Saddam from the crimes he committed against his people.
    I say we switch from dependence on foreign oil so that we don’t have to become entangled in all of the foolishness that people get involved in when they are in the Middle East.

  20. Minor correction. My blockquote didn’t work. It should have started at the third paragraph and ended at the end of the forth paragraph in my 5:19 p.m. comment.
    Even if I don’t believe in governments hanging people, I guess I’m jaded enough to not be shocked by it.
    Saddam was fated to be shot or killed by someone sooner or later.
    Israel had plans to assassinate Saddam in 1992, according to the CBC.
    President Clinton organized a group of Iraqis to conduct a coup to oust Saddam, according to PBS. Clinton also fired 23 cruise missiles at Saddam in April 1993.
    And, Saddam’s own people tried to kill him:

    But already, the war was turning against Iraq and Saddam Hussein needed to drum up support.
    So, on 8 July he decided to pay a visit: a visit that was filmed by one of his official cameramen.
    In the footage – which has only recently emerged – the Iraqi president is seen visiting a family home, meeting people in the streets and addressing a cheering crowd outside the local Baath party headquarters, where he thanks the sons of Dujail for their courage in the war.
    The visit appears to be carefully choreographed but then suddenly it all goes wrong.
    Gunshots heard
    As the presidential convoy heads out of town, there is an ambush. A small group of men, hiding in the palm groves, opens fire.

    Because someone in Dujail, Iraq tried to assassinate Saddam, Saddam instead assassinated the town’s citizens.
    Saddam’s time was extremely limited, even if we had given him a pardon and a medal for helping “Big Oil” and let him loose to wander the streets of New York.
    There were too many people gunning for Saddam for him to survive any length of time.
    That was Saddam’s fate.
    I don’t think anything anyone could have done would have changed that. Saddam probably would have been killed sooner or later even if we had ignored Iraq.
    Saddam’s actions while he was rising to power — even before he developed ties with the U.S. — were enough to produce many enemies.
    From Wikipedia’s Saddam Hussein entry:

    Hussein was put into control of the internal security apparatus, and within a decade, he had created a police state within Iraq that was so oppressive that it has often received criticism from moderate Arab states. Between 1968 and 1973, through a series of sham trials, executions, assassinations, and intimidations, the party ruthlessly eliminated or subordinated any group or person suspected of challenging Ba’ath rule.

    Saddam got off too easy.
    It probably would have been more of a punishment to keep Saddam alive.
    But, even then, I can’t feel bad for Saddam. I also wouldn’t have felt bad if Pol Pot had been hanged. Or, if Hitler had been hanged. Or, Idi Amin. Or, Rwanda’s leaders.
    No matter what the U.S. might or might not have done, Saddam was responsible for his actions. And, he ended up suffering the consequences.
    In some ways, Saddam is lucky because he could have ended up being stoned to death. See Wikipedia’s article on “Stoning.”
    Saddam’s fingerprints were all over his demise and once he had crossed so many different people throughout the course of his life, it was just a matter of time before someone — be it an Iraqi citizen, Israel team, cruise missile fired by President Clinton, war started by President Bush, or Kurdish uprising — took Saddam’s life.

  21. I’m thinking we should bail out of Iraq now, since Saddam has met his justice.
    If Iran gets a nuke, they can hold off the Sunnis sponsored by Saudi Arabia and take over Iraq. An Iran-Saudi Arabian proxy war could keep the Middle East busy fighting with each other. The 1980s were fairly peaceful when the Middle East was occupied with the Iran-Iraq war.
    We could be good and not supply weapons to anyone who might turn out to be evil in the future. The Germans, Russians, Chinese and other arms dealers could supply anything that is needed
    We’d have some short term pain as we lost some oil shipments, but maybe by that time, we’d switch over to alternative fuels.
    Maybe declaring victory now and pulling out is the best bet.

  22. Hi Chris!
    Oh, I agree Saddam was a bad guy and deserved death. I just wish he earned his death by a natural insurrection by his own people and not a death created by the US invasion of Iraq. Without our direct interference in the process, Saddam would still be alive today. I think history should be made, not forced.
    Everyone seems to think no matter how long we stay in the Middle East a big, bloody civil war is in store. The “Big Thinkers” claim that’s what’s needed there — a “cleansing” civil war to repatriate ideas and the religion into a manageable situation and that correction will never happen as long as we’re there on the ground.
    Do you get the Military Channel where you live? Yesterday there were documentary stories all day on concerning “Life on the Ground In Iraq” as told by the US soldiers who did the door-to-door fighting in Fallujah. They were incredible brave and incredibly unprotected by us. It is a garish and unwinnable nightmare.

  23. David- Do you also believe that Henry Kissinger derserves death? Check out Hitchens book and the at least one million people Kissinger is said to be responsible for killing, in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus, East Timor. This is killing of civilians. How come Dr.(Of Diplomacy!!!???) Kissinger skates? Is it merely because the herd is after weaker animals?

  24. fred —
    Perhaps Kissinger will be tried in Germany for war crimes along with Rumsfeld?
    Kissinger skates because there is the popular notion he’s an “intellectual” and we all know they’re full of theories and not actions. Their hands remain clean while their henchmen do the dirty work and serve the time.

  25. Hi Chris —
    I finally ventured “into the 100s” yesterday on Comcast to see what else was out there. I think we have 600 video channels and 335 music channels on our digital cable setup.
    I discovered several new faves…
    The Military Channel
    History Channel International
    Biography Channel
    Discovery Home
    Discovery/NY Times
    BBC America

  26. Hi David,
    I know we can get all of those channels for an additional fee. I don’t think it’s too much, but we get a premium channel and The Filipino Channel. As a bonus, we’re able to scope out MTV Chi a/k/a the Chinese version of MTV.
    The best was when we had TFC through TFC itself. They gave us a box that picked up all sorts of international programming from the Middle East and Asia.
    I remember flipping through once and seeing a Middle Eastern version of cops. The police all lined up outside of a house, charged in with night sticks, and started beating all of the perps. Pretty scary stuff, but I guess whatever government was allowing it to be filmed was trying to make a point about crime not paying.
    The best part about the international programming was the local commercials inserted by US advertisers. There were always car dealers from California acting crazy, but in an internationally appropriate way. 🙂

  27. David- It would be interesting to see Kisinger and Rumsfeld tried in Germany along with a few others that come to mind.
    Glad to hear you’re one of the few who dosn’t necessarily “look up” to intellectuals. Kissinger is limited to his “intellectual status”, because he doesn’t have the social, philosophical, and sacred or freedom consciousness that transcend the mechanical level of the intellect. One could certainly not say that he is not a man of action, and just full of theories. If he is to be tried it will be because of these actions, not the theories alone, but because he put them in place and caused many civilian deaths and targeted some specific individuals (General Schneider, Archbishop Makarios, Sheik Mujib and many others according to Hitchens). It’s not his henchmen doing the dirty work that makes him an intellectual. i wouldn’t call Hitler an intellectual, and see Kissinger in the same light. He has skated so far because of the massive funding (as was Hitler), that condones his actions and he is the henchmen in this case. To put him, and the people and people who fund him on trial would ammount to revolution. This would be novel to say the least. If tried, he will be merely another scapegoat, and it will be business as usual with another hunk of milked meat thown to the lions as was Saddam, as are we all, until a new system replaces our current one which is based on inferior social, philosopical and un-free, intellectual ideas and actions.

  28. I appreciate your fine analysis, fred. It is certainly heartbreaking to see this kind of rampant hatred carried out in the name of public policy.
    Kissinger is untouched because he floats above it all with an arrogance that answers to no one and if no one asks him to be responsible for his deep-pocketed policy in Iraq as a “consultant” to the Neocons in power then it may come down to the ordinary among us to ask the hard questions to get the right answers we deserve.

  29. killing saddam is one way of ensuring that he lives forever in a few minds…the US hasent killed saddam they have ensured that he will endure ….his own actions of being unaffected and brave will help his cause…
    and showing footage of iraqis celebrating will ensure that battle lines get drawn within iraq among civilians …who gave the right to the US to settle scores …and lets not get carried away by the free and fair trial saddam got because he didnt
    i feel no remorse for saddam but the idiotic way this has been handled makes me feel sad for a whole generation of iraqis who will lose their lives in civil war and for countless innocent poeple who will lose their lives through acts of terrorism…
    …one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter