Saddam Hanged

Good riddance.

44 Comments on “Saddam Hanged”

  1. They say deaths come in threes, and this has been the weirdest one in a long time: James Brown, Jerry Ford, and Saddam Hussein. Since Saddam was sent rather than taken, does he count?

    And when will we finally be rid of Axl Rose?

  2. Gabriel, one chapter closed another one starts. This blood soaked book is not done.
    It took an injustice to deliver a false justice. A lot of people who did no wrong were killed so one man could be hanged.

  3. Saddam’s execution may help some people in Iraq feel like justice has been done, so they can start rebuilding.

    I dunno. Never met anyone who said that someone dying, even someone they hated, made their life better. And I’ve met plenty of people who had that type of hatred. Mostly it seems like the person is left with the hatred, an empty feeling inside, and a corpse. Forgiveness takes a lot more than the taking of a life. Then again, my family wasn’t exterminated by Saddam, so, I can’t really judge.

    Still think they should have locked him up and forced him to work 16 hours a day doing something that would benefit society.

  4. Dan unless you had stock options in certain companies I would say no, it wasn’t worth it.
    I feel no remorse or grief the man but I do for everything else that perished along side.

  5. Whatever else it may accomplish, this puts a definite end to the hope of his supporters that they can restore him to power, and it ends the fear of many others that he will come after them and kill them.


    I apologize (sort of) for my gross exaggeration of Liberals. Honestly though, the world is rid of an evil, evil man. I think this sets some sort of standard. Evil dictators generally just get exiled. He’s dead. I think it’s a victory for Democracy.

  7. Will they bother with all his other trials for war crimes and crimes against humanity? Now he’ll never answer for those. That’s why I think they shouldn’t’ve hanged him yet.

    And he wrote the most lovely romances….

  8. J: for what it’s worth, this card-carrying socialist thinks, basically, “good.”

    In a few days, I’m sure I’ll probably start to care about the sham trial, and the careful ordering of charges to avoid embarrassing certain ex-Reaganite apparatchiks, but for now… I’ve got friends who’s families had to flee that fucker in the 60s, and it’s never a bad thing to see a dictator meet the hangman. Let it be a reminder to all of the others: yeah, Pinochet died in bed, but sometimes justice catches up faster and harder.

  9. Sorry, but this can’t be good.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do no like the guy. Saddam Hussein was a very, very, very, bad man.

    His trial was b.s., the whole was was over b.s. and now I promise you, this execution is going to result in a bunch of bad stuff. More insurgency, violence and crap from Bush.

    Perhaps keeping him alive in jail would have been better. I personally don’t think the death penalty works – are personally going to be happier with him dead? Does it repay all the injustice? I agree with Todd Stull that keeping him locked up and forced to look at pictures of his victims all day would be fine punishment for his crimes.

  10. I go back and forth – and wander around in little circles – on the death penalty. Good/bad? I don’t know.

    But I do know that I think that whether or not there is a war in Iraq and whether or not it was mismanaged and whether or not there was justification for invasion and occupation, there are a few people that just need killin’, and Saddam Hussein was one of them. The world is a slightly better place without that guy in it.

  11. Very much doubt that the execution is going to result in a significant increase in violence in Iraq for the simple reason that it is already at a high tempo and they don’t need ANOTHER excuse for violence. The insurgency (Sunni and Shia) had already moved past Saddam along time ago and nowadays it is primarily sectarian in nature. We get targeted because we are in the way. Simple as that. Doubtless someone or some group will claim that whatever bomb or killing they execute in the next couple of days will be for the ‘Martyr Saddam’ but the reality is that they were going to execute the action anyway and attaching Saddam’s name to it would be for propaganda, and I honestly don’t think we are going to see too much of that.

  12. Speaking as a moderate liberal, I’m not glad he’s dead, but I think he needed to be killed for his crimes. I don’t LIKE the death penalty…but some folks need killin’.

    Bill Clinton once described abortion as something that should be “safe, legal and RARE.” To a similar degree, I feel capital punishment should follow a similar doctrine. We should be very reserved in our use of such a policy…but we should have it.

    Killing Saddam won’t really have that much of an effect on any insurgency. Saddam was almost entirely secular through most of his dictatorship, only occasionally invoking Islam when necessary to make for a sound-bite….the Ba’ath party was a Secular pan-arab one, after all. The Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 was, in large part, about Iran trying to overthrow Iraq’s secular government (and take control of a very resource-rich region that’s been the subject of conflicts since it was Persia versus Sumeria).

  13. This may well cause further problems with the insurgency, for the simple reason that the Iraqi government chose to do it today – Eid for the Sunni Muslims – when their own laws say they can’t carry out executions on public holidays. The Sunnis are therefore going to see this as “Only Shia Muslims count”.

    Otherwise, as usual with the death penalty, it achieves nothing, and is wrong in itself. And that’s without even going into the sham of a trial.

  14. You know, I’m struck by a few things. One, that the video of the hanging is so readily available on Given how touchy we’ve been about foreign networks showing the bodies of dead Americans.

    Two, the trial was a farce. Agreed, Saddam was definitely guilty of all sorts of crimes against humanity, but the trial was still a farce.

    Three, there are all kinds of possible implications (negative) for US forces in the region due to this execution that would not have been in play if he’d just been sentenced to life in prison.

    Heather–Perhaps a little less exuberance is in order. Unless you’d’ve been able to flip the switch, inject the poison, pull the lever, or whatever.



  15. Respectfully, Jeff, I would have to disagree on the matter of reprucussions. The standing of the United States is so low in the region that this hardly makes any difference. We are respected for our strength and for our economic heft in the region and thus considered in all matters of statesmanship, but we are so wildly unpopular amongst the masses that I quite frankly don’t believe that this will make us MORE unpopular. Additionally, Saddam showed himself to be very manipulative during the trial and as long as he was alive, he had the ability to make a mockery of any proceeding hence adding to the lack of credibility of the current government. He has limited utility as a Martyr so thus in a coldy disappasionate assessment, his death actually is beneficial to moving on the Iraqi state.

    Some additional thoughts.

    A) The trial was a farce by western standards but by middle eastern standards, it was very unprecedented. When was the last time ANY leader of a Middle Eastern nation was called to account for his actions by a court? Assad, Sadat, Gemayal, Khomenei, Qaddhafi, etc, there has been a virtual rogues’s list of individuals that have done some pretty messed up things but have never stood in court. Agreed, from a jurisprudence standpoint, it was a farcial. But from a historical standpoint, it was a first.

    Additionally, Thomas Friedmen remarked a recent editorial that democracy in the middle east is a very different concept than in the West, where it is in part about the protection of minority rights. In the middle east, it is about justice. Justice is one of the most important political concepts to Arabs and in this case, it is justice secured for the majority (Shi’a). My point is that this could not have ended in any other way and still be an Iraqi solution, which it had to be or else it would have been a statement of no confidence in the Iraqi government which in essence would have been a concession that we have lost. This outcome was entirely consistent with the cultural paradigm in the region which coupled with the trial (definitely NOT part of the political paradigm) amounts to a positive outcome.

    B) I do absolutely agree with you on the exhuberance comment. He is gone. Good Riddance. But even if you have been in the role of executioner, it is still unseemly to celebrate the death of a man.

  16. I think Matthew Yglesias got this one exactly right:

    The Washington Post editorial page is mad at human rights groups for complaining about procedural flaws in Saddam Hussein’s trial since, after all, we all know Saddam is guilty. Martin Peretz is upset that death penalty opponents oppose executing Saddam Hussein since, after all, we all know Saddam’s a really bad guy.

    Do these guys not understand the concept of principles? The point of the belief that all people are entitled to fair trials before receiving criminal sentences is that all people are entitled to fair trials. The point of the belief that capital punishment is immoral (not a belief I share, incidentally) is that it’s always immoral. It’s not as if Amnesty International is confused and doesn’t understand that Saddam isn’t a very sympathetic case. Rather, the point is that organizations committed to principles of human rights — fair trials, no executions — need to uphold those principles even when violating them sounds appealing. If they didn’t, the groups wouldn’t be standing for anything.

  17. DIE BASTARD! And take all that knowledge of U.S. government corruption with you! Finally, Mission Accomplisheder-er. Now we can all pretend (er bask in the fact) that this, yes this, we can use this, this is why we went to Iraq in the first place and the American people can go back to sleep. If schrub gets a boost at the polls over this I’m going to fucking puke blood. I sure a hell hope there is no afterlife, because we all are going to have alot of explaining to do. Particularly the most self righteous of us.

  18. When CBS broke the news last night, I started doing my impression of a Vonage commercial. That should be the 21st Century version of “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead.”

  19. Psh. They might as well call this the War of the Symbols. The Empty Metaphores. That’s all the death penalty is: a symbol. It doesn’t do anything constructive; it’s mainly for the still-breathing friends and family the victim(s).

    Sure it feels good. I’m sure the majority of the Iraqi people are feeling mighty good right now. But what does it mean in the long run? Electricty there is still shoddy, and police are finding more dead bodies around Baghdad than solutions; the morgues are filled up.

    Personal saftey is still an unresolved issue in some areas. More and more civilians are being explosively seperated by sectarian violence each month.

    I’m not particularly sure it’s better in Iraq now that Saddam is disposed of. Just different.

    I’m sorry if this sounds pretentious. It’s cool if you’re happy over this; he deffinately deserved it. But, let’s not get too excited. It’s not as if this solves anything.

    Heh, you guys think this calls for another “Mission Accomplished” photo-op? I think we’re due.

  20. theophylact, just about nobody really believes in a fair trial, unless they sympathized with the accused.

  21. It’s interesting to note that the attitude of soldiers over here appears to be “Oh yeah? Well, that’s cool,” and a quick return to whatever they were doing. That is, no one has any expectation that this will change anything on the US side.

    Unsurprisingly, there is little reaction from the locals either. I’m in a largely Shi’a area, so this is understandable. Tikrit, for instance, might be different, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

    As a death penalty opponent, I think this may be the one time I really don’t object, mostly because I think Iraq needs this quite a bit, and he really was that bad. Was his trial unfair? Yeah, probably, at least in an abstract sense. But the fact that they had a trial at all indicates that someone appreciates the value of symbols; it would have been completely within reason, historically speaking, for him to have been shot (by IA’s, now, not US personnel) and dumped somewhere in the desert a long time ago. In other words, this wasn’t a trial to determine guilt or innocence; it was a trial for the sake of saying, “See, look, we had a trial,” before the expected execution.

    I certainly hope no one tries to turn this into a propaganda victory for the US or Bush. I’d like to think the involved parties have more sense than that.

    In short, there’s nothing much to celebrate here. Maybe this will help Iraq move forward; I definitely hope so. But I don’t expect much change, at least not yet.

  22. what would really change with the execution of Saddam?

    He’s gone, but the iraqi’s problems continue.
    His execution took place on the penultimate day of the year’s deadliest month for U.S. troops, with the toll reaching 109.

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