A few thoughts collected here as the time approaches. I’ll add more as I find them. And more still after the execution has been carried out.
Iraq the Model: Friends and relatives are calling me asking me whether he’s been already executed, some are claiming he already has. Meanwhile lots of updates are coming through news TV here; al-Arabiya reporter said the noose is already set in a yard in the IZ. Al-Hurra reported that preparations for the execution are underway and no delay is expected. It’s going to be a long night but it looks like the morning will bring the news Iraqis have long waited for….
Baghdad Burning: Why make things worse by insisting on Saddam’s execution now? Who gains if they hang Saddam? Iran, naturally, but who else? There is a real fear that this execution will be the final blow that will shatter Iraq. Some Sunni and Shia tribes have threatened to arm their members against the Americans if Saddam is executed. Iraqis in general are watching closely to see what happens next, and quietly preparing for the worst. This is because now, Saddam no longer represents himself or his regime. Through the constant insistence of American war propaganda, Saddam is now representative of all Sunni Arabs (never mind most of his government were Shia). The Americans, through their speeches and news articles and Iraqi Puppets, have made it very clear that they consider him to personify Sunni Arab resistance to the occupation. Basically, with this execution, what the Americans are saying is “Look- Sunni Arabs- this is your man, we all know this. We’re hanging him- he symbolizes you.” And make no mistake about it, this trial and verdict and execution are 100% American. Some of the actors were Iraqi enough, but the production, direction and montage was pure Hollywood (though low-budget, if you ask me).
In the Middle: Saddam’s life or death is irrelevant to the current Iraqi situation. Iraqis are fighting to hold their country together and get it back from the foreign occupiers. Saddam’s recent trial and imminent execution are nothing more than evidence of how foreign interventions to change political regimes will destroy entire countries and split entire nations. The current situation in Iraq is a good indicator for how Iran and Syria, or other countries, would look if the U.S. administration went ahead and interfered and changed their political regimes.
Iraq Pundit: Want to hear an unlikely take on the impending execution of Saddam Hussein? No problem. It says right here that Saddam “will go to the gallows with his head held high, because he built a strong united Iraq without sectarianism. He was considered as a strategic regional power. And as he goes to the gallows, those who imprisoned him will stand with their heads bent with shame and embarrassment because they cannot hide their own crimes against the country and its people.” Says who? An unrepentant Iraqi Baathist? Saddam’s uncle? No. It’s Abdel Bari Atwan, the Palestinian journalist who writes for the London-based Arabic-language newspaper, Al Quds Al Arabi. Atwan and Al Quds have come up on this blog before. In November, I noted that Atwan’s new book about Al Qaeda had been celebrated in the pages of The Washington Post by intelligence analyst Michael Scheuer. Scheuer thought that Atwan’s take on terror was just “excellent,” and called Atwan’s paper “the best Arabic-language daily newspaper.”
Iraqi Mojo: This is a nice British documentary (each part is ten minutes long) that shows how Iraq was making great progress in the 1950s, without the aid of a tyrant. People like to talk about how much better life was before Saddam’s fall. This documentary shows how great life was before the rise of Saddam and his Baath party.
Sooni: The verdict came at the right time when few sick minds started to promote a rumor that he will come back to save Iraq from the mess! Most of the whiners say that the verdict came out under American influence and to those I would like to say: what did you expect? That he would go out free clear from all charges. Can anyone deny that about 80% of the Iraqi people are happy with this verdict? One may see the rate high somehow but it represents the Shiite and the Kurds and I am fully confident that they are dancing of happiness now. The Sunni Iraqis reaction came disappointing since the leaders remained silent and we heard news about people demonstrated against the verdict in Sunni areas and provinces, anyway I will leave this subject to another post but now excuse me, because I want to celebrate the day!
The Mesopotamian: Personally I have mixed feelings about this execution. To start with, if the punishment for murder is to be death, according to the Law in many lands, including that of the U.S.A., and in accordance with the writ of the Great religions; then Saddam deserves at least a million or so executions. His guilt is as clear as sunlight. The Trial was frustrating for most people around here. Perhaps there should have been an international trial so that the world can see and hear the full story of some of the most horrendous crimes in the history of humanity. But do you think that his friends would have been at a loss for things to say if that had happened? Well, when there is a culture that has lost respect for truth, reality, logic, decency; and become complete slave to prejudice and bias; anything can be said and any argument goes. It is a sure sign of decline, decay and fall when a civilization starts to lose its respect for veracity and when words can be twisted to suite any purpose and present any argument regardless of the truth. For the “Word” is sacred. Remember the first sentence in the bible: “At first was the Word, then was the World”.
Post-execution thoughts can be found here.