Why Saddam Hussein’s Hanging Is Not A Triumph

I believe a human is a human for the ability to analyze his own thoughts and morals, the rest might as well be beasts or worst yet, robots.

There may not be much to envy about Iraq these days, but the swiftness of Mr. Hussein’s punishment is admirable. Had he been in the American legal system, lawyers might have clogged that system for years, allowing him to die a natural death in prison. Instead, on Nov. 5, Mr. Hussein was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. After the death order was signed, there was a 30-day window in which to carry out the execution. The Iraqis executed him within hours, and just a few days after his appeal was denied. (Cal Thomas of the Baltimore Times)

Immediacy. The man was executed “within hours.” So the moment they had their chance the mentally weak and impulsive men carried out revenge. They carried out the same kind of thought process as Saddam Hussein did. Were they really anymore morally stable than the man himself?

Then there is the pathetic cellphone video, that if you have ever seen YouTube, you know exactly what kind of fonies have been put out there. It must be the most searched video on the internet! As I have posted on the Fallout from video of Saddam Hussein’s execution (hanging), “He took out his cellphone and began videotaping death. That is unfortunate.”

How could it have come to this? Did U.S. officials know that the designated “executioners” would be the unwashed goons of Muqtada Sadr’s “Mahdi Army”—the same sort of thugs who killed Abdul Majid al-Khoei in Najaf just after the liberation and who indulge in extra-judicial murder of Iraqis every night and day? Did our envoys and representatives ask for any sort of assurances before turning over a prisoner who was being held under the Geneva Conventions? According to the New York Times, there do seem to have been a few insipid misgivings about the timing and the haste, but these appear to have been dissolved soon enough and replaced by a fatalistic passivity that amounts, in theory and practice, to acquiescence in a crude Shiite coup d’état. Thus, far from bringing anything like “closure,” the hanging ensures that the poison of Saddamism will stay in the Iraqi bloodstream, mingling with other related infections such as confessional fanaticism and the sort of video sadism that has until now been the prerogative of al-Qaida’s dehumanized ghouls. We have helped to officiate at a human sacrifice. For shame. (Christopher Hitchens of Slate Magazine)

First, being in the position that we are in with Iraq, there was an expected level of authority. Do people really understand that today, and probably for the next few generations, anything and everything that occurs in Iraq, is a reflection on the United States? Who was to oversee this mildly important event? To make sure that there are, as Hitchens puts it, “assurances?” “Well…uhh…you know, Fred was supposed to and uhh.” No. Stop. Let’s hear something from Mr. Bush.

“This is a disgusting tyrant who deserves… the ultimate justice,” he said in a US television interview.

His comments put the US sharply at odds with the United Nations and European allies who oppose the death penalty.


But the president said that he did not want a “kangaroo court”, and that only the Iraqi people should decide what punishment their former leader deserved.

(Bush Calls for Saddam Execution, BBC News)

I know that the Iraqi people did not “decide what punishment their former leader deserved” all by themselves. There was a hand played by the U.S. Point blank–duh. And I know that, but I would have hoped it were a different hand.

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1 Response to “Why Saddam Hussein’s Hanging Is Not A Triumph”


  1. 1 Matt January 16, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Although I despise Saddam Hussein and all he has done, his execution was a travesty. I don’t feel this way because of an opposition to the death penalty, I think it was a travesty because it undermines the authority of the Iraqi government. How can you tell people to stop murdering one another when you execute prisoners so inhumanely and brutally?

    Iraq is a debacle now. A first grade disaster.


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