Saddam Guilty and Sentenced: May Be Hanged in 30 Days
ReactionsAt this point I am dispassionate about the verdict on Saddam and his pending demise. I no longer have the glee that I might have had some time ago. He is guilty of so many atrocities that I have no pity on the man, yet at least he has called, through his attorney, for no revenge or bloodshed on his behalf. The reaction to the verdict does seem to be mild so far, so are we left with the Butcher of Baghdad doing something Lincolnesque in his final days on earth? Well, that’s a stretch.
Implications of the Rule of SaddamIt appears now, in hindsight, that Saddam was a strongman who kept Iraq together as a country. He corralled and tamed the Kurds, the Shiites, and the Sunnis into a functioning nation. Yes, things were better for Iraqis when he was in charge. People could lead normal lives, go to the market, sit in cafes, visit nightclubs, walk around. Yes, those were better times. On the other hand, what was the price for those better times?
In order to keep the various tribes, sects, nationalities and political factions in line, Saddam had to be vicious. Threats, arrests in the middle of the night, rape, torture, murder and mass murder, the use of poison gas. This is one way to do it. Sort of like the mafia, only unimaginably worse.
So now, the Iraqi’s are trying to do without a strongman. They’re attempting to keep this quarreling nation together through democracy. Can they do it? Who knows? The place is kind of like the Wild West in America, which had to be tamed by strongmen called gunfighters who came down on the side of the law, but who skirted the law to “get their men” and impose order. Some of the heroes of the Wild West were unsavory characters, like Wyatt Earp. They shot and killed people without reading them their rights.
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