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Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Dead Dictator: Saddam Hussein

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I am not celebrating, although I fully understand those that are. I am not going to show the video, although I understand those that are and will link to those showing it for my readers, if they wish to see it. (That link is to Flopping Aces, he has the WHOLE video of Saddam hanging and dead) I am not going to get into the debate about the death sentence and executions, there are many pros and cons for each argument and I personally believe each case should be judged individually.

[UPDATE] 12/31/06- Due to a couple of questions I have received, let me clarify. I think that anyone that wants to show the Saddam hanging video should, anyone who wishes to watch it, should. I believe justice was served for many Iraqi's and have no moral problem with the video being shown.

My personal preference to not show the actual video here, but to link to it instead, is exactly that, "a personal preference". I have seen too many people in the throes of death and it affects me personally. I can and will continue to show pictures of the dead from the holocaust, Saddam's victims, etc... because it needs to be seen to prevent it from being repeated. People need to see things for themselves sometimes to understand them.

As to not having it on my site, the reason is simple and selfish, I do not wish to have to watch it every time I open my site to update, add trackbacks or any other reason that would force me to watch it over and over again. It is that simple. [End Update]

What I am going to do, is what Jules Crittenden suggests and lift my glass and have a drink (I do not drink much, so one is plenty for me) and hope that the families of those killed by Saddam Hussein will have some closure.

President Bush's statement on the execution of Saddam Hussein:

Today, Saddam Hussein was executed after receiving a fair trial -- the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.

Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein's tyrannical rule. It is a testament to the Iraqi people's resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial. This would not have been possible without the Iraqi people's determination to create a society governed by the rule of law.

Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops. Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.

We are reminded today of how far the Iraqi people have come since the end of Saddam Hussein's rule - and that the progress they have made would not have been possible without the continued service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress.

I am not going to criticize Iraq's trial of Saddam because each country has there own judicial processes and it is not up to us, here in America, to be the judges of whether a trial by the Iraqi's was "fair". They had a trial, facing almost insumountable conditions, they continued the trial despite threats, fear and murders trying to stop it. They did the best they could. Considering OUR judicial system and all of its flaws, we really are in no position to criticize any one elses.

Captain's Quarters states it very well:

The dictator has met his end, at the hands of the people he tormented for decades. He received more justice in a single day of his trial than he ever gave anyone during his reign of terror. Yet the American media covered that trial as if it were the Saddam show, rather than provide coverage of the many witnesses to his genocides and crimes against humanity. This was the most consequential and historic trial of a mass murderer since Nuremberg, and the only points of interest to the American media were the self-serving disruptions of the defendants -- and they questioned the fairness of the trial because the monsters tried turning the trial into a circus.

What I am going to do is a roundup of reactions, those I agree with and those I do not, and show the life, the cruelty, the mass murders and the monster that was known as the Butcher of Baghdad, as well as show you the obits written for Saddam Hussein.

Fair warning here, some of the pictures that will be shown are graphic, but in them, we will see the cruelty that was Saddam and give those that might have pity for this monster a better understanding of why those that are celebrating his death, are doing so. End of warning.

I will start with the Anfal Campaign in which Saddam and his regime murdered approximately 182,000 people.

Officially from February 23 to September 6, 1988 (but often thought to extend from March 1987 to May 1989), Saddam Hussein's regime carried out the Anfal (Arabic for "spoils") campaign against the large Kurdish population in northern Iraq. The purpose of the campaign was ostensibly to reassert Iraqi control over the area; however, the real goal was to permanently eliminate the Kurdish problem.

The campaign consisted of eight stages of assault, where up to 200,000 Iraqi troops attacked the area, rounded up civilians, and razed villages. Once rounded up, the civilians were divided into two groups: men from ages of about 13 to 70 and women, children, and elderly men. The men were then shot and buried in mass graves. The women, children, and elderly were taken to relocation camps where conditions were deplorable. In a few areas, especially areas that put up even a little resistance, everyone was killed.

Hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled the area, yet it is estimated that up to 182,000 were killed during the Anfal campaign. Many people consider the Anfal campaign an attempt at genocide.

Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. By mid-January, 2004, the number of confirmed sites climbed to fifty-three. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies—their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.

"We've already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair on November 20 in London. The United Nations, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) all estimate that Saddam Hussein's regime murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people. "Human Rights Watch estimates that as many as 290,000 Iraqis have been 'disappeared' by the Iraqi government over the past two decades," said the group in a statement in May. "Many of these 'disappeared' are those whose remains are now being unearthed in mass graves all over Iraq."

If these numbers prove accurate, they represent a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. (Source)

Next I will point out the Chemical Weapons attacks used against the Kurds in Iraq. (Click here for video shown at Saddam Hussein's trial)

As early as April 1987, the Iraqis used chemical weapons to remove Kurds from their villages in northern Iraq during the Anfal campaign. It is estimated that chemical weapons were used on approximately 40 Kurdish villages, with the largest of these attacks occurring on March 16, 1988 against the Kurdish town of Halabja.

Beginning in the morning on March 16, 1988 and continuing all night, the Iraqis rained down volley after volley of bombs filled with a deadly mixture of mustard gas and nerve agents on Halabja. Immediate effects of the chemicals included blindness, vomiting, blisters, convulsions, and asphyxiation. Approximately 5,000 women, men, and children died within days of the attacks. Long-term effects included permanent blindness, cancer, and birth defects. An estimated 10,000 lived, but live daily with the disfigurement and sicknesses from the chemical weapons.

Saddam Hussein's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid was directly in charge of the chemical attacks against the Kurds, earning him the epithet, "Chemical Ali."

These are some of the victims of Saddam Hussein. Innocent men, women and children died at his and his regimes hands, by his order. (Source)

So, if you are against the death penalty, or feel sorry for Saddam in any way, shape or form, save your pity for his family, or for those in OUR justice system that have been convicted falsely and instead of crying and moaning about the injustice, donate your time or your money to help get DNA tests done for some on death row that may be innocent but do not have the money or resources to prove it.

Do not waste your compassion on a man who did not know the meaning of the word.

The blogosphere as well as the news organizations are all weighing in on Saddam Husseins life, trial and death.

Hot Air kept us fully up to date on a death watch last night with news stories as they came out and has the Fox video of the moments leading up to Saddam's hanging. You Tube also has the video, I am not posting the actual Video, but for those that wish to see it, click here.

Faultline USA
has a roundup of their own and it is an open trackback, the first of many I hope!!!

In a NewsWeek exclusive, Ali Al Massedy was 3 feet away from Saddam Hussein when he died. The 38 year old, normally Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's official videographer, was the man responsible for filming the late dictator's execution at dawn on Saturday. "I saw fear, he was afraid," Ali told NEWSWEEK minutes after returning from the execution. (The rest of the story here)

Salon seems to think this was not about Justice but about Revenge. I would have to disagree there. If they had turned Saddam over to the Kurds to allow THEM to extract justice in their own way, it would be a different story, but they DID have a trial, produced eye witnesses, documented Saddam's crimes against humanity and as I pointed out earlier, our system is not without flaws and the Iraqi's did the best they could and no one has the right NOR the moral superiority to lay judgment on Iraqi's processes.

I will not be linking to the AP articles, it is part of my New Years Resolution not link directly to an AP page. Other sources use AP, such as the NYT, so some links will go their stories, but only those that are on a site other than AP's direct site. (My little, tiny personal flip off to an organization that spreads enemy propaganda, lies, distorts, then changes thier stories without issuing corrections) The link is to my posts on one page dealing with the AP's credibility issues.

The NYT is barely worth mentioning because in their typical fashion the take yet another opportunity to use Saddam's execution to bash Bush, nothing unusual there, in fact, you will see many on the left that cannot separate the politics from the issue of this monster finally meeting his maker. Bush bashers have become very predictable. If it rains, it is Bush's fault, if there kid falls and scrapes their knee it is Bush's fault and if the lightening hits them, it is Bush's fault. Predictable. No surprises there. One NYT article actually says they "pitied" Saddam. They would. Bet they wouldn't be pitying him if it was THEIR mother, father, son or family member that was gassed and tossed into a mass grave.

Gateway Pundit shows some examples of the what he calls "the lefts insanity."

I found a few examples of the lefts insanity myself over at Tennessee Guerilla Women, Brilliant at Breakfast, the talking dog, Greenwald, always certifiable insanity at Huffington Post, Crooks and liars. The list could go on and on, but this is representative of the insanity shown on the far left.

Dr. Sanity explains this phenomenon and insanity.

To be fair, not ALL on the left is showing this same insanity, some actually are capable of admitting that Saddam was a horrible, mass murdering, genocidal tyrant that deserved his fate. Some did not try to turn this into a Bush bashing party. Kudos to those that were able to separate American politics from the execution of Saddam Hussein.

Then of course you have the crazies coming out with conspiracy theories. ( I wonder if they think Elvis or maybe those little gray men at area 51 were the ones in the ski masks that took Saddam to the gallows)

Wapo actually did a good job of covering the facts rather than using Saddam Hussein's death as yet another Bush Bashing event. I am always very critical of Wapo articles and it is only fair to point out when one of their writers actually do their job instead using their job to shape political agendas.

Now on to some more of the reactions throughout the blogosphere.

The News Buckit kept it short and sweet:

The former Iraqi dictator was executed by hanging minutes ago.

Bob Dole, one of my heroes, said this about Saddam in April 2003:
We have liberated the people of Iraq from a strutting psychopath. The statues are coming down. No more torture chambers. No more acid baths. I'd call Saddam's a gangster regime -- but that would be an insult to gangsters. For decades Saddam Hussein made Iraq a living Hell.

We don't know whether Saddam is still living, but we know he has a place reserved in Hell.
That place is now occupied. Goodbye, Saddam.

Pretty much says all that needs saying.

Don Surber also notes the NYT once again showing their true colors in mourning a monster such as Saddam Hussein.

After its ridiculous “The Rush to Hang Saddam Hussein” editorial on Friday, I thought the NY Times would be wise enough to hide its love and compassion for Saddam Hussein.

But I was wrong.

Don, is it any wonder that their profits keep dropping? They are following in the footsteps of Air America and will end up being a shell of what they once were.

Blogs of War has an excellent roundup of Iraqi bloggers and their reactions. One he showed really said quite a bit and shows something that our media refuses to.

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.

Some people in Iraq remember what life was like before Saddam Hussein. Go to Iraqi Mojo's site and take 20 minutes out of your life to watch the two videos. It is WELL worth the time.

The Mudville Gazette points us to Michael Yon, in Kuwait who says:

This war is strange. I never hear soldiers worried about their own morale sagging. Contrary, the war-fighters here are more concerned to bolster the morale of the people at home. Here in Kuwait, where the dining facilities are bedecked in Christmas decorations, soldiers stream in from Iraq on convoys and stream back north along those bomb-laden roads. The service members here are not all rear-echelon people who never see fighting or blood. Yet their overall morale obviously is high. Few of them know I am a writer, and so they speak freely at the tables around me. In Qatar, from which I’d just departed, I spoke with troops taking four-day R&R passes, some having just returned from the most dangerous parts of Iraq, and others heading straight back, and their overall morale was also very high. The morale at war is higher than I have ever seen it at home; makes me wonder what they know that most Americans seem to be missing.

Most Americans are getting their enemy propaganda from MSM like the AP, CNN and NYT. THAT should answer Michael Yon's question right there.

There are too many reactions to list all of them, so visit memeorandum for a full roundup of reactions around the world. Another memeorandum link here.

Times online from the uk did fabulous job on an obituary for Saddam Hussein and Fox also has one up.

Cheat Seeking Missles has a good commentary on the Times obit.

Open trackback weekend here at Wake up America.

Trackposted to Perri Nelson's Website, Don Surber, Adam's Blog, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Rightwing Guy, 123 Beta, Pet's Garden Blog, The HILL Chronicles, Faultline USA, third world county, Woman Honor Thyself, stikNstein... has no mercy, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tracked back by:
A reminder of just who Saddam’s victims were from The HILL Chronicles...
Saddam Round Up... Literally! from Dumb Ox News...
Authentic footage of Saddam’s Execution from The HILL Chronicles...
Wii kicks PS3's Butt from Planck's Constant...
“Moderate” Muzlim?..ha from Woman Honor Thyself...
Salena Zito: A tale of 2 women from The HILL Chronicles...
Happy New Year Open Trackback Weekend from 123beta...
Boxer Rescinds CAIR Recipient Award: Open TB Weeke from Faultline USA...
The Knucklehead of the Year award from The Florida Masochist...
Last Open Trackback of the Year from The Right Nation...
Happy New Year 2007 from Planck's Constant...
The Seahawks Enter the Postseason with a Win from Perri Nelson's Website...
Happy New Year from The HILL Chronicles...
Am I Worth Dying For? from Blue Star Chronicles...
Layla from The HILL Chronicles...
(MOGS) Holy Hugh Hewitt Batman! from Diary of the Mad Pigeon...
My thoughts on Gerald Ford from The HILL Chronicles...
NY Times screws its readers from Mark My Words...
A silly mistake by CNN from Mark My Words...
Blogger Halo Award from The HILL Chronicles...
What's that giant sucking sound? from Mark My Words...
Anti-Islamofascist Blogger Censored from Faultline USA...