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Friday, December 29, 2006

The Death of a Dictator [UPDATED]

[UPDATE #8 BUMPED TO TOP] Al Arabiya TV Reports Saddam Hussein Has Been Executed, more as I see it.
Saddam Hussein Executed by Hanging in Iraq

More at Hot Air.

[UPDATE] JUST announced, I will try to get ou a link when it shows up, but Fox is reporting that it has been confirmed that Saddam Hussein will be handed over TODAY, within the next 24 hrs to Iraqi authorities for execution. [End Update]

8:57 am- CNN is reporting that Saddams Lawyers have been asked to make arrangements to have his personal effects picked up.[End Update #2]

UPDATE #3] 11:06 am- Saddam Hussein has been handed over to the Iraqi's for execution and the Judge states he will be executed by Saturday.[End Update]

12:42 pm- Now Fox is reporting that "some" official has stated Saddam is officially still in US custody. (I am beginning to think that this conflicting information is coming to us purposely. If no one is SURE exactly where Saddam Hussein is, it will be harder for his sympathizers to try to stage some sort of protest or jailbreak.) [End Update]

This time the word is that Saddam meets his fate 9 pm central time.

[UPDATE #6] IRAQ the Model is updating as this unfolds. (6:07pm)Fox is reporting that the official witnesses are all gathering.

MSNBC is announcing that Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, sentenced to death for his role in 148 killings in 1982, will have his sentence carried out by Sunday.

The hanging could take place as early as Friday, NBC’s Richard Engel reported.

The U.S. military received a formal request from the Iraqi government to transfer Saddam to Iraqi authorities, NBC reported on Thursday, which is one of the final steps required before his execution. His sentence, handed down last month, ordered that he be hanged within 30 days.

Hot Air points out that there are few reports that are conflicting with the MSNBC report.

Then we have a completely ridiculous piece of opinion from the NYT claiming that there is a rush to hang Saddam.

My personal feelings on death sentences aside, it is three years, I would hardly call that a rush. Iraqi law states, from what we have been told so far, that a death sentence must be carried out within 30 days. To further complicate the situation there are sever security issues for the US, who is holding Saddam and the Iraqi's in carrying out this sentence.

Other wish to claim the trial was not fair...I ask why? Because it is not how we conduct a trial? Does bringing democracy to Iraq mean that they must run their country EXACTLY the way we run ours? Or is it simply bringing a level of civility to a country that has lived under a tyrant for so long?

This trial was conducted under some very harsh circumstances, difficult for those actively participating in the trial. One example was the judge who had his brother in law killed. These people managed to hold a trial, produce a verdict and plan to carry out the sentence. Kudos to them for that!

People have been debating the issue of death sentences for years, all around the world and I am sure we will continue to do so. So be it.

I do believe, putting my own issues with any death penalty aside, that for some Iraqi's this will give them a sense of closure that nothing else could. These people lived under Saddam's rule from July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003. That is a long time to live under the conditions that they were forced to live under... Just ask the Kurds.

Jules Crittenden has a great piece that shoud be read where he talks about what it was like for him in Iraq.

It's an odd thing, to be in your 40s, and yet to feel as though you've only just been born. Into this world of war. Saddam means a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, Saddam will always be tied to that kid in the ditch among the date palms at al-Hindiyah. A young soldier with a bullet through the side of his face, his eyes open, staring at nothing.

They were Tikritis, the Nebuchadnazzer Division of the Republican Guard, and they died for Saddam. Saddam didn't have the decency to die for them, when he crawled out of his hole in December 2003, proclaiming himself the President of Iraq.

This is a monster, if there is, in fact, evil in this world, Saddam represents it in its harshest form. I find it hard to celebrate any death, but Iraq needs a sense of closure and perhaps this will be the start.

We may see some extreme violence from Saddam's supporters at first, but I believe that after the initial temper tantrums, Iraq will be better off knowing that Saddam is gone and will not somehow pop back up and violently rule again.

For almost 24 years the iraq's were ruled with violence, genocide and had chemical warfare waged on them from their own ruler. Is it any wonder that it is taking more than a few years to counter this and teach them that their is life without tyranny?

I said once that you cannot just hand people that have been under a dictators rule for 20+ years, freedom, and expect them to know what to do with it. They need to be taught and some are learning. Maybe not fast enough for some people but it IS happening.

Captain's Quarters reaction:

As I am opposed to the death penalty in civilian courts, Saddam's execution presents an interesting challenge. Michael Stickings says he cannot support the death penalty under any circumstances, but I think there is a large distinction between civil death sentences and those under wartime and genocidal conditions. The execution of spies and saboteurs, for instance, offers a deterrence to those who would commit those acts during wartime, and the elimination of that as an assured result of capture would create a flood of saboteurs and spies, especially if they received the same treatment as POWs. Similarly, genocidal tyrants tried by their own people and executed for their crimes serve as an example for other tyrants to fear -- and it removes the jailed tyrant as a focus for restoration, a situation that history has proven to be dangerous to recovering societies.

That is what I am hoping. If any good can come from any execution, I would say this is the one.

Goodbye Saddam and good riddance to bad rubbish.