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Monday, January 01, 2007

Sympathy for the Devil...

I have to hand it to the New York Times. They almost made me feel sorry for The Butcher of Bagdad. Almost.

This isn't horseshoes or hand grenades, though. Well, it might be hand grenades...hmmmm.

From the New York Times:

BAGHDAD, Dec. 31 — With his plain pine coffin strapped into an American military helicopter for a predawn journey across the desert, Saddam Hussein, the executed dictator who built a legend with his defiance of America, completed a turbulent passage into history on Sunday.

Like the helicopter trip, just about everything in the 24 hours that began with Mr. Hussein’s being taken to his execution from his cell in an American military detention center in the postmidnight chill of Saturday had a surreal and even cinematic quality.

Yes, and? Are we supposed to be upset that he was given a pine box and flown by chopper to his burial site instead given, what, more? Look down the page, here, a bit, at the pictures of the stacked bodies of the Butcher's victims. Did they get even as MUCH as a pine box? I doubt it. People like the Butcher tend to use mass graves for the people they kill. Hitler and Stalin both did it, pretty much setting a precedent followed by men of evil ever since.

Don Surber is right on target with his opening comments about this:

John F. Burns furthered the NY Times editorial stance of why rush in the hanging of Saddam Hussein with a piece today -- “Rush to Hang Hussein Was Questioned” -- that makes Hussein a martyr.

The story has a huge photo of his mourners, not his hanging, which is not shown. Co-written with Marc Santora, Burns continued to praise Hussein.

You know, I'm in a quandry here. Martyrs, according to what they tell the suicide bombers and plane bombers and what not, according to Islam, are to be rewarded in Heaven, right? They're all pumped up and hyped up and ready and willing to die for the cause. Where did we capture Saddam Hussein? In a hole in the ground, hiding like a rodent.

Hitler, at least, did the right thing and ate a bullet. Think he thought HE was going to Heaven? I don't think so. I think Adolf Hitler KNEW that he was on an express train to the deepest pits of Hell when he pulled the trigger. I think Saddam Hussein knew that he had a ticket waiting for him, too. That's why he hid in a hole rather than going out of his own doing.

Truly a great example for the young Jihadists who think that they're going to Heaven for killing innocents. Spectacular.

There was a rush to hang the Butcher? I say they waited longer than they should have. That's my call on the matter.

Told that Mr. Maliki wanted to carry out the death sentence on Mr. Hussein almost immediately, and not wait further into the 30-day deadline set by the appeals court, American officers at the Thursday meeting said that they would accept any decision but needed assurance that due process had been followed before relinquishing physical custody of Mr. Hussein.

“The Americans said that we have no issue in handing him over, but we need everything to be in accordance with the law,” the Iraqi official said. “We do not want to break the law.”

That's questioning the rush to hang the Butcher? Sounds to me it's more like making sure all the ducks were in a row.

The American pressure sent Mr. Maliki and his aides into a frantic quest for legal workarounds, the Iraqi official said. The Americans told them they needed a decree from President Jalal Talabani, signed jointly by his two vice presidents, upholding the death sentence, and a letter from the chief judge of the Iraqi High Tribunal, the court that tried Mr. Hussein, certifying the verdict. But Mr. Talabani, a Kurd, made it known that he objected to the death penalty on principle.

The Maliki government spent much of Friday working on legal mechanisms to meet the American demands. From Mr. Talabani, they obtained a letter saying that while he would not sign a decree approving the hanging, he had no objections. The Iraqi official said Mr. Talabani first asked the tribunal’s judges for an opinion on whether the constitutional requirement for presidential approval applied to a death sentence handed down by the tribunal, a special court operating outside Iraq’s main judicial system. The judges said the requirement was void.

Mr. Maliki had one major obstacle: the Hussein-era law proscribing executions during the Id holiday. This remained unresolved until late Friday, the Iraqi official said. He said he attended a late-night dinner at the prime minister’s office at which American officers and Mr. Maliki’s officials debated the issue.

One participant described the meeting this way: “The Iraqis seemed quite frustrated, saying, ‘Who is going to execute him, anyway, you or us?’ The Americans replied by saying that obviously, it was the Iraqis who would carry out the hanging. So the Iraqis said, ‘This is our problem and we will handle the consequences. If there is any damage done, it is we who will be damaged, not you.’ ”

To this, the Iraqis added what has often been their trump card in tricky political situations: they telephoned officials of the marjaiya, the supreme religious body in Iraqi Shiism, composed of ayatollahs in the holy city of Najaf. The ayatollahs approved. Mr. Maliki, at a few minutes before midnight on Friday, then signed a letter to the justice minister, “to carry out the hanging until death.”

It also seems to me the Iraqi's where the ones who had the questions, even though they were the ones who wanted to get it done.

I think the NYT is more upset about how the Iraqi's who hanged the Butcher reacted and interacted with him, at the end, than anything else. Who can blame people who have lived under an oppressive rule for hating the leader who kept them UNDER that rule? Who can BLAME them for having a few last words to say to that leader before executing him? Certainly not anyone who has never LIVED under the rule of such a tyrant as the Butcher. Condemn them for their words to a dying man? Applaud them. He left this world knowing how his people felt about him. He left hearing the truth spoken to him. And for someone like the Butcher, even the truth spoken to him before his neck was stretched was mild compared to the deaths of innocents he was responsible for.

New York Times, you're pathetic...

Once and always, an American Fighting Man

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