Well, over the weekend Saddam Hussein came to the end of his rope. Literally. If you’re not too squeamish and haven’t seen the unofficial mobile phone footage of the event, I would recommend it. You can see it, among other places, at saddam.com.
Much has been made of the taunting that Saddam was made to endure during his final moments. It’s true that he was hated – vilified, really – by millions of his own citizens, and it’s also true that his death was seen as some small measure of payback for all that he had done. But I think it speaks more than volumes about the current state of Iraq to see him taunted like that right before he was executed.
In Western nations that still practice the Death Penalty, there is much emphasis placed on it being a dignified affair. Let’s face it, if you’re bad enough to ride the lightnin’, then you can’t have led a very good life. The ultimate penalty that can be imposed upon you is to take your life. Once you’re gone, hopefully the families of your victims will feel the World a better place without you, and we also don’t have to worry about housing and feeding someone that isn’t worth the effort.
But we still give people their dignity when the time comes. We do this because we know the weight of what we are doing, and if we were in their place we would want the same. Let us say our few last words, and then be done with it.
What get me the most about the Saddam video is that other than the standard “you’re going to hell” and “you’re a murderer” type insults that I would almost expect there were chants of “Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada…”. That, of course, was referring to Muqtada al-Sadr – the leader of the Mahdi Army, and someone that the United States would very much like to see dead as he is such a destabilising influence. He’s a Warlord, plain and simple, and there is no room for Warlords in what is supposed to be a democracy.
The simple fact that someone was present – in an official capacity – that would see fit to invoke the name of a supposed enemy of the state tells me that there is now absolutely no way the US can salvage Iraq in their favour. That’s if there ever was a way…but it’s sure as hell gone now.
The Muqtada chant as well as the shouting of various Shi’a prayers and slogans before Saddam was executed will only further serve to inflame the hate of Shi’ites by Sunnis…and that cannot possibly be a good thing. And I’m not just talking about Iraq here…I think this may very well spread.
I believe that once the current lockdown in Iraq ends…for it cannot be sustained indefinitely…we are going to see a lot more death and destruction in Iraq.
For, in the end, we see that the execution of Saddam Hussein was not for his crimes but, more simply, Shi’ites killing one more Sunni.