KEEPING FAITH WITH A BLOODY TRADITIONHITCHENS: "And it might be no bad thing if Americans, especially those who supported the breaking of his death grip on Iraqi society, found ways of conveying their distaste for this rushed and vindictive — and partial — version of a process of reckoning that ought to have been sober, meticulous and untainted."
EARTHDWELLER: I admire Hitchen's premise but he is showing the kind of British out of touch elitism that kept Ireland in straits for centuries. In this instance let the American's, who tamed the wild wild west take care of the details of growing a civilized society from the ground up. Picture Hitchens saying "I just don't understand why these instant civilization buttons don't work any more. Mummy, can we get a new video game? I don't like this one. It's too slow and the mind control option is like on dial-up."
HUMINT: There are a number of ways to look at executions of tyrants. If we take the simplest approach, *** those who live by the sword, die by the sword *** Saddam's fate was preordained and it really makes no difference how or why. That scenario is likely, but let's think about it further. Let's say, each view of Saddam's execution is dependant in part on the commentator's interests. So who are some, if not all, of the interested?
- Civilized intellectuals don't like execution at all but would have liked to see a more familiar format to the execution.
- The Iranian government fought an eight year war with Saddam that was exactly the opposite of civilized. It's no wonder that they are pleased with the format of Saddam's finish.
- The Sunni insurgency, by my estimation is fighting and recruiting at its peak, so despite their disappointment in seeing their former dictator's neck broken, they can't do much more about it than they already are. Talking about a spike in violence is futile anyway. This is a war! Spikes and lulls are indicative of things other than imminent victory.
- the Shi'i majority in Iraq can put to rest a few conspiracy theories about Saddam coming back to power but not about Saddam's previous conspiracies with foreign governments not revealed in the awkward trial that preceded the execution.
- The Kurds appear smart enough to have moved on already and are astutely mapping out their future. They realized Saddam was irrelevant to their future a long time ago.
- And last but not least, anyone who regarded Saddam's execution as an old fashioned lynching; they are like any audience that gathers around to see a bad guy hang, die and piss himself. The nuance between vengeance and justice is a bridge too far for them. What they do know is fear. Deserved death was delivered to a dictator who was just one among many in the region.
I estimate, no one was more attentive in the "audience" of Saddam's execution than regional dictators, theocrats and monarchs. They probably took notes on how they themselves should act when they are handed over to the people they fear the most. Maybe, after watching Saddam die like a common thug, they even considered how not to end up like Saddam, but I doubt it.