"I am so tired of hearing the word "dictator" and Saddam together. It's on a level with "anal" and then "sex." Yug. Instead of demonizing him, why not first of all mention that he didn't die a coward. He looks perfectly composed as he eyes the rope that is about to break his neck. And you have to admire the fact he didn't repent of his megalomania, saying to the hangman, "Iraq is nothing without me."
But he also was a skillful ruler and a legitimate one, as you pointed out in your briefing to the White House in late 1990 or early 1991. He had an extraordinary insight into his people --knowing when to massacre a section of a tribe or instead, build it a whole new sewage system and a string of free clinics.
Why demonize? Think of Somoza or the shah or Trujillo or the whole awfully bloody bunch of shits we have used to advance our ends in the world. We did after all back Stalin and lied for years to the public about his actions and character. Amazing.
Few have mentioned the sheer discourtesy or insensitivity of hanging him on the Muslim Sabbath.
I think we should have left him in prison and made sure he got tons of newspapers delivered to his cell every day. He was a man who had to predominate. Knowing of great events afoot and knowing you are forever a discarded man with no further part to play in the world would have eaten him hollow and not made a martyr of him.
I really agree with Richard on this. Saddam may have killed your father, uncle or brother, but he died a man.
We have made some colossal errors in Iraq but this is among the worst:
1- We killed a former (?) head of state. The Shia government did it? What a joke! Neocons! Do you imagine that anyone believes this? Maliki would not even go to the execution. No. We will be blamed and rightly so. We provided "advisors" to the trial judges.
2- We made him a figure for legend and he took advantage of it. "God is Great! Long live Iraq! Palestine is Arab." That is what he uttered on the gallows with the rope around his neck. You damned fools! What do you think will be the war cry with which millions of Muslims will confront us and our "regional allies?"
3-The, oh so clever Iranian political warfare machine (and friends) have tried for many years to denigrate the Iraqi army that fought Iran and defeated it. The men who served in that army know how well they fought. For good or ill he was their commander in chief. Do you think that deliberately humiliating him in the manner of his death will serve the cause of reconciliation in Iraq?
4- We allowed his execution in the month of Pilgrimage, just before the Feast of Sacrifice when a holocaust of sacrificed animals will be offered. Could you have given him a better gift?
5-Is it really true that Moqtada al-Sadr's people participated in the execution? Is it true?
6-How like AQ's executions this was. How like.
What more could you have given him?
Now he belongs to the ages. pl