This is a really eye-opening article in the New York Times on the rush to execute Saddam Hussein.
I’ve got mixed emotions on Saddam’s execution.
On one hand, I feel like man should not take death into his own hand. Yes, Saddam committed atrocities against the people of Iraq. Yes, Saddam was an insane dictator. But the contempt that was shown him as he was hung was disheartening. It was like a pack of animals was sending him to his death. “Is this how real men behave?,” asked Saddam right before his death.
On the other hand, I can’t help but remember, my dad served in the Gulf War. Saddam invaded Kuwait and claimed til the end of his reign that Kuwait was a state of Iraq. He killed his opponents. He slaughtered ethnic groups in his country. He was a bad person, and deserved to be punished.
But death? In this fashion? I have a hard time with it. Saddam was broken, reserved, and dare I say fearful of his end. His executors were ugly, disrespectful, and mocking of his death. Saddam was being hung for his savageness, yet his executioners were the real savage on this day…
If there is one good thing about this whole ordeal, it is that the United States was not directly involved in his execution.
“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.’”
Regardless, Saddam is now dead, and perhaps the world is better off because of it. But I hope the way his death was conducted will help the Iraqis to re-examine some of their barbaric tendancies.