Monday, November 06, 2006

Saddam Hussein Sentenced To Death

I don't know what I can add to the ongoing discussion that would be original or particularly noteworthy. I don't know that this is a particularly defining milestone for the Middle East; dictatorial leaders have been deposed, overthrown and executed by their successors for much of the 20th century. Hussein is yet another Iraqi leader following this well-worn path. It again serves as a reminder to other Middle Eastern leaders that their hold on power can be quite tenuous. Does this lead them to consider more reforms or to tighten control? What lessons does a Mubarak draw from the Hussein experience, for example?

Will the trial and discovery process continue? As it stands the Hussein verdict would be similar to convicting top Nazi leaders at Nuremberg for one or two specific events (e.g. Lidice). Is there going to be a full accounting of the Hussein record? Problematic of course for the Gulf Arab states, Saudi Arabia and even the United States because of the Iran-Iraq war.

This raises another question: why can't this be the "victory" point for the United States. Hussein was defeated, deposed, tried and now convicted. Doesn't this constitute sufficient victory?

"We want the people behind Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons and his European, Arab, and Maerican supporters on trial as well."

Iranian man on the street of Tehran.

"I was so happy that I cried."

An Iranian on the news of the verdict.
You're right; this could be turning point. Hussein's execution and a US declaration of victory (w/ the attendant redeployment of US forces) would formally displace the the old rubric of violence and usher in a bold new era of mass slaughter in Iraq and interstate conflict in the ME. We won!
You brought a lot of original points to the table, actually.

Your point that this is but another vanquised Mid East tyrant is accurate.

Your remark that this could have been the "victory" is important -- as that could have been possible, perhaps, if 2003 and 2004 were more fact-based. Maybe.
It will be the "victory" point for the States if Bush will take a mid-terms...
I guess all this show is for that...
To tie back to previous postings about Munich, the U.S. and the allies "delcared victory" when Hitler was defeated and dead. Whether Germany ended up doing well or not was not a marker for victory.
Anonymous 8:56,

Iranians may want Hussein dead under any circumstances but I think more would want him executed openly for crimes committed against Iran, not the indirect crime of having killed some Iraqi Shia.

So I think they will celebrate the verdict but be unsatisfied by it.
So victory is when you hang the only guy around who has demonstrated the capability to prevent Iraqis drilling holes in each other's kneecaps with power drills?
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