Saddam Hussein was executed at 10:05 PM EST on December 29, 2006. The culture of vengeance and retribution in Iraq rolls merrily on. George Bush characterized the former Iraqi leader’s trail as a “fair” one, saying it was, “the kind of justice he denied the victims of his brutal regime.” Maybe it was just, but not a lot of legal experts, with perhaps the somewhat chilling exception of Alberto Gonzales, ever regarded it as a fair trial, at least by American standards. Even the American standards thing wouldn’t be so much of a problem if Bush didn’t continually tell us that this whole misbegotten invasion was about instilling democracy and fair play to the Middle East.
On the other hand, what do you with a national leader who took over his country without being elected, illegally invaded another sovereign nation, authorized the execution of 152 people and was directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands more in retaliation against an unsuccessful assassination attempt, actively pursued the proliferation of nuclear weapons and who has arguably made the world a far more dangerous place? And that’s just George W. Bush…I don’t even want to think about the former Iraqi President.
Originally, Saddam’s half brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who was the former chief justice of the Iraqi Revolutionary Court under Hussein, were supposed to be hanged as well, but the Iraqi national security advisor Mouwafak al-Rubaie said those hangings were delayed because they wanted Hussein “to be executed on a special day.” That’s sweet, but I would submit that for the families of the 105 American troops killed in Iraq so far this month alone that each of the days on which they died were ‘special’ as well. Iraq has a lot of special days. Early reports also suggest that at least 34 Iraqi citizens blown up in a car bomb blast are also sharing Saddam’s ‘special day’. And that day is far from over.
So while George W. Bush hunkered down with Laura in an armored car amid worries that a tornado might touch down in Crawford where they were spending their Christmas holiday, another, far deadlier storm continues to spin out of control in Iraq, and the President seems equally incapable of controlling either one. Maybe the best he can do is just get ready to seek shelter.