Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saddam Hussein's execution 2

In my list of good things about 2006, I should have added the death of lots of dictators and former dictators (Milosovic, Pinochet, Stroessner, Saddam) .

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DSTFW have lots of good posts on this: Death glee from Will, Shuggy's discussion of the death penalty, Hak Mao on the way the execution fucks up the second Saddam trial.

I guess you should also read what messers Kamm and Hitch have to say too.

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Not suprisingly, Saddam makes Cunt of the Week this week.

David Hirst's obit in The Guardian is also pretty good.
[Saddam] was commonplace and derivative. Stalin was his exemplar. The likeness came from more than conscious emulation: he already resembled him in origin, temperament and method. Like him, he was unique less in kind than in degree, in the extraordinary extent to which, if the more squalid forms of human villainy are the sine qua non of the successful tyrant, he embodied them. Like Stalin, too, he had little of the flair or colour of other 20th-century despots, little mental brilliance, less charisma, no redeeming passion or messianic fervour; he was only exceptional in the magnitude of his thuggery, the brutality, opportunism and cunning of the otherwise dull, grey apparatchik...

The small-town thug possessed all the personal qualifications he might need to earn his place in the 20th-century's pantheon of tyrants...

In theory he remained a Ba'athist to his dying day, but for him Ba'athism was always an apparatus, never an ideology: no sooner was command of the one complete than he dispensed entirely with the other. For next to brutality, opportunism was his chief trait. Not Stalin himself could have governed with such whimsy, or lurched, ideologically, politically, strategically, from one extreme to another with quite such ease, regularity, and disastrous consequences, and yet still, incredibly, retain command to the end.
There's plenty more! (via Mick Hartley).

Or read this alternative obituary at As A Dodo.

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Most leftish people seem to be blaming this on the US, e.g. the proliferation of conspiracy theories from the likes of David Peterson, the Juan Coleniks, etc. But of course, the mis-trial and execution fiasco were the fault of the Iraqis, not the Americans, as Gail notes.

On similar lines, Fightin' with Grabes talks about why it needed to be messy Iraqi justice, not rational Western justice.

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Finally, this liberal thinks Saddam "carried himself at the end with strength and courage and a good amount of anger"...


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