Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam the Martyr?

It won't be the end of conflict in the Middle East although the United States and allies have effectively 'silenced' former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein.

Saddam was executed yesterday following a decision by the court of the US-backed regime. CNN and Reuters reports are quite extensive, plus very troubling footage from Iraqi TV on the noose being placed around Saddam's neck.

He has been hanged and is now buried next to his sons. What a tragic symbol of the end of the despot.

What is indeed troubling is that Saddam may go down in history as a victim rather than a tyrant. He was defiant, refusing to be hooded, yet subdued as he was led by the hangman to his final moments. His apparent courage in his final moments may elevate him to the status of martyr by his supporters. Even UK and Australia -- the two deputy sheriffs to US President George Bush in the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- have condemned the hanging as they don't support capital punishment.

Yes, Saddam was a tyrant when he was in power. He has been hanged for giving orders to wipe out 148 men and boys following an assassination attempt on him.

What about successive Israeli leadership's role in killing thousands of Palestinians and flattening countless Palestinian villages following each suicide bombing by desperate Palestinians on hapless Israelis? Will the US invade Israel one day and put its leaders on trial for crime against humanity?

Or will the world put President Bush on trial for crime against humanity one day? He issued the orders for the wrongful invasion of Iraq that led to the death of more than 650,000 Iraqis.

Impeachment is too light a punishment.

Note: Earlier postings on Saddam Hussein.

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