Friday, December 29, 2006

Execution of Saddam Hussein

We may be as little as an hour away, as I write these words, from the execution of Saddam Hussein. I remain, as I have been since the age of fourteen, completely opposed to capital punishment. Will I be, however, sorry to see him go? To be bland about it, no ... but as when Julius Caesar was assassinated, "I fear there will a worse come in his place."

From his brutal suppression of the Kurds to his wars in Iran and Kuwait (and even a brief incursion into Saudi Arabia) as well as his sabre rattling against the United Arab Emirates, not to mention his unrepentant anti-Semitism, Mr. Hussein was a truly wretched fellow. Certainly anything but insane but very psychotic. I'm sure he'll be more than welcome in the company of creeps like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Idi Amin in the afterlife.

While I would have much preferred Hussein to just do the world a favour and commit suicide to spare Iraqis the expense of purchasing a strand of manila rope, the fact is his execution will solve nothing. On the contrary, it will make the civil war in Iraq even worse and even if the country manages to stay together when it's all over the end result will be three or more ethnic and cultural regions under the sphere of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria -- with the Turkoman and Kurdish peoples potentially drawn under that of Turkey, the only truly democratic Muslim country in the world.

The security implications are already frightening enough with him alive. I shudder to think of what it will be like when he's dead.

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