December 30, 2006
Last evening, December 29, at around 7 PM Pacific time, approximately 6 AM in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, the deposed and brutal dictator of Iraq for over a quarter of a century, met his legally mandated fate at the end of a hangman’s noose.
Several news reports delve into the details of his last moments and death and comments from prominent leaders and the like about his death.
Most commenting seemed to be pleased that Saddam was now dead, with a few using the execution to further their own hate Bush agenda or spew anti-American sentiment. Several comments made on far leftist forums, such as Democratic Underground and Daily KOS left me with the impression they had lost a hero. Accusations were also made that President Bush “murdered” Saddam Hussein to prevent his being interrogated by incoming Democrats in the House of Representatives into war crimes investigations and impeachment hearings the far leftist hope will be convened to remove the Bush administration.
What apparently escapes many on the left calling for the Iraqi’s to step up to the plate and fend more for themselves, is that that is exactly what has happened. Saddam was tried, convicted, sentenced and executed 100% by Iraqi’s. It was an Iraqi court, an Iraqi Judge and Iraqi attorney’s, except for the one lone American, far left war protestor and former Attorney General under the Lyndon Johnson (D. Tx) administration, Ramsey Clark. It should be noted here that it was the Johnson administration in the mid 1960s that was responsible for our heavy escalation into the Viet Nam war.
Televised proceedings of the trial of Saddam Hussein showed he received ample latitude in his own defense, having made several ranting outbursts over the length of his trial, with the Judge allowing most to be heard before ordering him to sit down and stop trying to block the proceedings. After his sentencing and failed appeals, his attorney’s even attempted to run interference through the American Federal Courts by filing a challenge in the District court of U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who denied the challenge citing “U.S. courts do not have jurisdiction to interfere in another country's judicial process.”
After all the obligatory smokescreens of “Where’s Osama,” “Saddam didn’t attack the U.S.” and other such nonsense, we end up seeing the cry of “Was it worth it?” citing “3,000 American lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars, civil war and untold Iraqi deaths.” Of course, this question would be dependent on this being the final phase of the actions in the War on Terror, which it isn’t, by any means. President Bush has commented, “Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror.”
So, was it worth it? I imagine the answer will depend on who is asked. Of course, the left, in their penchant for blind hatred of President Bush and any supporters of him, nothing will be “worth it” unless they can succeed in ousting the Bush administration. Given there are only two years left in his administration, they will of course, fail.
The death of a brutal dictator like Saddam is not all that has been accomplished in the War on Terror, either. First off, the “3,000 dead” figure is based off of all deaths of our brave Service Members, in Iraq and Afghanistan and includes both combat losses and accidental losses. Even in a combat zone, accidents occur and troops die in them. That doesn’t lessen the grief families feel nor does it water down their bravery or sacrifice for our country.
Secondly, every member of our Military today are VOLUNTEERS, none were drafted or forced by courts to join the Military, as was done back in the Viet Nam era. Most have reenlisted since the War on Terror began and returned to either Iraq or Afghanistan, having passed any the chance to simply finish their enlistments and return to Civilian life. That fact alone places today’s youth very high in my view of today’s Military, they VOLUNTARILY return to finish the fight and give both Iraqis and Afghani’s a decent fighting chance at freedom, after both have been subjugated to years of trying to survive under brutal dictatorial regimes.
Thirdly, both Iraqis and Afghanis have voted freely for the first time in their lives and are moving towards their own idea of a democracy where the people, not the brutal dictators, have some say in their countries keeping.
A free people working in a free market have no need for groups like Al Qaeda brainwashing them that others are responsible for their poverty. They are free to work, earn decent wages and invest where they desire. They can be free to have and raise families and practice a religion of their choosing without some dictator raping or murdering members of their family because they desire wealth or menial material possessions. They don’t need to attack neighbors to take what isn’t theirs; they build it themselves because they are free to do so.
But, was it worth it? To those of us who didn’t have any direct involvement, our answer will be dependent on our Political view. Those who have been directly involved by losing loved ones answer through their own grief with comments like "I think it was a very generous death for him," made by Stephanie Dostie whose husband was killed in Iraq in a blast from an improvised explosive device on Dec. 30, 2005. Like every one else, grieving family members offer a mixed assessment as to the worth of it.
What of the Iraqis who were so oppressed by Saddam? Jawad Abdul-Aziz, who lost his father, three brothers and 22 cousins in reprisal killings said, “Now, he is in the garbage of history.”
State-run Iraqiya television, while playing patriotic music and displaying national monuments reported, “Criminal Saddam was hanged to death.”
Shiites danced in the streets, some firing guns into the air, at the announcement of his death. Sunni supporters of Saddam lamented it as, “the death of a Holy Warrior.”
Ali Hamza, a university professor, said; “Now all the victims’ families will be happy because Saddam got his just sentence.”
Human Rights groups, the United Nations and several supposed western allies expressed unease and concern over the death as they are opposed to the death penalty.
I guess the answer to “was it worth it” will have to be answered by each individual in their own way. For me, I am reminded of a famous quote, “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” --- John Stewart Mill
One thing is certain. The Iraqi people no longer have to have any fear whatsoever of Saddam somehow gaining freedom and returning to power to carry out retribution against them.
UPDATE: Mohammed at Iraq the Model presents an Iraqis view, Celebrating Justice.
UPDATE: Another Iraqi gives her views at Iraqi Blogger – No Pain No Gain
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Posted by Lew Waters at 11:57 AM