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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam: The Ultimate Sacrifice.. but to what end?

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Dictators come, and dictators go. But the mess they leave behind usually lasts much longer, and in many cases outlive the individuals themselves.

Image taken from Wikipedia, hosting by Photobucket And in all likelihood, such will be the case of Saddam Hussein. The former president of Iraq, ousted as a result of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, was executed just before dawn, Iraqi time, (around 1100 hrs Malaysia Time) this morning. The execution, many would agree, only serves one purpose - to vindicate George W. Bush's big fat ego, which has costed the United States billions of dollars, close to 3,000 U.S. military personnel deaths, and easily over 600,000 Iraqis dead.

In other words, Iraq today has become a country more fucked up than before Dubya decided to send the cavalry in, on a ravaging rampage.

According to an Al-Jazeera news report, King George the Clueless had this to say:

"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 en route, probably bring the nation one step closer to an all-out civil war.

As it is, the Sunni-Shiah sectarian violence has escalated in recent months. Now, throw into the volatile equation the dissatisfaction the Kurds will probably have, since the charges of genocide against this Iraqi minority during Saddam's 30-year rule can never be brought against him. All in all, an explosive mix of emotions and unrest that could produce a deadly cocktail - civil war. Not an enviable position for Nuri al-Maliki, Iraqi Prime Minister, to be in, that's for sure.

In a letter written after his November 27 conviction (for ordering the killing of 148 Shi'ites in Dujail, in 1982), Saddam proclaimed that

"Here I offer myself in sacrifice. If God almighty wishes, it [my soul] will take me where he orders to be with the martyrs."
(source: Al-Jazeera)

And just in time for Eid ul Adha, too - exactly the kind of rallying call those hell-bent on destroying the West for... well, being The West, will welcome.
(world reaction, and more, in the full post)

Reaction from around the world has been mixed. While most world leaders have accepted the decision for the quick execution, many do not agree with the use of capital punishment, which has put Britain in a tight situation. Britain, in principal, is opposed to the use of the death penalty.

And what of Malaysia's leadership? Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, had this to say (from Al-Jazeera):

"A lot of people, the international community generally are not in favour of the hanging and question the due process that took place.

"We are surprised that they went ahead nowithstanding.

"I think there will be repercussions. The only thing is we hope they will be able to contain this. Because the conflict is not going to end. This is not the answer.

Similar sentiments were offered by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as reported by The Star. Our elegantly silent Prime Minister, however, has remained silently elegant - still missing in action someplace. Probably still on vacation. Which he seems to have been doing a fair share of lately. Well, Walski reckons that everyone needs vacation time, even when you don't have much to show for.

And so, what impact will the execution have?

Walski thinks that with Saddam gone, the Iraqis will not cease to kill each other, that's for sure. The Kurds will be especially pissed off, for reasons stated earlier in the post. Add to that the possibility of Islamic radicals elsewhere using this as yet another excuse for senseless mayhem and murder, the prospect of a more peaceful 2007 seems to be fading fast.

Faster than you can clean up the mess in the Zouk washrooms, post-New Year's Eve.

But always the optimist, Walski hopes that this will not be the case - a war-torn 2007, that is - the mess at Zouk, on the other hand, is almost a foregone conclusion.

Now don't get Walski wrong - Saddam had it coming, and quite rightly so. What Walski thinks is a bad idea is to execute the guy with such hurried 'efficiency' which serves no good purpose, in the bigger scheme of things, for the world we live in today. In fact, it may just prove to be the catalyst for more needless violence and senseless actions.

And that is the fear which many of us have - punishment for the sheer sake of political expediency, which in the long run leads to more problems than it solves. Save for restoring some bloat to a damaged ego.

But then again, when has the human race really learned from its mistakes, anyway?

Walski's footnote: Admittedly, this post comes several hours later than it should, as Walski was not home between the hours of 11am and 3pm today. Other fellow bloggers that have reported on this include:

plus countless others, undoubtedly. Do check out their posts, too, if you haven't already.