Freedom Folks

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hang 'Em High

AP/Yahoo! reports:

Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced Sunday to hang for crimes against humanity in the 1982 killings of 148 people in a single Shiite town, as the ousted leader, trembling and defiant, shouted "God is great!"


The trial brought Saddam and his co-defendants before their accusers in what was one of the most highly publicized and heavily reported trials of its kind since the Nuremberg tribunals for members of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime and its slaughter of 6 million Jews in the World War II Holocaust.

"The verdict placed on the heads of the former regime does not represent a verdict for any one person. It is a verdict on a whole dark era that has was unmatched in Iraq's history," Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's Shiite prime minister, said.
Hang 'em high, I say. Of course, not everyone agrees...

From Reuters/UK

"He is facing the punishment he deserves," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Islamist, said in a televised address to the nation two hours after the verdict.

A senior Sunni Arab parliamentarian, who asked not be quoted by name for fear of sectarian reprisals, said, however: "This is a political verdict from a political court."

Maliki said last month that Saddam's execution could not come soon enough, fuelling charges of political interference. But on Sunday he emphasised the independence of the court system.
The Daily Telegraph out of Australia reports that justice could be swift (unless, of course, you count the 3 years that have passed since Hussein was caught!):

If an automatic review of the death sentence fails, the former strongman will hang within 30 days.
Mixed reactions from ordinary Iraqis, too. Isn't it amazing how eager some people are to dole out exceedingly misplaced loyalty? (Source: Chicago Tribune)

In heavily Shiite areas of southern Iraq, jubilant crowds danced in the street and celebrated the outcome. In Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, about 2,000 Iraqis took to the street in defiance of a government curfew and peacefully protested the verdicts.
No great surprise that Hussein continued the juvenile behavior he's exhibited throught the trial.
When Hussein was brought into the dock, he immediately sat down in his chair and initially refused to comply with the judges order to stand for the reading of his sentence. He mockingly told the judge that he could hear him just as well from his chair.

Eventually, two bailiffs were ordered to lift the former dictator to his feet, and he remained standing for the rest of the proceedings.
I'm with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad:

"A former dictator feared by millions, who killed his own citizens without mercy or justice, who waged wars against neighboring countries, has been brought to trial in his own country – held accountable in a court of law with ordinary citizens bearing witness," Khalilzad said in a statement."

Although the Iraqis may face difficult days in the coming weeks, closing the book on Saddam and his regime is an opportunity to unite and build a better future. As the Iraqi people move forward, the United States will support them in their efforts to build a just and democratic society."

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Saddam Hussein * Iraq * Sentence * Hang * Justice