'His execution at 6:10 a.m.'
Though an opponent of capital punishment in general, I've always believed the execution of those guilty of crimes against humanity is just. Such was the case at Nuremberg
. Such was the case for Saddam last night.
But something still bothered me after learning of Saddam's hanging. At first I thought it was the haste of it all. Then I recalled how the Nuremberg defendents were dispatched far more quickly than Saddam (see Nuremberg link above). Saddam's execution continued to bother me for unknown reasons -- until I read this piece.
The Nazis were executed with the confident swiftness of victors. Saddam was executed with the unsure swiftness of the desperate. Bronwen Maddox gives one of the more succinct explanations yet of why Iraq's violence and sorrow will continue:
It is not possible to run a democracy unless all factions are convinced that they can prosper even if the other side is in power. Iraq does not begin to reach that standard. Yet the Sunni minority is too big to be dispatched by a few years of Shia threats; that is a formula for a long, bloody, civil war.
I fear Saddam's death will push some Sunnis to press for independence and a division of Iraq.