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Saddam sentenced to death.
November 5, 2006 1:10 AM   Subscribe

Saddam sentenced to death by hanging.
posted by Guerilla (181 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Former judge Awad Hamed al-Bander was also sentenced to death too.

What's that about? (I haven't followed the ins and outs closely enough, clearly).
posted by davehat at 1:14 AM on November 5, 2006


Saddam found guilty. In other news, water is wet, rock is hard and Iraq still mired in apparently unending war.
posted by Dreama at 1:15 AM on November 5, 2006


Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
posted by substrate at 1:16 AM on November 5, 2006


Awad Hamed al-Bander ran Saddam's "Revolutionary Court" and was responsible for the politically motivated death sentences of anti-Baathists and other "enemies of the state." Saddam's vice president was also tried, and sentenced to life in prison.
posted by Dreama at 1:17 AM on November 5, 2006


And what do these actions premise, give warrant, or signify?

(simple question... {trying to get that ball rolling})
posted by Kudos at 1:24 AM on November 5, 2006


And what do these actions premise, give warrant, or signify?

IMO the start of a civil war...
posted by Guerilla at 1:27 AM on November 5, 2006


MIDTERM ELECTIONS
posted by radiosig at 1:29 AM on November 5, 2006


IMO the start of a civil war

What, in Iraq? They can put it next to the civil war they've already got going.
posted by eriko at 1:29 AM on November 5, 2006


.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:29 AM on November 5, 2006


no I'm totally just kidding
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:29 AM on November 5, 2006


Does he get to appeal?
posted by PenDevil at 1:32 AM on November 5, 2006


I'm sure Iranians are happy about this.
posted by bardic at 1:36 AM on November 5, 2006


a showtrial---it's unheard of for a former leader to get tried in the actual country he's accused of committing crimes in--there's no way to have a fair trial--this outcome was decided long long ago.

he gets to appeal but it doesn't matter--there's no one to appeal to, unless The Hague steps in.

Meanwhile, Bush is guiltier of much bigger war crimes.
posted by amberglow at 1:37 AM on November 5, 2006


/Debbie Downer wah-wah
posted by bardic at 1:37 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


they got a Kurdish judge this time--all the rest kept getting killed, no?
posted by amberglow at 1:40 AM on November 5, 2006


That really sucks. All of us down at the liberal clubhouse were just talking about how much we hate america and how awesome it would be if he got off. Well I hope the democrats are successful on tuesday so we can hand the country over to the terrorists and abort more babies!
posted by 2sheets at 1:55 AM on November 5, 2006 [15 favorites]


why isn't bush on trial?
posted by wumpus at 1:55 AM on November 5, 2006


I'm glad they arbitrarily delayed the verdict until three days before the midterms. Yeah, that's classy.

(But I also think it will backfire as the news is filled with reports of unrelenting violence in Iraq for the next few days.)
posted by muddylemon at 1:59 AM on November 5, 2006


2sheets, I'm totally with you. Saddam was my homeboy, he killed hella babies and that's totally my style.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:00 AM on November 5, 2006


I'm still unsure how a judge can be sentenced to death for doing his job. Did he exceed or ignore the "law of the land Saddam" in his sentencing?

I'm by no means trying to excuse anything that any of the defendants have done, but that particular sentence seems puzzling to me. Can anyone explain it a bit further - I'm drawing blanks trying to find out more about him.
posted by davehat at 2:00 AM on November 5, 2006


Saddam is coming off as the best one on TV, i think. He's pointing out occupiers, and traitors, and most of Iraq probably agrees with him.
posted by amberglow at 2:04 AM on November 5, 2006


This trial has been a shambles, a joke and an embarassment from the beginning. Iraq simply didn't have the judicial system in place to hold trials such as this one. Saddam should have been sent to the Hague and faced charges there for crimes against humanity.

And yes, George W. "he gassed his own people" Bush should be on trial for gassing the people of Fallujah, if nothing else.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:04 AM on November 5, 2006


Forget hanging. Shoot him in the head and do it live on network television, please.
posted by kjh at 2:04 AM on November 5, 2006


dave, the judge took part in whatever outrage years and years ago this trial was about, i guess.
posted by amberglow at 2:05 AM on November 5, 2006


flapjax, i bet we made sure our puppet govts there didn't sign on to the Hague thing, like we didn't--it's disgusting.
posted by amberglow at 2:07 AM on November 5, 2006


it was on 20-minute delay on tv--what'd we cut out?
posted by amberglow at 2:09 AM on November 5, 2006


why isn't bush on trial?

Because his spider hole is impenetrable. You can't try him if you can't catch him.
posted by pracowity at 2:09 AM on November 5, 2006


Where's Sean Penn when you need him?
posted by Guerilla at 2:16 AM on November 5, 2006


Not wrong or unusual to try Judges of a totalitarian regime. See here
posted by A189Nut at 2:16 AM on November 5, 2006


The pesky Iraqis would have taken longer to get this justice done right but hey y'all, W's impeachment elections are this Tuesday, let's hang this guy from this limb here with some big headlines with "Bush" in there somewhere Monday... VOTE
posted by ronin21 at 2:16 AM on November 5, 2006


oh cool, he's going to be made a martyr.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:24 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


There's going to be a lot of bloodlust over this, lots of "Boy am I glad that fucker's dead", and raucous applause and cheerleading about the whole thing. But just because the guy's a total bastard who probably does deserve the death penalty more than just about anyone else in the history of evil doesn't make the death penalty right. If you believe that executions by the state are wrong, you must believe they are wrong even in the most apparently justified circumstances.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 2:24 AM on November 5, 2006 [4 favorites]


some expert on CNN is actually saying this met international standards--unbelievable. And that they're demonstrating the rule of law.
posted by amberglow at 2:27 AM on November 5, 2006


flapjax, i bet we made sure our puppet govts there didn't sign on to the Hague thing, like we didn't--it's disgusting.

Yeah, it's "disgusting" that we didn't abdicate our judicial sovereignty to a bunch of yahoos in the Netherlands. When exactly did "The Hague" become the be-all end-all of justice in this world? Does anybody believe that Saddam isn't guilty of what he's been accused of? If you don't personally support the death penalty that's your own perogative but to put on some kind of song and dance about how this monster didn't get a "fair trial"--please just hang on a minute while I get out the world's smallest violin.
posted by kjh at 2:29 AM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


You know, as a gut reaction to this, and after reading everything he's done, and over the years, everything everyone else has done with Saddam, and because of him, I really think that this is the wrong thing to do, and to wave it around. I've no idea what the correct path is/was with this, but throwing more fuel to the fire for people to rage with can't possibly be good - violence begets greater violence. Damn, I hope I'm wrong, but I think the "revenge" trip will happen again.
Death sentence for Saddam 'will spark more Iraqi violence'.
Saddam Hussein and 2 co-defendants sentenced to hang.
Saddam and his half brother to hang.
Links as of 2:26 PST.

posted by Zack_Replica at 2:29 AM on November 5, 2006


I, for one, will miss his plucky spirit.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:31 AM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!!!
posted by matteo at 2:43 AM on November 5, 2006


If he's an evil dictator guilty of war crimes, what was he when Rumsfeld was shaking his hand?
posted by bardic at 2:44 AM on November 5, 2006


bardic: yep. link for you.
posted by Zack_Replica at 2:48 AM on November 5, 2006


Apparently, this is the second time he's been sentenced to death. The first was in 1959 after he attempted to assassinate the then Prime Minister of Iraq, a plot that was backed by um, the US.
posted by randomination at 2:49 AM on November 5, 2006


Oh, what a huge surprise. A consolation prize for the largest strategic mistake in US military history, gift wrapped for the November elections.

Good riddance, but it would have been cheaper to simply buy him off.
posted by moonbiter at 2:53 AM on November 5, 2006


kjh, it was in 1982, and it was less than Bush does in a day--don't let your bloodlust get in the way of law tho, or facts. This is a show, and not at all a fair trial.

bardic, as a matter of fact, we were Saddam's friend while this crime he was just tried for was happening. Rummy shook his hand in the mid-80s.
posted by amberglow at 2:55 AM on November 5, 2006


They never even decided whether the court legally could even try him.
posted by amberglow at 2:58 AM on November 5, 2006


kjh Yeah, it's "disgusting" that we didn't abdicate our judicial sovereignty to a bunch of yahoos in the Netherlands.

Mr. Hutton, are you an Iraqi? 'Cause they usually aren't called Kevin. Oh wait, you are an American. Which means that your "judicial sovereignity" extends all over the universe and beyond...Guantánamo excepted.

Anyway, do you have any particular reason to call the people working for the various international tribunals in The Hague "a bunch of yahoos"? I've met some of them and they were highly qualified and motivated professionals.
posted by Skeptic at 2:59 AM on November 5, 2006


randomination, thanks for the link, bizarre that it's the first I've come across that. Trippy, but sadly believable.

And I could be wrong, but I believe that the 'Miles Copeland' they quote is drummer Stewart Copeland's Dad.
posted by toma at 3:02 AM on November 5, 2006


kjh : Forget hanging. Shoot him in the head and do it live on network television, please.

I can't speak to the showing on TV part of your comment, but from a purely punitive aspect, hanging is typically considered far more violent way to die than a firing squad.
posted by quin at 3:05 AM on November 5, 2006


the people working for the various international tribunals in The Hague (...) I've met some of them and they were highly qualified and motivated professionals.

This is one of the reasons I really like MeFi. Honestly. (there is no sarcasm in that statement.)
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:07 AM on November 5, 2006


I suspect some of you have this in your video collection?
posted by A189Nut at 3:07 AM on November 5, 2006


Saddam asked for a firing squad, but will apparently be denied his last request.
posted by toma at 3:08 AM on November 5, 2006


Thank god Metafilter reported this in a nice single link FPP because when it comes to important court proceedings, if it isn't on Judge Judy I usually don't hear about it.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:12 AM on November 5, 2006


i've just got a picture of judge judy sentencing sadaam to pay for the damage to his neighbours picket fence.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:16 AM on November 5, 2006


I could not give less of a shit.
posted by Optamystic at 3:18 AM on November 5, 2006


That really sucks. All of us down at the liberal clubhouse were just talking about how much we hate america and how awesome it would be if he got off. Well I hope the democrats are successful on tuesday so we can hand the country over to the terrorists and abort more babies!

-- yeah, i too have to agree. danny glover, me and chomsky were just chatting over soysticks the other day about how intellectually stimulating ol' saddam was. 'and look, he's damn near got a fidel beard!' i said. and danny glover said that only mel gibson would want to kill him.

then we all toasted "l'il kim" jong il, for 'hangin in there still' and chomsky toasted the 'memory of chavez' - highlighting the 'bolivarian' resilience it must have taken to stand up to Ted Haggard...
posted by punkbitch at 3:19 AM on November 5, 2006


Pyrrhic Victory.
posted by gsb at 3:34 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.

posted by strawberryviagra at 3:38 AM on November 5, 2006


So, killing one more guy in Iraq will make things good?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:38 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Putting the rights-and-wrongs of this trial and verdict to one side, what does it achieve? Iraq is in turmoil and this will simply add to that turmoil. And outside of Iraq, most of the rest of the world will see it as another example of US hegemony and vindictiveness.

He should have been tried in an international court and (if found guilty) imprisoned like any other criminal. Posterity will judge this as simply another example of a victorious invader executing the locals.
posted by bobbyelliott at 3:48 AM on November 5, 2006


From the rehearsals in London: ... the laws and procedures used to conduct the hearing were those that will be applied in Iraq.

These comprise a mixture of Iraq's existing penal code and the controversial special statute that established the Iraqi war crimes tribunal - to the concern of many international justice campaigners who believe that its ground rules fall short of accepted standards. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:58 AM on November 5, 2006


This is probably a good time to review how Saddam rose to power. Americans generally know that the U.S. was friendly with Saddam during the 1980s, as a means of containing post-revolution Iran, but fewer realize how involved the CIA was in the rise of the Ba'ath party and of Hussein in particular. Saddam actually got his start as a CIA hitman.

The nation of Iraq was created as a British mandate after the defeat of the Ottoman empire in World War I. A guy named Faisal was made king (recall Lawrence of Arabia). A few decades later, his grandson, Faisal II, becomes king, but in 1958 is overthrown in a coup led by a military officer named Abdul Karim Qassim. The west considered this a Bad Thing, since the monarchy had basically been British pawns. Qassim, by contrast, was pro-communist, and, even worse, wanted to nationalize Iraq's oil production. Clearly not an acceptable situation in those days. So in 1959, barely a year later, the CIA, together with Egypt's intelligence services, tried to assassinate Qassim, and the team that they recruited included a 22-year-old member of the arab nationalist Ba'ath party named Saddam Hussein.

The operation was bungled though, and Qassim survived. With the assistance of the CIA and Egyptian intelligence, Saddam fled to Beirut, where he participated in a CIA training course, then was sent to Cairo. He bided his time there, studying law and helping the CIA to compile a list of Iraqi communists and radicals. In 1963, Qassim was overthrown by the Ba'ath party, and Saddam returned to Iraq to head the Al-Jihaz al-Khas, the Ba'ath party's intelligence service.

The coup had been organized by the CIA; they considered it a great victory. The deal was that in exchange for helping the Ba'athists overthrow Qassim, the Ba'athists would eliminate the country's pro-communist elements. So on the day of the coup, the CIA transmitted the names and addresses of those individuals, whose names had been compiled with the help of contacts like Saddam, to the insurgent forces. In his new capacity as intelligence chief, Saddam led the purge.

Thereafter follow a few years of internal Ba'ath power struggles, that end with Saddam's ascension to Vice-President, then President of Iraq. American support for him continues, until it doesn't.

For more info, including many shakier details that I omitted:posted by gsteff at 4:00 AM on November 5, 2006 [17 favorites]


Another example of a client-prostitute relationship not working out.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:04 AM on November 5, 2006


gift wrapped for the November elections.

how does a foregone conclusion have anything to do with that? ... don't tell me there were americans who expected or wanted anything else but the guy to be found guilty

one of the requirements of an october or november surprise is that it actually be a surprise; something that shocks the american public, or makes it think twice about something ... this doesn't ... we all knew it was going to happen

in fact, if all hell breaks loose in the next couple of days over this, it could be seen as really bad timing ... it's been my impression that the republicans seem to be getting a lot of bad luck lately when it comes to surprises
posted by pyramid termite at 4:35 AM on November 5, 2006


why isn't bush on trial?
posted by wumpus at 1:55 AM PST


Because the US Dollar hasn't tanked and the US of A is not in a depression.

When such economic events happen, the citizens will call for blood. If the feeling is tossing the leadership out of the boat would right the ship of commerace, the tossing will be fast and furious.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:55 AM on November 5, 2006


That really sucks. All of us down at the liberal clubhouse were just talking about how much we hate america and how awesome it would be if he got off. Well I hope the democrats are successful on tuesday so we can hand the country over to the terrorists and abort more babies!

Honestly, it would just be awesome if all the major left-leaning blogs and on-air pundits just said stuff like that about the verdict. It's obvious the right-wing ones are going to scream about how the "liberals lose" anyway, so if everyone just openly mocked it than the entire effect would be diffused.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:13 AM on November 5, 2006


Of course they're gonna execute him. And fast.

If he didn't swing from the gallow's pole immediately after this trial, there'd be other trials. After all, He's killed hundreds of thousands of people; convicting him on 148 coutns of murder is hardly even a start. And it's very possible that the families of those Kurds he gassed to death would like to hear the guilty verdict read in that case. But, no, Saddam can't be tried for those murders because they were committed with the assistance and the approval of the US, a fact that Saddam's attorneys would presumably emphasize at trial. So to prevent embarassment to the Bushians, some of whom served under Reagan and were directly involved in supporting this maniac, those trials can never take place. Therefore, Saddam needs to be whacked as quickly as possible.
posted by Clay201 at 5:26 AM on November 5, 2006


I'd wish they'd executed him sooner then. A few Iraqi judges and lawyers were killed themselves due to the inability of the American forces to provide adequate protection.
posted by bardic at 5:32 AM on November 5, 2006


Indeed, he surprisingly survived so far. Yet I guess the lack of a process would have angered those who believe in the rule of law, even if the real law experts may agree the process was , possibly, a farce. As you suggest the "talking point" will be that he was processed and senteced, case close, nothing to see keep walking.....
posted by elpapacito at 5:34 AM on November 5, 2006


"Saddam's half brother ... Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of the former Revolutionary Court, were sentenced to join Saddam on the gallows..."

(Voice of Heldey Lamarr) "Nah, too Jewish."
posted by hal9k at 5:38 AM on November 5, 2006


why isn't bush on trial?
posted by wumpus


Short answer: Democracy.

Slightly longer answer: We re-elected him 2004.

Accurate and concise answer: We won, winners don't get tried for war crimes.

/ask McNamara
posted by wah at 6:10 AM on November 5, 2006


a magic moment now is seeing tony snow in interviews championing open, transparent judicial proceedings as evidence of the emergence of true democracy in iraq...
posted by troybob at 6:30 AM on November 5, 2006


We won, winners don't get tried for war crimes.

War ? What war ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:49 AM on November 5, 2006


open, transparent - WHAT? This has been a kangaroo court from the very begining. Sure the guy is guilty, but this was now example of due process. FWIW, it is not uncommon to try individuals for crimes against humanity within their own countries. See the trials in late 80s/early 90s france. What is uncommon, WRT Saddam's trial is that the defendents in these trials usually get access to competent counsel and a constant, unbiased judicial.
posted by jmgorman at 6:52 AM on November 5, 2006


Bush is Pro-Life right? He must be furious.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


if it isn't on Judge Judy I usually don't hear about it.

"Saddam, shutup! Don't gas me and tell me you farted!"
posted by Stauf at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2006


kjh: Yeah, it's "disgusting" that we didn't abdicate our judicial sovereignty to a bunch of yahoos in the Netherlands.

Skeptic: Mr. Hutton, are you an Iraqi? 'Cause they usually aren't called Kevin.

Ouch.


The real reason why the trial is in Iraq is because the Hague would be unlikely to give Saddam the death penalty. President "I execute retards" Bush and the gawping death-junkies that are his base wouldn't have gotten nearly as big a stiffy from a life sentence. More importantly, death sentences are still a major component of justice in the Middle East; I'm sure the vast majority of anti-Saddam Iraqis would prefer hanging to life imprisonment.

This is one of those cases that really stretch one's commitment against the death penalty. The US may not be fit to judge him, given that we were his enabler for 2/3rds of his career. However, there's little doubt that he's a tyrant and a murderer, and that his death would do a lot more immediate good (bringing closure to the old order) than his continued existence would.

I wish everyone here could've had the experience of walking into one of his palaces. The first thing you think is "What an ASSHOLE." The second thing you notice is that all of the marble is a half-inch-thick facade over cinder blocks.

Saddam was no grandiose monster, like Hitler or Pol Pot, nor was he a complex figure like Mao. He was a thug, who alternately used and was used by greater powers than himself. And now his story is pretty much over.
posted by xthlc at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2006 [4 favorites]


Anyway, do you have any particular reason to call the people working for the various international tribunals in The Hague "a bunch of yahoos"?

They're always doing things like installing Ten Commandments monuments and using their penis pumps beneath the bench in The Hague, aren't they?

Or would that be a completely different bunch of yahoos I'm thinking of?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:04 AM on November 5, 2006


kjh writes "Yeah, it's 'disgusting' that we didn't abdicate our judicial sovereignty to a bunch of yahoos in the Netherlands."

*blink*

Your judicial sovereignty?

Ummm... what about Iraq's? Since when does one country arbitrarily have the right to enter another and arrest people? Oh, right, it doesn't.

That's why we have an international court, you idiot.

Those 'yahoos', as you say in your stereotypically American knee-jerk reaction to anything not created by your country (or, indeed, anything that doesn't recognize your country as being the be-all and end-all of absolutely fucking everything), are people who are committed on a daily basis to ensuring that human rights are respected everywhere--not just where it's convenient for BushCo.

randomination writes "Apparently, this is the second time he's been sentenced to death. The first was in 1959 after he attempted to assassinate the then Prime Minister of Iraq, a plot that was backed by um, the US."

Yes but that was different.

bobbyelliott writes "Posterity will judge this as simply another example of a victorious invader executing the locals."

And Posterity will be correct.

wah writes "why isn't bush on trial?
"posted by wumpus

"Short answer: Democracy.

"Slightly longer answer: We re-elected him 2004.

"Accurate and concise answer: We won, winners don't get tried for war crimes."


Er, you seem to have a lot of typos there. Here, let me fix them for you:

Short answer: because he has power. True democracy would ensure his being on trial. See: impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton.

Slightly longer answer: you had the woll pulled over your eyes in 2004, and the election was stolen, giving him even more power.

Accurate and concise answer: He has power, and lots of it, which coats him with Teflon.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:12 AM on November 5, 2006


They had to kill him so he wouldn't win a landslide victory in the next free election.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:16 AM on November 5, 2006


Mission Accomplished. "He tried to kill my Dad".
posted by stbalbach at 7:18 AM on November 5, 2006


If you don't personally support the death penalty that's your own perogative but to put on some kind of song and dance about how this monster didn't get a "fair trial"--please just hang on a minute while I get out the world's smallest violin.

It is precisely when someone is most reviled, when they are hated by everyone who knows about them, that they most need a fair trial. Because everyone was already sure he was guilty, they should have gone many extra miles out of their way to be sure the trial was scrupulously, exactly correct.

Rights aren't just for the popular. You don't need them until people hate you.
posted by Malor at 7:19 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's interesting going back to articles from Human Rights Watch like this one written in 2002. It appears the scenario that played out today is very much how they envisioned it.
posted by Guerilla at 7:20 AM on November 5, 2006


It's okay, we were going to vote for the other genocidal candidate instead.
posted by furtive at 7:27 AM on November 5, 2006


Rights aren't just for the popular. You don't need them until people hate you.

Exactly.

And having the trial in Iraq itself ensured that there would be an unhappy group who see the other groups as attacking them thru him--if it was in The Hague, having third parties examine and judge him thoroughly would have defused tensions instead of inflaming them. (and that's not even going into the simple fact that this was just a show trial, like in the USSR--we don't do much well, but we do political theater well.)
posted by amberglow at 7:34 AM on November 5, 2006


stbalbach opines "Mission Accomplished. 'He tried to kill my Dad'."

You have to wonder about the future repercussion of tens of thousands of Iraqi kids who can not only say the same about Bush, but who can in fact say "he did kill my dad."
posted by clevershark at 7:35 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


from that Human Rights Watch piece: ... An international tribunal is needed, Human Rights Watch said, because the Iraqi justice system is too compromised to render verdicts impartially, fairly and independently, while military tribunals will smack of "victors' justice."

The Human Rights Watch backgrounder states that other international mechanisms, such as the International Criminal Court or third-country prosecutions, could complement but cannot replace an international tribunal. Mechanisms such as a truth commission established by a transition Iraqi government could also play a vital reconciliation function in conjunction with the tribunal.
...

posted by amberglow at 7:37 AM on November 5, 2006


So... Iraq's going to be a democracy now? So they're going to join the USA and Guatemala as the only democracies still practicing capital punishment? The rest of us seem to have gotten over that uncivilized notion, but you're just creating new nations with the same backwards laws...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:39 AM on November 5, 2006


United States President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (‘Rome Statute’) on December 31 December 2000, the last day that the Rome Statute was open for signature. Shortly after the Bush Administration entered office and just before the 1 July 2002 entry into force of the Rome Statute, US President George W. Bush “nullified” the Clinton signature on 6 May 2002. Since 2002, the United States has launched a full-scale multi-pronged campaign against the International Criminal Court, claiming that the ICC may initiate politically-motivated prosecutions against US nationals.

For all the americans who seem to agree that The Hague was the right place for Saddam to be tried: there's something you can do.
posted by claudiadias at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2006


Anyone who wishes to discuss this elsewhere is cordially invited to treesandthings.com. Frankly, nobody is going to be able to tell the difference in pre-verdict Iraq from post-verdict Iraq from a "peoples getting killed and violence happening" perspective.
posted by MAYORBOB at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2006


Am I the only one who mourns the impending loss of Mad Magazine's "Saddam Says" column?

Riots, civil war and violence. November surprises seem quite different from that October kind.
posted by Gucky at 7:56 AM on November 5, 2006


Right now on CNN, Tony Snow is saying the idea is preposterous that we set the sentencing date.

they lie like the rest of us breathe.
posted by amberglow at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2006


We got him.
posted by hoborg at 8:11 AM on November 5, 2006


Well what does one expect from Tony Snow. I don't foresee that any encyclopedia will link his name to the definition for "credibility" in the future (except perhaps in a Bizarro future).
posted by clevershark at 8:12 AM on November 5, 2006


I do find it quite humorous that when insurgents stepped up attacks in October it was "obviously because they wanted to affect the US elections", but when the death sentence being declared three days before an election is clearly a coincidence!

Personally I find it tough to believe that anyone with an IQ above room temperature can place much credence in the bleatings of the Administration.
posted by clevershark at 8:14 AM on November 5, 2006


I am shocked at your outrage at Tony Snow.
posted by smackfu at 8:14 AM on November 5, 2006


Outrage? hardly... he's just the American counterpart to Baghdad Bob. Perhaps I should refer to him as "DC Tony" from now on...
posted by clevershark at 8:17 AM on November 5, 2006


Whilst not worried about Saddam the man, as an opponent of the death penalty (for ANYONE) I'm kinda concerned for the blood-thirsty, whooping, 'old testament' tone that this verdict has inspired in some. Punishment always says more about the morality of the judges not the judged...
posted by Rufus T. Firefly at 8:22 AM on November 5, 2006


This is what he deserved, a long time ago (video, graphic, revolutionary kangaroo court trial and execution). Whatever happened or will happen, it doesn't change the fact that he was a miserable excuse for a human, terrorized the people of Iraq and the region for his own personal benefit and got far more than he deserved in having anything resembling a trial, a platform for his sputtering nonsense, and these extra years of life.
posted by loquax at 8:23 AM on November 5, 2006


Saddam's Appeal: "I'm no scar!"
posted by papakwanz at 8:30 AM on November 5, 2006


What would be cool now is if they take him outside, put a noose around his neck, pull the lever, but then PWANG! a bullet cuts the rope and Osama bin Laden rides in and whisks him away to his hideout in the mountains. Meanwhile, Kim Jong-il orbits the earth in a tiny, tiny satellite that makes little poop poop poop noises on AM stations carrying Rush Limbaugh. Then George Bush says he's going out to put together a Posse of the Willing but his wife mishears it and won't let him out of the house, but George is afraid of horses anyway, so...
posted by pracowity at 8:30 AM on November 5, 2006


Wow, I've never seen this clip of Ceausescu's execution before. What a rush it must have been for the spectators at the time. Mussolini, Tito, all those guys...
posted by growabrain at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2006


The funny thing about Romania is that they pretty much literally took him out back and executed him, and then put one of his lieutenants in charge of the country. Somehow I don't think the revolutionaries thought their cunning plan all the way through.
posted by clevershark at 8:41 AM on November 5, 2006


I wonder if Osama will come out of hiding to stage a rescue attempt for his good buddy?
posted by NationalKato at 8:41 AM on November 5, 2006


"they lie like the rest of us breathe"

what amberglow says
posted by growabrain at 8:41 AM on November 5, 2006


loquax writes: it doesn't change the fact that he was a miserable excuse for a human, terrorized the people of Iraq and the region for his own personal benefit and got far more than he deserved in having anything resembling a trial, a platform for his sputtering nonsense, and these extra years of life.

Agreed.

So why did we send him all that cash and tech under Reagan?
posted by bardic at 8:47 AM on November 5, 2006


Does this mean George Bush was justified in invading Iraq? No?

Does it help the Repubs in Tuesday's election? No?

Does it make alot of Iraqi's temporarily happier even though their country is overun with insane insurgents that have no problems killing a hundred civilians just to kill one US soldier? Arguable.

Is this a good thing or is it just a thing?

NationalKato, you forgot the /sarcasm on the end of your comment.
posted by fenriq at 8:47 AM on November 5, 2006


"That's 'Hedley'!"
posted by jaronson at 8:51 AM on November 5, 2006


Can we ban the "there, I fixed that for you" construct? If you don't agree with someone's points, then say so. It's just an overused, obnoxious call-out otherwise.
posted by AJaffe at 8:56 AM on November 5, 2006


Waiting for the inevitable reprint of my previous post, with everything except the "overused, obnoxious callout" part crossed out and a "there, I fixed that for you" note.
posted by AJaffe at 8:57 AM on November 5, 2006


Right now on CNN, Tony Snow is saying the idea is preposterous that we set the sentencing date.

What does it matter in any case? Today, Saddam is sentenced to be hanged, and Iraq is front and center of the news today. Net effect on midterm elections? Zero.
posted by psmealey at 8:58 AM on November 5, 2006


Our failure to try Bush for war crimes reveals a configuration of power and evil that must be overcome if human civilization is to survive.
posted by washburn at 9:00 AM on November 5, 2006


Kind of takes the fun out of Rock, Paper, Saddam.
posted by LarryC at 9:08 AM on November 5, 2006


Like Tito, Hussein took ill-drawn borders around warring groups and through brutal repression, made everyone get along.
By toppling Husseinn and freeing the Iraqi people, they'll soon be slaying each other wholesale, with genocidal glee.

Are we the top of the feeding chain or what?
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:15 AM on November 5, 2006


Wow, I've never seen this clip of Ceausescu's execution before. What a rush it must have been for the spectators at the time. Mussolini, Tito, all those guys...

Mussolini and Tito were not around when Ceausescu got it, both being dead - Tito of old age, in 1980.
posted by Mocata at 9:15 AM on November 5, 2006


(...that should read 'since 1980')
posted by Mocata at 9:17 AM on November 5, 2006


Noosefilter...
posted by Blip at 9:17 AM on November 5, 2006


Dude, read the memos. It's FreedomFilter.
posted by bardic at 9:21 AM on November 5, 2006


We got him.
posted by hoborg at 8:11 AM PST on November 5


Yes! *fist pulling gesture* All you nay-sayers just don't like the fact that we've nailed the terrorist mastermind who directed the attacks against us and has created a worldwide terror network. If you'd been in charge we'd have frittered away our efforts on some massively counterproductive boondoggle and let him get clean away.

Oh... wait...
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:23 AM on November 5, 2006


Commute his sentence and reinstate him I say.

Good man, horribly misunderstood.
posted by a3matrix at 9:25 AM on November 5, 2006


This is one of those cases that really stretch one's commitment against the death penalty.

As someone who's against the death penalty, I disagree. What harm would it do the global society to put Hussein in jail to live out his life? The naked barbarism of the death penalty remains fully in tact; you're still ritually killing a person who could be safely held in a prison and prevented from harming anyone. I don't think anyone should be executed; that includes miserable thugs like Saddam. The point of principled opposition to the death penalty is that you don't get to pick and choose.
posted by graymouser at 9:29 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Good man, horribly misunderstood.

wtf? ... i can only hope this is some kind of half-formed sarcasm ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:47 AM on November 5, 2006


War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems
posted by homunculus at 9:50 AM on November 5, 2006


We got him.
posted by hoborg


Did 'we'?


However, whether the man in the dock was actually Saddam Hussein is wide open to question.


(The web search engines are great....you can find all kinds of things. Still havn't found a good 'ken lay is still alive' site tho.)
posted by rough ashlar at 9:51 AM on November 5, 2006


Thanks for the memories, Saddam.
posted by homunculus at 9:57 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


...Now since our breakup I wake up
Alone on a gray morning-after
I long for the sound of your laughter
And then I see the laugh’s on me

But thanks for the memory
Of every touch a thrill
I’ve been through the mill
I’ve lived a lot and learned a lot
You loved me not and still
I miss you so much...
posted by growabrain at 10:22 AM on November 5, 2006


Thanks for the memories, Rummy.
posted by homunculus at 10:27 AM on November 5, 2006


Good man, horribly misunderstood.

wtf? ... i can only hope this is some kind of half-formed sarcasm ...


When Hussein rose to power in 1978, the Baath Party was socialist. By 1981, they had established a healthcare system that was the envy of the middle east and among the top 5 of the world.
They built hospitals like the US opens starbucks and gave every citizen free care.

Then he shook hands with Rumsfeld and drugs began to take hold.

(all true except for the last sentence)
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:32 AM on November 5, 2006


And Mussolini made the trains run on time.
posted by Cyrano at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2006



posted by augustweed at 11:02 AM on November 5, 2006


Hitler built a nice highway network.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:07 AM on November 5, 2006


War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems

That's an interesting article. Maybe FPP-able, if you disregard the inevitable "newfilter" complaints.

For those of you too lazy to find the link, here it is.

Interesting, too, that the war games were in 1999, pre-9/11.
posted by Alt F4 at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2006


The biggest tragedy from all this: less acting work for Jerry Haleva.
posted by ed at 11:18 AM on November 5, 2006


By 1981, they had established a healthcare system that was the envy of the middle east and among the top 5 of the world.

it's always good to know that if your balls get broken by the government that they have a good health care system to take care of you
posted by pyramid termite at 11:22 AM on November 5, 2006


Saddam kills and has people killed and as punishment we kill him right back, which pisses off his friends who go out and kill and have other people killed, and then we go in and kill those people, and and and...

But it's all okay because at least it's all rainbows and unicorns for the friends and families of the victims after we kill the guy(s) that killed their loved one(s), right?

I'm not sure what the right response to someone killing another person should be. But I don't see murdering someone for the act of murdering as all that intelligent.
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:24 AM on November 5, 2006


Saddam is coming off as the best one on TV, i think. He's pointing out occupiers, and traitors, and most of Iraq probably agrees with him.

The Shiites seem pretty happy, the sunis, not so much.

Yeah, it's "disgusting" that we didn't abdicate our judicial sovereignty to a bunch of yahoos in the Netherlands.

Our sovereignty? Interesting choice of words there (as others mentioned). Anyway the idea that the Iraqis could do this fairly is a joke. Come on. I'm sure he's a terrible person but let's be realistic here. At least at the Hague he would have gotten a real fair trial.

Anyway whatever happens to Saddam is not my concern. But the fact that the trial lasted for two years and the verdict was reached two days before our election is just a disgusting show of how much a political show the whole thing was from the beginning. It's not like anyone seriously thought he wouldn't be convicted, so I doubt this will sway many voters minds.

I can't speak to the showing on TV part of your comment, but from a purely punitive aspect, hanging is typically considered far more violent way to die than a firing squad.

Saddam actually requested a firing squad. Apparently it's more dignified.

I wonder if Osama will come out of hiding to stage a rescue attempt for his good buddy?

His good buddy? Do you live in the same world I do?
posted by delmoi at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


When Hussein rose to power in 1978, the Baath Party was socialist. By 1981, they had established a healthcare system that was the envy of the middle east and among the top 5 of the world.

Saddam may have been a pretty horrible person, but he certainly seemed to be a competent administrator up until the first gulf war. He made the same mistake Hitler did, and became overconfident.
posted by delmoi at 11:33 AM on November 5, 2006


Cyrano - "And Mussolini made the trains run on time."

Well, the network of train tracks did help eliminate malaria.

Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced... as the ousted leader, trembling and defiant, shouted "God is great!

I wonder if the trembling was outrage or fear?
posted by porpoise at 11:36 AM on November 5, 2006


I'm not saying his socialist origins in anyway excuse later acts.

But the demonification of "Sodom" stage sort of blotted his roots out of the history books, cuz its easier to say eh was born evil than explaining how things changed.
posted by Fupped Duck at 11:37 AM on November 5, 2006


Yeah, it's "disgusting" that we didn't abdicate our judicial sovereignty to a bunch of yahoos in the Netherlands.

Our sovereignty? Interesting choice of words there (as others mentioned).

Yeah, that line kind of amused me too if only for its sheer arrogance. Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of Kuwaitis, Kurds, and Iranians, and you deign to say the Americans get him? For all those nasty words he said against Americans or something? To quote David Cross, yeah, that guy had it coming the way he'd been fucking with America since never.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:48 AM on November 5, 2006


Posterity will judge this as simply another example of a victorious invader executing the locals.

Which posterity? Shiite posterity?

"And Mussolini made the trains run on time."

An urban legend. Italian trains never ran on time under Mussolini or anyone else.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:52 AM on November 5, 2006


But the demonification of "Sodom" stage sort of blotted his roots out of the history books

He forced the ailing al-Bakr to resign on July 16, 1979, and formally assumed the presidency.

Shortly afterwards, he convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on July 22, 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped, Saddam claimed to have found spies and conspirators within the Ba'ath Party and read out the names of 68 members who he thought could oppose him. These members were labeled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody. After the list was read, Saddam congratulated those still seated in the room for their past and future loyalty. The 68 people arrested at the meeting were subsequently put on trial, and 22 were sentenced to execution for treason.

so it took him about a week to start doing away with his political opponents once he got the power to ... sounds to me like "things changed" the first chance he got to change them
posted by pyramid termite at 11:59 AM on November 5, 2006


kjh done said: Does anybody believe that Saddam isn't guilty of what he's been accused of?

I'll leave word for the folks at Fark to repeat this argument when MeFi is declared a terrorist board and we're all thrown in secret prisons without charges and provided no opportunity to defend ourselves in a regular judicial system. Because, ya know, it doesn't matter that laws and legitimate judicial process is followed, as long as those fuckers get what they deserve. We don't need to prove anything, because we know we're right.

And don't think they're not on their way -- 2sheets confirms that this place is basically Al-MeTa. I'm leaving word for Fark becuase we all know they come for the intellectuals first.
posted by VulcanMike at 12:19 PM on November 5, 2006


Forget hanging. Shoot him in the head and do it live on network television, please.

His preference would be to be shot - in Iraq that's the soldier's death apparently, with hanging more of a common criminal's punishment. Supposedly he has asked that they not hang him, as it's humiliating.
posted by jamesonandwater at 12:26 PM on November 5, 2006


As has been pointed out, Mussolini didn't make the trains run on time, merely "slightly more on time than previously".
posted by clevershark at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2006


Also, being shot means your accusers have to do it face to face--a hanging is anonymous and seen as more cowardly.
posted by amberglow at 12:35 PM on November 5, 2006


a hanging is anonymous and seen as more cowardly.

By whom?
posted by loquax at 12:48 PM on November 5, 2006


Wow, a suspended sentence! Wakka wakka!

If I was running that show, I would've had Saddam quietly snuffed, the spiderhole paved over, and claim he had eluded our grasp ("There are several rogue nations that we believe may have assisted Saddam's flight from justice. We will find him. We will see that those who aided him are held accountable for their subversion of justice.").

Then, using Rummy & Daddy's old Rolodexes, it would be easy-peasy to manipulate and sow chaos amongst Iraqi resistance forces by pretending to be 'On the Lam Saddam' commanding his troops from afar via 'a secret telecommunications system'.

By 1981, they had established a healthcare system that was the envy of the middle east and among the top 5 of the world.

But offstage, things were falling apart...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:49 PM on November 5, 2006


Qassim, by contrast, was pro-communist

Not really. He later tried to abolish the Iraqi Communist Party. It would be more accurate to describe him as anti-British, as he used the support of the USSR to replace the technical, military and economic support he had been receiving from Britain. In 1950s US foreign policy, of course, that counts as "pro-communist".

Thereafter follow a few years of internal Ba'ath power struggles, that end with Saddam's ascension to Vice-President, then President of Iraq. American support for him continues, until it doesn't.

There's a huge hole in your potted history here where Ba'athist Iraq went over to the Soviet orbit. It was the Iraq invasion of Iran that caused the USSR to withdraw its political support, and the US showed up at the front door all friendly-like, seeing as how our Middle Eastern bulwark of Iran was a bit less bulwarky. It's highly unlikely, for instance, that the Iraqi nationalization of the oil industry in 1972 was part of US puppeteering. Even during our period of assistance, the Warsaw Pact provided 90% of Iraq's foreign military assistance.

This is not to say that Saddam didn't get his start as an Egyptian asset at a time when Egyptian intelligence was a CIA outsourcing vendor. But it's misleading at best to portray him as a US puppet during his entire career. No doubt it cheered Western interests to know that someone with whom they had had a relationship had come to power in Iraq, but the 1980s relationship (odious as it was) was much more of an overture than a contract.
posted by dhartung at 12:55 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


loquax writes "This is what he deserved, a long time ago (video, graphic, revolutionary kangaroo court trial and execution). Whatever happened or will happen, it doesn't change the fact that he was a miserable excuse for a human, terrorized the people of Iraq and the region for his own personal benefit and got far more than he deserved in having anything resembling a trial, a platform for his sputtering nonsense, and these extra years of life."

Much like GWB, then?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:58 PM on November 5, 2006


Mussolini didn't make the trains run on time

Yes, I knew that. I was making a sardonic example.

But surely the "But Bush..." people in this thread aren't the same ones who decry the, "But Clinton..." line every time it comes up.

Right?
posted by Cyrano at 1:08 PM on November 5, 2006


Cut off the head and the beast will die.

*cough*
posted by LordSludge at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2006


greymouser: As someone who's against the death penalty, I disagree. What harm would it do the global society to put Hussein in jail to live out his life? The naked barbarism of the death penalty remains fully in tact; you're still ritually killing a person who could be safely held in a prison and prevented from harming anyone. I don't think anyone should be executed; that includes miserable thugs like Saddam. The point of principled opposition to the death penalty is that you don't get to pick and choose.

Yes, oppostion to the death penalty has nothing to do with the infamy of this person or that person, even if they are caught with blood on their hands and 35mm documentary photographs of the act.

It's about whether there are ethical lines which the government dare not cross.

It's about the fact that the death penalty is about as rare as getting struck by lightning and just as arbitrary.

It's about how people of color and the poor get the death penalty for crimes that are successfully plea-bargained to 20-40 by people with privelege.

It's about the innocent who are put on death row due to judicial incompetence and bias.

But it's also about the gulity who are placed on death row due to judicial incompetence and bias.

Fundamentally, it's not about McVeigh, or Hussein, but about the system of checks and balances with due process.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2006


Much like GWB, then?

What on earth is a "GWB" and what does it have to do with Saddam Hussein's actions from 1979-2003 and the millions of deaths (Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, Iranian, Kuwaiti, Israeli and Palestinian) on his hands?
posted by loquax at 1:48 PM on November 5, 2006


This news really sucks. I spent months looking for a bookmaker who would accept a bet that Saddam would be sentenced to death just before the American elections, but none would accept my wager. I reckon I should have made at least a dollar back for every hundred bet.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:04 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I am starting to experience October surprise fatigue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:16 PM on November 5, 2006


Was anyone, anyone at all expecting him not to be found guilty OR not put to death?
posted by clevershark at 2:20 PM on November 5, 2006


Was anyone, anyone at all expecting him not to be found guilty OR not put to death?

Well, neither England nor Australia has the death penalty, and I'm guessing (for the sake of argument) that none of the loser countries that made up the remaining 1% of invading forces condone capital punishment either. It would seem right that if a coalition is installing a democracy, then that democracy shouldn't be the lowest common denominator variety, but should embody the highest ideals of its proponents.

I am expecting official diplomatic expressions of regret from the English & Australian Foreign Ministers any moment now.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:29 PM on November 5, 2006


Tony Snow’s Favorite Fallacy
posted by homunculus at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2006


Sorry, UbuRoivas, Australia only complains when Australians are executed by foreign countries, not others. Does that make it a loser country or a winner country?
posted by loquax at 2:47 PM on November 5, 2006


I am expecting official diplomatic expressions of regret from the English & Australian Foreign Ministers any moment now.

The UK seems rather pleased with it all.

"[Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague] would not be drawn on whether he agreed with the death penalty decision.

He said: "It is a sovereign decision taken by a sovereign nation, it is the ultimate expression of the sovereignty of Iraq."

He added that it was a decision "which all of us should respect".


In other words, he's a spineless caricature of a liberal, tolerant of intolerance.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 3:32 PM on November 5, 2006


"This is what he deserved, a long time ago (video, graphic, revolutionary kangaroo court trial and execution). Whatever happened or will happen, it doesn't change the fact that he was a miserable excuse for a human, terrorized the people of Iraq and the region for his own personal benefit and got far more than he deserved in having anything resembling a trial, a platform for his sputtering nonsense, and these extra years of life."

This describes George Bush to a T.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2006


[Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague] would not be drawn on whether he agreed with the death penalty decision.

He said: "It is a sovereign decision taken by a sovereign nation, it is the ultimate expression of the sovereignty of Iraq."

He added that it was a decision "which all of us should respect".

In other words, he's a spineless caricature of a liberal, tolerant of intolerance.


Erm, hoverboards, I think you missed the "Shadow" part of the sentence. William Hague is in the Opposition, he's the Conservatives' foreign affairs spokesman (and a particularly hapless one with that).
posted by Skeptic at 3:48 PM on November 5, 2006


I wonder if Osama will come out of hiding to stage a rescue attempt for his good buddy?

His good buddy? Do you live in the same world I do?


Uh, delmoi, I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm.
posted by Stauf at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2006


When Hussein rose to power in 1978, the Baath Party was socialist. By 1981, they had established a healthcare system that was the envy of the middle east and among the top 5 of the world.
They built hospitals like the US opens starbucks and gave every citizen free care.


He "rose" to power all right. He killed guys.

One reason he felt driven to be "expansionist", other than his giant ego and devotion to the ghost of Stalin, was he was driving the Iraqi economy into ruin with these expensive social programs. The war with Iran drove him over the edge.

And Dhartung already mentioned the complicated and dangerous associations the man courted throughout his power-mad tenure. The USSR. The US. The Egyptians. Pan Arabists. All over the place. And you know what? He fucked them all over. Everybody ended up hating him.

The lesson is this. If your a pirate you can be as cut throat as you want as long as you honor your deals with the other pirates. They come after you if you don't.

So now we have what? One more corpse on the pyre? Another of hundreds of thousands.

I find it hard to celebrate.
posted by tkchrist at 3:57 PM on November 5, 2006


Erm, hoverboards, I think you missed the "Shadow" part of the sentence. William Hague is in the Opposition, he's the Conservatives' foreign affairs spokesman (and a particularly hapless one with that).

I am horribly familiar with who William Hague is. Does it matter that he's not currently in power? I picked out that quote because it at least raises the question of execution being tacitly approved of in statements such as:

"Mrs Beckett said: "I welcome that Saddam Hussein and the other defendants have faced justice and have been held to account for their crimes."

from the real foreign secretary.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 4:01 PM on November 5, 2006


Australia only complains when Australians are executed by foreign countries, not others. Does that make it a loser country or a winner country?

I don't think that's entirely true, although it does make sense for a country (nominally) opposed to the death penalty to try to intervene on behalf of its own citizens facing capital punishment overseas.

Even quite recently, politicians here have been taken to task for suggesting, for example, that it would be good if Osama bin Laden were caught & executed.

On the other hand, we endorsed - at the UN - Israel's extrajudicial assassination of the Palestinian wheelchair sheikh - the only country other than the US to do so. And complicity in the current show trial only furthers our slide towards tolerating the moral abomination that is the death penalty. This makes us a lapdog country more than anything else - how to criticise the death penalty without calling the self-proclaimed "leaders of the free world" into question?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:25 PM on November 5, 2006


OzNewsFilter: Australian Greens & Democrats oppose hanging.

The Prime Asslicker disagrees: "There's something heroic about a nation that is going through all the pain and difficulty as Iraq is, yet still struggles to give this monster a fair trial - that is the mark of a country that desperately wants democracy", he snivelled.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:31 PM on November 5, 2006


I am horribly familiar with who William Hague is. Does it matter that he's not currently in power?

Sorry, hoverboards, I didn't realise you were posting from Cambridge (Cambridge, UK, that is, not Cambridge, Massachussetts). My condolences for being so well acquainted with William "Seven Pints" Hague (or was that Bill "Baseball Cap" Hague?). I was distracted by your calling him a "spineless caricature of a liberal".

Hague is a spineless caricature, period.
posted by Skeptic at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2006


amberglow: i assume you are being facetious...
posted by casconed at 5:04 PM on November 5, 2006


"It's wrong in pretty much all circumstances, and the time to say so is when it's with a character who is so totally, utterly unsympathetic as Saddam Hussein." - Australian Democrats Leader Andrew Bartlett
posted by oliyoung at 5:07 PM on November 5, 2006


strange figs?
posted by pmbuko at 6:53 PM on November 5, 2006


loquax, you failed to answer a question of mine previously, so I'll ask again. You write: What on earth is a "GWB" and what does it have to do with Saddam Hussein's actions from 1979-2003 and the millions of deaths (Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, Iranian, Kuwaiti, Israeli and Palestinian) on his hands?.

I couldn't agree more. Saddam was a horrible dictator up their with Pol Pot and Idi Amin.

So doesn't this implicate the US as well? We built him up in the 80's. We gave him money, tech, and PR support. Shouldn't some Reagan-era officials also be put on trial for aiding in war crimes?

And as a corollary, does it bother you that the two groups of people happiest about this verdict, aside from many Americans, are Iranians, and pro-Iranian Iraqis?
posted by bardic at 8:32 PM on November 5, 2006


Ah, memories... Saddam, we hardly knew ye, though some of us knew ye better than others.
posted by clevershark at 9:05 PM on November 5, 2006


So doesn't this implicate the US as well? We built him up in the 80's. We gave him money, tech, and PR support. Shouldn't some Reagan-era officials also be put on trial for aiding in war crimes?

That may well be true, that's between you and your government. I'd certainly be willing to read a post specificying which officials knew what and when and how they reacted. The complicity of any American, French, British, UN or former Soviet officials in aiding and abetting him is a different discussion. If you're asking if I would have been in favour of pre-emptive regime change in 1983 instead, the answer is yes. But the bottom line is that no matter who helped him, or turned a blind eye (which would be quite a longer list of countries), he was ultimately responsible for his actions. As I said in my initial comment, no matter what happened or will happen, he is getting what he deserves.

I don't understand your point about Iran. I think a lot of people are happy about the verdict, with the notable exception of his fans in Tikrit. Iran and Shiites have more reason than anyone to cheer at his imminent demise, as he delighted in massacring about a million Iranians and their religious compatriots in Iraq. Should that mean that Hussein should have gone free? Received a life sentance instead of death? I'm concerned in general about Iran, if that's what you're asking, not particularily about their reaction to Hussein's sentence.
posted by loquax at 9:07 PM on November 5, 2006


The complicity of any American, French, British, UN or former Soviet officials in aiding and abetting him is a different discussion.

If he's a horrible dictator worthy of the death penalty (as I think he is), it's absolutely not a different discussion.

My point about Iran is less developed. I just find it striking that the Bush administration, after putting them into the Axis of Evil, has literally done almost everything and anything the Iran regime wanted -- removed it's greatest enemy to the West (Saddam)? Check. To the East (Taliban)? Check. Installing a pro-Iranian Shiite theocracy, making the new Iraq, under the best possible outcome for the US now, an Iranian puppet-state? Check.
posted by bardic at 9:36 PM on November 5, 2006


If he's a horrible dictator worthy of the death penalty (as I think he is), it's absolutely not a different discussion.

Maybe, but does every discussion about Hussein have to end up as a discussion about the meeting with Rumsfeld 23 years ago? US support never compared to that which he got from the Soviet Union or France, and arguably, at the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war, Hussein was the far better horse to back, before the serious purges, before the state became his personal playground. In terms of that discussion, at least the US has been trying for the last 16 years to remove him from power, one way or another, regardless of what they did before that.

As for Iran, geopolitics isn't as simple as that, in my opinion. It remains to be seen what happens, but despite the instability in Iraq, there are still hundreds of thousands of American soldiers next door building permanent bases and not going anywhere for some time. There is a very real possibility of an independant and pro-West Kurish state. There are another 20,000 US soldiers and tens of thousand more NATO soldiers in Afghanistan. You can look at it as the enemies of Iran having being conveniently disposed of, but you can also look at it as them having been replaced by far worse. Hussein and the Taliban were predictable, typical regional enemies. They've been replaced by ideological global powers with a deep interest in specifically toppling the Ayatollahs. The collapse of totalitarian regimes in both those countries has given rise to conflicts of ideas and has highlighted the shakiness upon which those governments ruled. There is far less tolerence today for Iran's posturing and far more scrutiny on their internal domestic situation then there was 5 years ago. I'm not saying spontaneous revolution or military action is around the corner in Iran, but I would bet that the current regime's belligerance is a response to the immense pressure, internal and (now) external to change or face a similar fate.
posted by loquax at 10:06 PM on November 5, 2006


there are still hundreds of thousands of American soldiers next door building permanent bases and not going anywhere for some time.

Maybe this scares some in the Iranian regime. Given the US's dismal performance in Iraq, however, I can imagine them saying "Welcome to the briar patch."

There is far less tolerence today for Iran's posturing and far more scrutiny on their internal domestic situation then there was 5 years ago.

True, outside the country. But putting US forces next to Iran has strengthened the hand of the ayatollahs, and younger Iranians are more willing to fight and die against the US than ever before. It's the ultimate zero-sum game. What you see as "pressures" I see as the hard-liners getting exactly what they want -- an excuse to buy more weapons, increase the size of the military, and make best friends with Iraqi Shiities.

Honestly, who has more power in Iraq now, US forces or the Moqtada al-Sadr's? I'll give you one guess -- when a US soldier went missing and the army set up roadblocks, a few phonecalls from Baghdad mullahs got them taken down.
posted by bardic at 10:56 PM on November 5, 2006


Reputedly Saddam is happy with the sentence - they told him that he was going to be "well hung" :)

Wonder if they'll televise the hanging? Will someone try to rescue him Robin Hood style? If they hang him with a mask/sack over his head, how long will it take before conspiracy theorists suggest that it wasn't really Saddam being killed?
posted by Chunder at 2:35 AM on November 6, 2006


I'm pretty sure hanging is more demeaning than other forms of execution. At least in ye olden times, in addition to soiling yourself, it wasn't uncommon to have an involuntary erection and ejaculate.

Maybe a doctor or historian could provide more info.
posted by bardic at 4:16 AM on November 6, 2006


It wasn't even the full verdict--this was entirely done for Bush and the GOP:

... The full verdict, a document of several hundred pages, explaining how and why today’s judgment was reached was not released. U.S. officials said it should be ready by Thursday. So why issue the verdict today? ...
posted by amberglow at 9:28 AM on November 6, 2006


Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Death, Legal Experts Question Court Proceedings

The lawyer being interviewed also talks about Mohammad Munaf, an American citizen who has been sentenced to death in Iraq without a fair trial at the insistence of the American military, and Bilal Hussei, an AP reporter who has been held by the American military for 7 months without charges.

Meet the new boss...
posted by homunculus at 4:08 PM on November 6, 2006


Saddam Trial: GOP Sacrifices Justice for an 'October Surprise'
posted by homunculus at 10:57 PM on November 6, 2006


Saddam to Be Executed by the End of the Year
posted by homunculus at 7:26 PM on November 7, 2006


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