So they’re popping popcorn over in Freeperville. They’re all just betting on the time of death, posting pictures of Saddam photoshopped under a camel, the usual wingnut parlor tricks and cheap Fark imitations that let them believe they’re part of the great struggle. Goody for them. I’ve never really begrudged anybody the right to do whatever makes them feel good so long as no children or non-consenting adults are harmed, so let them post away in their fury, let them work themselves up. At least it’ll keep them out of our hair.

I’m not going to pretend to feel like Saddam Hussein deserved to live. Or die, for that matter; he wasn’t my leader, I don’t feel qualified to pass judgment on his punishment for his crimes. I wasn’t in the courtroom. I was not his judge; I am not, thank God, his executioner.

For the record, it’s a death in a place filled with thousands of deaths. It may lead to more violence, it may lead to less. It may placate some, it may anger others. If there’s a list somewhere of Truly Horrible People Alive Today, kept by someone who is qualified to keep that list, there’s one more name can be crossed off. If that’s reason to celebrate (I’m not sure it is — are his victims less dead because he joins them? Are his potential victims safer with him dead than with him imprisoned? Are these questions we should even ask?) then I suppose celebration is warranted, but it’s not my party, nor the Freepers’, either, really. Deeply felt interest in an outcome does not equal ownership, and I will not demean the experience of Iraqis by saying I have some right to share whatever their feelings might be tonight.


He hangs, and then.

With this war, it’s always … and then. And then we stand around, having named the execution of Saddam whatever we like, having decided it means whatever we think it means, we stand around and realize the sun still came up this morning. And then. And then. And then.

Atrios has been writing for some time about how nobody wants to take responsibility for defining the endgame in Iraq, or at least that the only people who do are so thoroughly out of power all they can do is argue in circles in college symposium settings, desultorily covered by bored reporters for papers of middling size. The policymakers, those who matter? They keep on pretending, and it’s hard not to see this execution as just one more chapter in their ongoing fiction that someday, somehow, it will all turn up right on its own, ourselves having done nothing to effect it one way or another. As though the war is a runaway train, as though the brake handle broke off in our hands, as though we can’t stop it anymore.

These are the facts, if Saddam is alive or dead:

We went to war on the public pretext that Iraq was a terrorist-supporting state possessing weapons of mass destruction, which it intended to use against us.

No such weapons were found.

There are more terrorists in Iraq now than there ever have been.

Nearly 3,000 American soldiers have died.

And more than 100,000 Iraqis, by the lowest of credible estimates.

The country is devastated, plagued by suicide bombers and other terrors that did not exist before our invasion, and is engulfed in civil war.

The government that led us to war is demoralized, its power curtailed by a populace finally tired of its lies.

We are, as a result of our neglect of actual terrorism prosecutions and diplomatic and/or military opportunities while we squander resources in Iraq, less safe and secure now than we were before 9/11.

If Saddam is alive or dead, these are the facts. And they’re popping popcorn over in Freeperville:


This is one of those few times I wish I had cable.

The suspense is unbelievable, I hope the moment can last just a bit longer.

And then?


14 thoughts on “Hanged

  1. There is no good evidence that the US uniquely supplied Hussein with chem or bio weapons. It’s not a scandal like Cooperative wants everyone to think.
    The REAL scandal is how Reagan-Bush helped Hussein TARGET his chem and bio attacks on the Iranians (and quite possibly the Kurds). What is a REAL scandal is how GHW Bush gave Hussein use of his attack helicopters so he could drop Sarin and mustard gass on the Marsh Arabs in 1992, while the US looked on.
    So, the reason for killing Hussein before more trial is not because of some invoices that will blow the whole story open. Cooperative is pathetic when it seizes on the wrong part of the story — just as ANSWER is pathetic (or worse) when they defend Hussein.
    So here’s the real reason. Are you ready?
    — Hussein was killed after a farce of a short trial on the day he was killed by the people who obviously killed him without regard to a real trial —
    — because that would INCREASE anger and make him a martyr. —
    It is that simple. Bushco is NOT trying to bring peace to the world — I know that must come as a shock to you.
    — Paul in LA

  2. i see no one has quoted gandalf yet, so here it goes.
    “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
    i believe that’s from tolkien’s “the fellowship of the ring”.
    certainly the tens of thousands who have died in iraq since the invasion deserve life. since we can’t give it to them, this is the best we can come up with?
    despicable. not to mention not helpful in any way.

  3. That sudden rush to hang is so typical of Bush, you know they were trying to hide something. I knew he was on trial for something else, forgot it was the Kurdish gassings, but it all makes just perfect sense, doesn’t it?
    And I can only second Interrobang, there’s something intrinsically wrong with the whole thing, and how convenient of Bush’s network news show to forget to mention our support, nay, creation, of Hussein in the first place.

  4. The reason for the quick execution is simple: If Saddam is tried for the Kurdish massacre, facts about the source of those chemical weapons will come out. And even Limbaugh and al Foxeera will have difficulty protecting the Gipper’s reputation.

  5. I still don’t understand why the freepers, of all people, don’t ask themselves why, if Saddam was guilty of any crimes against the actual US, he didn’t stand trial here for those crimes? To me, had I needed any, that was proof postive that the entire war took place on false premises. If there had been the slightest evidence that saddam actually had weapons of mass destruction, had used al quaeda against us, etc…etc… we could and should have brought him to trial here first and let the iraqis have him afterwards. That’s good ol’ “victors justice” the kind bush would otherwise approve of. But we didn’t. We couldn’t be bothered and we didn’t want the public embarrasment of demonstrating just how much a client of bushco saddam was at the height of his powers. But the freepers never ask themselves that question. truly, reading their stuff is like reading the ravings of a paranoid schizophrenic, everything makes a kind of sense–the same sense that you see unfolding on the screen in “A beautiful mind” after the protagonist has explained his secret work for the government and the camera pulls back to show a full screen of insane scribbles and connections between everything kind of map and name and piece of string.

  6. The media coverage is unseemly in its tone, really. The US government made him…and then they broke him, kicked him down to the point where pictures of him in his underwear were in the major papers, and then finally killed him. There’s something deeply broken about a culture that celebrates executing someone at all, let alone in circumstances like that.
    By the way, the US MSM hasn’t touched this yet, apparently, but the CBC has it: US Selective Service to test draft machinery in 2009 [www.cbc.ca].
    — Interrobang from Eschaton

  7. Listened to ABC give a retrospective of Saddam’s rise to power and how awful he was.
    Funny thing though, they didn’t breath a word of how Saddam was supported by the US. How the US supported him in order to weaken neighbor Iran. How the Kurds were gassed by munitions obtained from the US. How this support was the brainchild of the CIA which supplied so many players of the current neocon administration.
    I admit, I know how to spoil a party.

  8. I can’t remember ever celebrating someone’s death. And, I always remember the phrases that began “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – “…Every man’s death diminishes me…”
    Saddam was a psychopathic, sociopathic monster. But, in the end, it was obvious he was also just a human being, who did what he thought he should do. I don’t think Bush is comparable to Saddam, but their death tolls are not that different. I would be happy as a lark if Bush just resigned – no impeachment, no indictment, no trial…

  9. America – How did we let our great nation become the monster we are so quick to scorn?
    I feel sick. We will now know just how bad things will get in Iraq… and elsewhere.

  10. Have you ever noticed how you can’t post an anonymous comment in freeperville, hotairville, townhallville or any of the other creepyvilles? If any of you bloggers or readers out there have logins in creepyville, (it’s not worth the cooties for me to create one) send a non-threatening post to the creepers (because they’re in full-blown hang-em-high mode) pointing to this website,
    for a history of our tacit support of the Hussein regime. We held our noses over chemical weapons in favor of OIL, OIL, OIL.

  11. I know three people going to Iraq soon. Saddam’s death makes not a bit of difference in a positive direction.

  12. n.
    With this war, it’s always … and then.

    and then, next week, a friend of a friend ships out for his second tour. His re-up date got bumped up a few weeks because of The Surge. I can’t speak for him because I don’t know him personally, but I know his friends and loved ones don’t give a rat’s ass about Saddam being dead, they dont think it means progress of any kind, and they aren’t fooled about being manipulated into feeling “safer.” All they are thinking about is their boy leaving again. To go do his job.
    Which is more than the Freepers have ever done, or will do.

  13. Saddam is dead. Good I suppose. Though life in a spartan prison would have been better. But, how shall we hold accountable them whose cavalier actions have unleashed an even higher death rate on the Iraqis than Saddam?

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