Each faction within Iraq will determine what Friday night’s hanging death of Saddam Hussein means largely by filtering the judgment, sentence and execution of this brutal despot through its own particular subjective lens.
For the deposed Sunnis and Baathists, whom for decades were Saddam’s ruling clique, it likely will mean calls for vengeance and retribution.
For Islamic terrorists in general, who already are kidnapping and bombing, it likely will mean an excuse to do more of the same.
For many of the ever waffling European onlookers, it may mean an opportunity to lament the uncivilized nature of capital punishment.
For Shiite factions throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iran, it could well mean propaganda ammunition to use against “imperialist” American invaders doing the bidding of the accursed Zionists by persecuting a Muslim nation’s leader.
But now that the ignoble conclusion to this tyrant’s life has finally occurred at the end of a hangman’s rope, Iraqis and non-Iraqis should draw the obvious inferences — those that are objectively true, rather than subjectively concocted in order to justify more violence, pessimism or self-interest.
It is objectively true that a brutal murderer of his own people has been brought to justice in a public courtroom of his own people, and was appropriately sentenced for his crimes. Despite the rough edges and bumpy procedural journey of the newly re-established Iraqi criminal court system, justice was served.
The execution of Saddam should tell non-Iraqis that despite the nation’s turmoil and ongoing violence, Iraqis have managed to bring a measure of justice out of chaos. And for that, Iraqis can be proud and non-Iraqis inspired.
Another truth that should be understood by anyone with eyes to see is that when democratic procedures are established even iron-fisted oppressaors can be brought to justice and pay the ultimate price. Saddam’s noose ought to be cause for discomfort for tyrants in North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba.
The truth is that despite the likely subjective spin of self-interested parties, and the ongoing tribulations in Iraq, Saddam’s death is a reason for hope.