Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue has written an intensely powerful column about the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Here are parts of it; I highly recommend reading the entire piece. I agree with it completely.
With the brutal hanging of Saddam Hussein in the pre-dawn hours Saturday, the transformation of the United States of America from world power to international exporter of terror is complete.
While one can argue that Hussein deserved to die for his many crimes against humanity, the question that history will ask is whether or not he deserved to die at the hands of a nation that invaded his country without provocation and orchestrated a trial to fulfill a political agenda of an American President who, himself, may be both a madman and greater threat to world peace.
…We invaded [Iraq ]to serve a personal and political agenda of one man who used lies and demagoguery to launch a war that should have him on trial for crimes against humanity.
… Like most despots and war criminals, Bush is a coward, a cardboard cowboy who lives an illusionary life surrounded by his own fantasies. … If this nation and the world survive the lunacy of his actions, history will no doubt prove the real crimes originated not in a palace in Baghdad but in the Oval Office of the White House.
And that same history may conclude the wrong man swung at the end of a rope on this last Saturday of 2006.
As a side note, I’m absolutely against the death penalty. Saddam would have been far better punished by spending the rest of his life in a solitary cell; away from the media; living in cramped, uncomfortable quarters; and contemplating whether his years of despotism were worth it. By supporting his death, the United States has only proven yet again that in some ways we’re far less “civilized” than many third-world countries; our legalized killings place us on a list with such countries as Iran, Somalia, China, and North Korea. I’m only surprised that W didn’t call for Saddam to die by beheading — a punishment that Iraq still allows. Maybe then he would have bothered to pay attention at the moment his personal bane died.