I suppose I should say something about the execution of Saddam Hussein.

This was meant to be the great crow of triumph for the American government. This was supposed to be what the whole occupation was about - toppling the hated dictator, making him pay for his crimes, and freeing the Iraqi people to develop two-party elections and eat bigmacs.

Instead, we get pictures of a broken man with a noose round his neck, and no progress. No economy, no oil, and no one knows how many factions, including one puppet government, still mass killing each other, with no end in sight.

Everyone realised it was inevitably a showtrial - indeed there were only token efforts to portray it as anything else. Everyone knew it would end with a death sentence. And pretty much no one had a problem with the justness of that.

The only point of disagreement is over how much influence the American government had over the trial conducted by the Iraqi government it created. Were they pulling a few strings behind the scenes, or all of them openly?

It's interesting the Americans felt the need to exert any pressure at all. Did they imagine any of the Iraqi people - even those who benefited from his regime - seriously wanted the dictator around? A dictator has no loyal supporters - only temporary allies with knives.

Statements by politicians have all followed the same line - essentially: "The death penalty is part of Arab culture, but not western culture. But tolerance is a western virtue, so we westerners tolerate their barbarism in this case, because he deserved it."

There are people who swallow the line, but only by coating it in palliative terms like "sovereign nation", "free court" and "lawful process", until there's no content left.

When it comes time to write the history of this Iraq war, the execution will be a footnote. I suspect the bulk of the tome will concern the protracted many-sided civil wars that only start properly when America leaves.

After declaring victory, of course.


  1. Thank you, Captain, for posting about this subject.
    The conviction of a dictator - not his execution - should be welcome. And yet...
    I believe there's never been before a bigger bunch of retarded monsters in the American administration as today.

  2. Quite.

    A sad day and a sad end to a sad year.

    Now was the time, but it's passed. Now was when people in power could prove something, something good. Instead, the only proof one sees is bad.

  3. Dear Minge, now you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

    What the hell is this democracy, if I eventually understand «they» are doing what I don't want them to do?

    Are we all being really stupid, and so allowing them to do what they want to do in the name of the money and of the oil and of their mother bitch?

    Sorry Captain, for this outburst...

  4. It's all gone horribly wrong...

    Happy new year!

  5. No apologies needed.

    What surprised me about the execution was how rapidly it followed the sentencing, and how low key the speeches were about it.

    It was as though they wanted to get it over and forgotten as quickly as possible. Like they knew it was propaganda likely to backfire.

    They're making one final token push in Iraq, by sending in a few hundred extra troops. Though exactly what they expect the troops to do is unclear.

    After that, probably some kind of phased withdrawal, trying to look calm and even somehow partially victorious. Accompanied by a lot of talk about handing over Iraq to it's own people, and getting Iran and Syria to help with reconstruction.

    The Iraqi government will collapse as soon as the troops leave, and Iran and Syria will give miniscule help.

    It's all gone horribly wrong, and it's going to get worse. We just won't hear much about it.

  6. I agree with you, Captain! No, we won't hear much about it as long as they'll be killing each other like furious madmen...
    What a way to leave 2006 and enter 2007, especially today on Peace World Day...