… for the last time.
Today I post without comment on blogger reactions to Saddam's execution. I'll be posting more updates as the blogs develops.
From my honorary Iraqi of the week. A cartoon by Latuff that sums up the mood of many:
Like a gathering storm, realization that the execution was imminent became apparent hours before the event. Neurotic Wife an Iraqi woman who works inside Baghdad's Green Zone gets a tip-off:
Yesterday just before everyone left Z, an Iraqi colleague, came to me and whispered in my ears, Please be careful. I looked suspiciously at him, why Z? There are rumours that Saddam is going to be hung before Sunday. Be careful Neurotica theyre gonna be bombing you relentlessly, tell your HUBBY NOT TO LEAVE the GZ please. Please tell him.
Her opinion is summed up in the title.. “Doomed if you do, doomed if you don't”. She writes:
Saddam's death will definitely not help the situation in Iraq. If the Govt thinks that his death will bring peace, then I think they should think again. …
Saddam's farewell letter just makes things even worse. He writes as a martyr who is going to meet his God in peace. Please spare me the BS. Saddam as well as the new govt are as bad as each other. The people who are now controlling the ministires are nothing but murderers. Especially the Defense and Interior ministries. The new govt are but a replica of Saddam. But instead of one person there are now hundreds. What a joke. The same people you see cheering for his death, are the same people that gave him the power.
She also gives the surprising reaction of a Shia colleague at work:
[M said,] “You know, I think I will be the first person to cheer Saddam's comeback.” That just stung me. How can you say that M? Did you forget what he has done? Did you forget the fear you guys lived in? M smiled, He said nothing compares to our fear now. NOTHING. Saddam is the only person who can get rid of those rogues. He is the only one who knows how to deal with them.
Hammorabi, a supporter of political Shi'ism, writes:
Iraq is now closing one of the most important chapters which is the fear and terror that Saddam created. He is going to have what he deserves for his crimes in the next few hours. Iraq will then enter a new era without the terror, tyranny and mass-graves
Ishtar gives her opinion of the many people she has interviewed:
All the Iraqis now are expecting something very bad with the execution of Saddam Hussein even shiite because they know that this issue would kill the last hope they have in reconciliation and living together peacefully again.
I have talked with so many Sunni during the trial and asked them what do they think of it especailly those whom their relatives have executed by Saddam Hussein regime for plotting against him or for other reasons, they said that they do not watch the trail because they feel it is an insult for them and that all the Sunni in Iraq are in the cage where Saddam put by the shiite and Kurds and if Saddam will be executed they will feel that it is an execution to all the Sunnis in Iraq and nothing would be left for them only to fight for their wounded dignity.
It is true that the shiite in Iraq whom their sons executed by Saddam regime would be happy if Saddam executed but this speech you would hear it immediatly after the invasion not now after all these cars bombs, IEDs, suicied bombers, assassinations … the only thing the Iraqi indvidual thinks of now is how to finish his day safely and not kicked out of his house by militias.
… If Saddam Hussein is a hateful man for the shiite, Saddam is a great hero for most of the Arab people because he was the only Arab ruler who broke the routine rules of the Arab rulers and attacked Israel with more than 42 rocket, though this thing is something absured for the western world but it is highly appreciated by the Arab people who had enough disappointment of their rulers’ policy and US policy towards the Arab world together.
Who gains if they hang Saddam? Iran, naturally, but who else? There is a real fear that this execution will be the final blow that will shatter Iraq. Some Sunni and Shia tribes have threatened to arm their members against the Americans if Saddam is executed. Iraqis in general are watching closely to see what happens next, and quietly preparing for the worst.
This is because now, Saddam no longer represents himself or his regime. Through the constant insistence of American war propaganda, Saddam is now representative of all Sunni Arabs (never mind most of his government were Shia). The Americans, through their speeches and news articles and Iraqi Puppets, have made it very clear that they consider him to personify Sunni Arab resistance to the occupation. Basically, with this execution, what the Americans are saying is “Look- Sunni Arabs- this is your man, we all know this. We're hanging him- he symbolizes you.” And make no mistake about it, this trial and verdict and execution are 100% American. Some of the actors were Iraqi enough, but the production, direction and montage was pure Hollywood (though low-budget, if you ask me).
That is, of course, why Talbani doesn't want to sign his death penalty- not because the mob man suddenly grew a conscience, but because he doesn't want to be the one who does the hanging- he won't be able to travel far away enough if he does that.
Maliki's government couldn't contain their glee.
Raed Jarrar reviews the political situation around the execution:
Iraqis don't miss Saddam, but they miss their national government that was inherited by the Baath regime and was destroyed under this occupation.
Saddam's life or death is irrelevant to the current Iraqi situation. Iraqis are fighting to hold their country together and get it back from the foreign occupiers. Saddam's recent trial and imminent execution are nothing more than evidence of how foreign interventions to change political regimes will destroy entire countries and split entire nations. The current situation in Iraq is a good indicator for how Iran and Syria, or other countries, would look if the U.S. administration went ahead and interfered and changed their political regimes.
On December 14, 2003, a Kalashnikov blew up in my face; I don’t know that much about firearms but wanted to celebrate Saddam's capture that day the Iraqi way: celebratory gunfire. By some minor miracle, nothing happened to me. I remember all those who came by my office to congratulate ourselves on that happy day; some of them since killed by insurgents.
My memories of them are with me always.
To all those who worked for this day and didn’t get a chance to witness it, To all those who hoped for this day and didn’t get a chance to share it, To all the victims of this horrible tyrant and his terrible thugs—may they face judgment too, To all the good people of the world who understand the evil that was the Saddam regime and wish the Iraqi people well today, You are all in my thoughts as I await the news of Saddam’s hanging.
Chikitita – I'm still against the death sentence whether against Saddam or any other person. If I had the chance to decide his fate, I'd let him locked in cramped cell, and work hard on making Iraq a better place, then I'd give him a telly to watch and weep.
13 – i dont think any iraqi at the moment will benefit or lose if they executed Saddam, the killing fields of iraq will still be open for business … thing is, the ONLY thing i hope to come out of this whole fiasco, is a lesson. a lesson to our current “Saddams”.
Khalid Jarrar – as much as i hate saddam, i know he is far better than the one judgin him and execcuting him. its just sad.
And the last word goes to Neurotic Wife:
Today marks the end of an evil era, the end of an evil era and the beginning of an even worse one…The Doomed Era…Iraq's Doomed Era…