It has been a long time since America has had such a direct hand in the execution of a former head-of-state.
is was a thug, but this has not been handled right.
The former leader should have been tried at the Hague — with a lot of distance between the U.S. and the process there. Now he will die and could very well be a martyr that further stresses the divide between Sunni and Shiites — as well as a martyr for those who oppose American occupation of Iraq.
The other missed opportunity here is that despite Hussein receiving the death penalty for high crimes, the Shiite majority might have sought some way to commute the sentence to life as a gesture of reconciliation with the Iraq Sunni population. Won’t happen.
My friend and colleague Nir Rosen stopped by tonight and told me that he thought that Hussein’s death would be a minor matter for Sunnis who will be relieved to be rid of him so that those who feel the brunt of their insurgency and opposition to American occupation will know that it has nothing to do with Saddam Hussein.
I still think that the wobbly government may get more wobbly still.
— Steve Clemons