As I clicked on the video of Saddam’s execution I quickly clicked back. For some reason I couldn’t, in good conscience, watch the man responsible for deaths of millions of his own people, get his just desserts. I had seen the still photos but to watch the video suddenly seemed too raw. It was enough for me just to know he had been properly dispatched.

While growing up in the greatest land in Western civilization I learned that The Golden Rule reigned in our home, neighborhood and in most respects (in my view) our country.

Wrong was made right, criminals were held to account, and justice was the highest aspiration of our nation. Children aquired consciences through the corrective measures of their parents, churches and schools. Somewhere along the way I made the sad but inevitable discovery that even in a free country, evil existed. As I studied history I learned about the despots in the world and the news on television broadcasted the atrocities committed by them daily. Most of them lived out their evil lives, dying in their beds.

Throughout the years, from Vietnam on, I watched as Americans were blamed for all the evils in the world and yet today, unlike some areas of Europe in which the leaders cower in fear under the threat of criticizing Islam, we still have our freedom of expression. I have never had to worry that my children would be hauled to jail because of opinions I expressed in a letter to the editor in our local newspaper.

Our country never had to fear the madness of a Hitler in its leadership, in fact, men all over America rushed to enlist in the military in order to fight against the evil that was rampaging throughout the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.

Now another great generation of Americans are serving our country to protect us from the evils of Islamic jihad/conquest while we have lived, worked and played safely in our country these past five years since September 11th.

Saddam Hussein may have not played an active role in the attack on America on that particular day but he still had evil plans to promote terror and death around the world and was still refusing to cooperate with the Western World.

But the unmitigated evil Saddam inflicted on his own people was not as well known throughout the world even though there were Western reporters living in Iraq. They made a deal with the devil however, considering it more important to keep a broadcast outfit in Baghdad than in telling the truth about the fearful state that Iraq had become.

We have since learned the extent of the crimes against humanity that were commited by Saddam Hussein and mass graves are still being discovered all over Iraq. In his last moments, Saddam heard from representatives of the people he had despised, tortured and killed. Hat tip: Powerline

*****

With such brutes, entreaty, diplomacy, conferences are exercises in self-deception. Regime change imposed by superior force was the only realistic way to ensure Saddam’s fall. This is what occurred in March 2003, and it is a historic marker. The collapse of his dictatorship has created a social and political void, and a variety of hit men, as usual, are trying to make careers out of it. The only way to prevent their doing so is to introduce the rule of law and impose enough security that it has a chance to take. Saddam’s trial, for all its flaws, was an exercise in the rule of law. Justice is never perfect, especially when carrying an element of retribution. Much more important, though, this case is exemplary. Saddam’s trial and execution could yet be the building block of a future with hope in it for an Iraqi society and state at last free from his tyranny.

*****

President Bush was right. Even in Iraq people desire freedom and justice. In the State of the Union Address in January, 2002 he said this….

America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world — including the Islamic world — because we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment. We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror.

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NOBODY who experienced Iraq under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein could imagine, at the height of the terror he imposed on his countrymen, ever pitying him. Pitiless himself, he sent hundreds of thousands of his countrymen to miserable deaths, in the wars he started against Iran and Kuwait, in the torture chambers of his secret police, or on the gallows that became an industry at Abu Ghraib and other charnel houses across Iraq. Iraqis who were caught in his spider’s web of evil, and survived, tell of countless tortures, of the psychopathic pleasure the former dictator appeared to take from inflicting suffering and death.

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Iraq the Model writes,

Executing Saddam is an execution to a dark era in Iraq’s history and it’s a message to all those who followed his ways that there is no turning back; yes, the people will never kneel to a tyrant again and will never give up.
The future is in the hands of the people and they will choose their way no matter how big the sacrifice is.
We have suffered too much for too long and we deserve a better life and that we will keep pursuing.

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It is fitting that Saddam was taunted by his executioners. They, of all people, had the right to tell him to go straight to hell. They were experiencing for the first time, freedom of expression and the revelation that they would not be thrown in prison or killed in revenge as they would have under Saddam’s evil regime. That was justice done and a just retribution.

As Sissy Willis wrote in her brilliant post yesterday, his execution re-establishes the right order of things.

Repeating an email from Iraq posted yesterday……

Our Chaplain has a calendar with verses on it (you know, one of those desk calendars where you pull the paper off for each day). Today’s verse was “No king is saved by the size of his army, no warrior escapes by his great strength” Psalm 33:16.

Isn’t that crazy, the chaplain just happened to pull the December 29 one off and this one popped up.

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Saddam didn’t get away with it in the end, thanks to the leadership of President Bush, the valiant work of the United States Military and five million Iraqi’s who voted to become a democracy. And like Haman, who was hanged on the very gallows he had built to kill all the Jews held captive in Persia, Saddam met the same fate. Divine justice played a large role in the fall of Saddam Hussein.

My prediction for 2007? Now that justice has been done the Iraqi people will have an opportunity to join Western Civilization.