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Friday, December 29, 2006

Hussein's End Is Near

He has been transferred to Iraqi custody and the death warrant has been signed. It is only hours away.

This man was responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. There are those who don't want him executed. They say that there will be violence to revenge his execution. Sometimes things just must be done. Besides, in case no one has noticed, he is alive and there is violence.

I have seen the results of his actions firsthand. I have seen some areas of Kuwait City where interrogations were held during the 1990 occupation of that country. I have personally seen the violence and ruthlessness that his regime not only tolerated, but encouraged. The "torture" that the U.S. conducted was a picnic at a girl scout camp compared to what these people are accustomed to enduring. While there may be short term implications of this action being carried out, the region, indeed the world, will be better off in the long term.


Edited at 226 pm: The title is linked to statistics on the number of deaths caused by Hussein. It is worse than I remembered. The low end of the number is 686,000 and the high end is 1,206,000. The true number will never be known. What should be added to that number is the 293 causalties of Desert Storm, and the 3,000 deaths from the current conflict.

28 Posts From Readers:

Nicho said...

I personally don't think this solves much. Am I crushed that he's gone? Heavens no. But I think that this particular case should've been brought before the world court so as to give the proceedings a bit more clout and a lot less like an officiated Shia lynch mob.

Saddam should've died in a prison - an afterthought who was forced to live the rest of his life in complete obscurity.

Robert said...

I am not so sure that I disagree, Nicho. He thrived on his power and dillusions of greatness. living in a prison, subject to the whims of normal Iraqis, the subject of an annual "What happened to Saddam?" article by the New York Times...that may have been the best thing.

It doesn't solve much at all, I do agree with that. When he was overthrown there was no chance of his return. However, there is the closure brought to the families of the million people that were killed because of his evilness.

Nicho said...

Your edit disturbs me...I'll give you the 293 casualties from Desert Storm, but how are the current casualties Saddam's fault? By your own admission, the man was overthrown in the months following the US invasion.

And you really need to start putting links in your text. I'd never have known about that link wihtout your edit. lol

Obob said...

he needs to be strung like il duce for display. A man of this evil deserves no respect in death and deserves to die with as little dignity as possible. What really chafes me is the Kurds are prevented from a very due day in court. But his death is closure and if the Bears thump the Packers, I can end the year on a note like this.
Happy New Year kids

Laurie said...

I thought hangings were a thing of the past....

Robert said...

Nicho, the link thing bothers me too. Because of the template and fonts I chose, it seems as if there is no real indication that there is a title link. I will take your suggestion, and put them in the text from now on.

We are only hours away at the moment...it is 700 pm CST.

I attribute the OIF deaths and those since the invasion because his dictatorship was not benevolent. Had it been, or at least not as aggressive and violent as it was, then there would have been no need for us to be there in the first place.

Laurie, does it really matter ho it happens? I think they ought to drag him through Kurdish country and let the Iraqis hack him to death with butter knives.

Laurie said...

Personally, I don't give much of a damn how the man dies, but I didn't think hanging was an option. That was my point.

Obob said...

from the impression I got, it was that or the firing squad ... I question my feeble memory on firing squads

Nicho said...

Robert said...
I attribute the OIF deaths and those since the invasion because his dictatorship was not benevolent. Had it been, or at least not as aggressive and violent as it was, then there would have been no need for us to be there in the first place.


So he can be blamed because of his aggressive nature which required our intervention? (Be very careful how you answer this Robert, for I can flip and pin you with logic very easily at this point.)

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Fact is, the scumbag is dead.

Laurie said...

Sorry to do this to you Robert, but it's more out of interest in what you're reading right now, I promise. You're it.

msliberty said...

Happy New Year, Robert!

Brooke said...

And in yet another example of their corrupt ineptitude, the UN did not want that fiend executed for human rights reasons!!!

Happy NY, Robert!

Laurie said...

Brooke, I'm interested in your take on the UN--you accuse them of "corrupt ineptitude," yet you support this administration, in all its blunders?

Brooke said...

Quite an assumption, Laurie. You think that I'm in lock-step with this administration simply because I am a conservative?

No. Bush's policy on the borders is atrocious, and he wasn't nearly hawkish enough with Iraq, IMO.

Interesting how when you disagree with the subject at hand, you attempt to change it to "that evil Bush administration."

As for the UN, they are corrupt. Anon's little Food For Oil fiasco, UN troops trading peanut butter for sex in Africa, egregious human rights violators sitting pretty on the human rights council... The list goes on and on.

They are inept because they lack the ability or will to back up any of their resolutions. Sure, they can condemn Saddam 17 times, but he scoffed and continued on until the US did something about it.

Now the UN will gear up to condemn Iran's nuclear program, but mark my words: Iran will be nuclear within a year.

The UN is little more than a gentlemen's club for international bad boys.

Nicho said...

Brooke said...
You think that I'm in lock-step with this administration simply because I am a conservative?


I can't answer for Laurie, but from my perspective you've demonstrated repeatedly that you're in lock-step with this administration because the comment you just made is the very first time I've ever seen you in any way critical of it; albeit your criticism somehow turns around to be the UN's fault, and not Dubya's.

Brooke said...
No. Bush's policy on the borders is atrocious, and he wasn't nearly hawkish enough with Iraq, IMO.


LOL!
And, do tell, exactly how much more hawkish would you have preferred - Shock and Awe with a friggin' Polaris missile attack? (This is one of those "lock-step" moments, by the way.)

I will not disagree with you out-of-hand with regards to the UN. However I have a parallel for you to chew on...

If you wish to hold the body of the UN responsible for UN troops trading peanut butter for sex, you then should have no problem understanding how the overwhelming majority of the Middle East holds the US government responsible for the atrocities photographed in Abu Ghraib. Or would you prefer to perhaps reform your complaint to "a few bad apples" as the United States did? (The latter I do agree with, by the way.)

I think the UN needs definite reform, but in a more gradual - dare I say, conservative - way. Most reactionaries would like to do away with it altogether and I think that's a monumentally stupid idea.

Brooke said...

We will not agree on the whole "lock-step with Dubya" thing, because you have cast me in that role and for whatever reason will not see me in any other light.

My post wasn't addressing problems with the Bush administration, but because Laurie apparently disagreed with me, she brought it back to the fail safe "It's Bush's fault" argument.

And as for Iraq, I don't think we have done an adequate job securing the borders over there (huh. Just like here.) and put far too many restrictions on our troops.

Calling for permission to fire back when they're being shot at? C'mon!

Respecting mosques that the enemy themselves do not respect by using them as hideouts? Nonsense.

The Geneva convention does not hold us to such a standard!

As for the UN: Sure, not ALL of them are bad. Sure, there are a few bad apples that spoil the bunch. But when the League of Nations became as corrupt and useless as the UN now is, it was disbanded and replaced.

Why not do the same now?`

Laurie said...

"Quite an assumption, Laurie. You think that I'm in lock-step with this administration simply because I am a conservative?

No. Bush's policy on the borders is atrocious, and he wasn't nearly hawkish enough with Iraq, IMO."

I'm not quite sure that qualifies as an assumption. If the only thing, in Bush's 6 years as President, you disagree with are border security and war tactics, I'd say you're about one step away from White House payroll. (I agree completely about border security, but since it's now clear this administration bent the truth at the very least to support their wishes to invade Iraq, it baffles me that some still support this illegal war.)

"Sure, they can condemn Saddam 17 times, but he scoffed and continued on until the US did something about it."

There were no WMDs found in Iraq. You insist (and I agree) that Iran will be nuclear (if not already) by this year. Hmm. Iran so close to WMDs, Iraq so very, very far away, yet we chose to invade the easier of the two.

"My post wasn't addressing problems with the Bush administration, but because Laurie apparently disagreed with me, she brought it back to the fail safe 'It's Bush's fault' argument."

Speaking of assumptions, I never said it was Bush's fault. (By the way, I hardly consider that a "fail-safe" argument.) I simply asked how you could condemn the UN while simultaneously supporting the current administration. Hard to refute when all of your posts are, without fail, praises of the actions and inactions of Dubya and the clan.

Nicho said...

It would seem that you're not far off from how Democrats thought Iraq should've been handled from the get-go. Woulda/shoulda/coulda...Shinseki's call for "hundreds of thousands of troops" should not have been dismissed. Instead we followed the personal theories of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to our everlasting shame. Had we followed the advice of the generals, which Bush claims to have been doing since the beginning despite the mounting evidence to the contrary, perhaps we could've secured the borders, firmly guarded ammo/fuel dumps, squelched looting in addition to the one thing we did secure - the oil fields.

As for hiding out in mosques, even the most dedicated neocon hawk will tell you that maneuver was just as much a battlefield decision as a political one. The ones who took shelter there knew very well that if Americans would've fired on them, the cries of indignation from the Muslim world would've been too overwhelming to simply dismiss. This war was too closely covered by embedded media.

And Robert will have to confirm this, but calling for orders to return fire is standard procedure unless previously authorized by the command post. When in a combat situation you are not always aware of the position of friendlies and opening fire could well put your own troops in the crossfire.

Finally, be honest; the US has had no qualms with selectively dismissing the Geneva Conventions when it has suited it purposes since 9/11 and arguably even before that.

Laurie said...

"Shinseki's call for 'hundreds of thousands of troops' should not have been dismissed."

Oh, but Bush listens to his generals, Nicho. Right before he fires them.

Brooke said...

" I'd say you're about one step away from White House payroll."

That's hilarious! Maybe I should call and see about getting some of that sweet, big government (which I also disagree with) change!

Iraq wasn't only about WMD's, although that was a big part. It was also about taking out a despot who was destabilizing the region by paying terrorists in other countries, such as the Palestinian homicide bombers. Saddam openly subsidized those families, and praised them publicly.

You may also recall that Britain had the same bad intelligence as we did, so blaming the Bush admin. is hardly fair.

Calling for return fire on a van full of 'insurgents' is a bad, bad policy. If we're really in the business of winning war, we need to give our ground troops the ability to protect themselves.

As for Geneva... We really do try to play as fairly as possible. Sure, there are a few incidents of bad behavior, but that just goes back to the argument about the few bad apples spoiling the bunch. Maybe if the MSM showed footage of the good our troops do, you wouldn't consider America the enemy first. That is really sad.

Look, it's apparent we aren't going to agree on this, and it's tiring to re-hash the same talking points over and over.

Robert said...

What? Someone arguing at my place for a change? Hmmmm..have to analyze this...lol.

Nicho, I can't really comment on the approval process. There are always Rules of Engagement (ROE) that are standing procedures. I don't know, but would hazard a guess that the ROE are fairly liberal in Iraq. There are time, though, that approvals are necessary for prevention of friendly fire or civilian casualties. In the "fog of war" it often occurs that the units engaging are not aware of many things on the battlefield. This is why civilian deaths are not always from negligence, but from legitimate military action and there were unknown conditions on the battlefield. I led a ptrol along the Saudi-Kuwait border one night, several miles form my lines, and in the darkness of the desert we heard armor moving. An infantry patrol (which was 19 Marines and a corpsman) alone inthe open desert against armor is a frightening proposition. We couldn't pinpoint the exact location, so i called for an artillary mission to illiminate the area and prepare for a He (high explosive) fire mission. It was denied. I asked again, and was denied. So, we holed up for a little while and rode it out. It turns out that there was armor, but it was friendlies moving positions. There are indeed reasons for prior approvals.

However, I will also tell you that the debacle in Somalia was a result of keeping troops on a short leash. In that situation, the White House had to approve an escalation of force, and denied it. Denied it despite the nightmare that was unfolding on the ground. In Beirut in 1983, those Marines dies because, in part, the Marines on the perimeter were not allowed to stand post with loaded weapons for fear of civilian casualties. It was a poor decision on the part of the Reagan DoD (or whomever made the decision). These things happen when one tries to fight a war in an un-warlike fashion.

Iraq was a both a strategic move and a tactical one. Dealing with Iran first would not have accomplished the political objectives for the region. Look at a map...I don't mean that snidely...and see the reality of the surrounding countries. A sucessful democracy in Iraq, couples wth friendly governements in Afghanistan and Pakistan, places Iran and Syria in a tight spot. Added to this is the Iranian demographics of a younger, more westernized and hungry for success generation. Iran would be too busy keeping their own population in check to make too many problems elsewhere. it would also squeeze Syria, which was forced to abandon Lebanon last year.

The mistakes have been tactical ones. There has been talk of the "mix of forces". If you want to read something new, read the "Small Wars manual" which is a Marine Corps publication written about the Latin American incursions we made in the late 1800s and 1900s. MORE forces are not always what is needed to fight and insurgency, a proper mix of conevntional, civil affairs, and special operations is the crucial part.

But, if I knew as much as I would like to think I do, I would be in charge, right? lol

Nicho said...

Brooke said...
Maybe if the MSM showed footage of the good our troops do, you wouldn't consider America the enemy first. That is really sad.


Actually, what's sad is that no one in this thread once said or even alleged consideration of America being the enemy first.

And perhaps the media is too busy recounting the deadliest year for journalists in recent history to worry about reporting all the "good things" that are going on in Iraq. Must be a matter of perspective...or perhaps "bias".../sarcasm.off

Brooke said...

The constant blame America first attitude is enough to allege that we are being considered the enemy first.

And as for the journalists... When one stands in the middle of a war zone, hurricane, ect, it is not unfathomable to have a few casualties.

The real story should have been how the media values rating more than reporter's safety and lives.

Brooke said...

Oops.

"Ratings."

And I've heard real soldiers speak in person about providing clothing and food of their own accord: Wives who send care packages of things bought at yard sales for Iraqi children...

But I guess those sort of "good things" don't get the sort of ratings that blood and guts do.

< /end sarcasm>

Laurie said...

Brooke, you're right--we never will agree on the Iraq war, although surprisingly, we agree about several other issues. I would like to ask, though, if you were just as critical of the media during Clinton's administration, especially during the Lewinsky scandal? Were they not just as focused on the negative then, and was this wrong, given that he was a Democratic president?

Robert said...

laurie, I don't think the comparison is valid. The Lewinsky thing was (stupid and childish, let me get that out of the way) but it was a huge news story. It was covered, and it was Clinton who allowed it to continue by committing perjury. Had he simply addressed it on day one, it would have gone away quickly.

Here we have a war - There are negatives, such as strategic and tactical mistkes, and there are positive aspects to it as well. In this instance, the positive things are completely ignored, while selectively reporting those things that are "blood and guts" to a) obtain ratings, and b) further a left wing agenda.

Brooke said...

I'm usually critical of the media, but I'm with Robert; Clinton allowed that to fester, and it was basically a disposable story, quite unlike a war.

What hacked me off about the Lewinsky debacle was that so-called feminist groups allowed a woman in a weak intern position to be used for sex by a married man in a vastly more powerful position than she, and all to remain in the Democratic tent at all costs.

IMHO, THAT is the reason Clinton should've been hung out to dry: The very same institutionalized sexism and cover-ups that women have fought so hard to overcome, and N.O.W. just turned a blind eye. Talk about making oneself irrelevant!

But, that's starting to get waaaaaay O.T.! LOL!

In both cases, however, the media's lack of self-restraint is amazing.

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