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(DV) Random: The Hanging of Saddam Hussein







A Dance of Death: The Hanging of Saddam Hussein 
by Jack Random
December 30, 2006

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An American in the French Assembly before the Revolution became the Reign of Terror, spoke out against the execution of the royal monarch of France. Those who knew him were not surprised at his courage, conviction and strength of character. It was not a popular stance and he was no friend to the monarchy. He was in fact its greatest foe yet his principled position landed him in the Bastille and very nearly cost his life.


His name was Tom Paine, without whom it is unlikely that the great experiment we call democracy would ever have been launched on the American continent.


Saddam Hussein was hanged until the spark of life drained from his flailing limbs.


It is not politically astute to defend the fallen dictator any more than it was for Paine to plea for the life of the French monarch, yet there are occasions when principle must speak.


I am no more sympathetic to tyranny, despotism, oppression, brutality or crimes against humanity than Paine was to the monarchy, yet I felt only shame in observing the morbid dance of death surrounding the execution of Saddam.


Granted, the head of state is ultimately responsible for the crimes of the nation.


Saddam Hussein was executed for causing the death of 150 men and boys in the city of Dujail after an attempted assassination.


Only history can decide if he is accountable for genocide and other horrific crimes against humankind. The record is sufficiently clear that the great dictator was by no means an innocent man. The best that can be said, in light of what has transpired since the fall of his government, is that the divided, artificial and dysfunctional nation of Iraq required the brutal hand of a dictator if only to survive.


(I do not believe this is true. I cannot believe that tyranny and oppression are ever justified but the evidence is mounting with every corpse deposited on the streets of Baghdad or plucked out of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.)


Consider the actions of our government.


There is compelling evidence of a conspiracy to deceive the American people and extort Congress into a cause of war.


There is compelling evidence of that an aggressive act of war, in direct violation of the cardinal principle of international law, was committed against a non-threatening nation with premeditation and little regard for the bloody consequences of our actions.


There is compelling evidence that the tactics used in this war -- from Shock and Awe to Fallujah, where every man and boy of fighting age was prevented from leaving before the siege, from the use of cluster bombs and white phosphorous to spent uranium munitions -- were used with full knowledge of the massive civilian casualties that would result.


There is compelling evidence that over 200 Iraqis have died for every American soldier who has fallen during this war.  Even without consideration for the events of Haditha, Abu Ghraib and countless other atrocities that have no names, the war itself is a crime of genocidal proportions.


So if the head of state is ultimately responsible for the crimes of the nation, why isnít our president facing trial?


This was not the heavy hand of justice. It was state sanctioned revenge. It was the justice of the conqueror, of emperors and kings.


For those who suggest that the dictator did not deserve a fair trial, I am compelled to remind you that justice is blind. That justice which is reserved for the good and virtuous is only a masquerade.  It is the path to trial by drowning. Justice considers all who come before her with absolute equality. There can be no exceptions to the rule and process of law.


What we witnessed in the execution of Saddam was the killing of Iraqi justice by the poison of vengeance. It was a morbid dance of death.


The hanging of the dictator, however justified, however gratifying to those he victimized in a reign of terror that would not have been possible without the collaboration of western powers, was yet another crime against humanity for which our president must eventually be held accountable.

Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website: Random Jack.

Other Articles by Jack Random

* Ahmadinejad, Bush and Kofi Annan
* The Propaganda War: Revisiting Afghanistan on 9-11
* Jí Accuse!: Israeli Crimes Against Humanity
* Liberation Ramble South of the Border
* Haditha, Zarqawi & the Politics of Distraction
* Misconceptions in the Immigration Debate: What Would Crazy Horse Do?
* Requiem for American Democracy
* Paradigm Shift: Embracing the Power of Green
* Remember the Bastille: A Response to Mickey Z
* Designated Fall Guy: Replacing Rummy
* Libertad Y Justicia Para Todo!: Liberty and Justice For All
* Barry Bonds and the Steroids Saga
* Defiling the Grave of an American Hero: The Censoring of Rachel Corrie
* Starving the Beast: Programmed Ineptitude
* Constitutional Suspension: An Abdication of Democracy
* Right and Responsibility Depictions of the Prophet Mohammed
* Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan: Challenging the Pro-War Democrats
* The State of the Union: A Stumbling Illusion of Strength
* The Presidential Power Grab
* Surrealistic Pillow: The West Virginia Mining Disaster
* Pataki & Bloomberg: How to Bust a Union
* The Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal
* France and the Burning Embers of Repression
* The Activist Court & the Neoconservative Agenda
* The Agnew Factor: Clearing the Impeachment Path
* Iraq and New Orleans: The ABCs of Police Lawlessness
* The Age of Catastrophe: Preparing for Disaster
* No Tears for Rehnquist: The Legacy of a Chief Justice
* Zero Tolerance: Bush Gets Tough as New Orleans Suffers
* Hugo Chavez and the American Slug: Pat Robertsonís Call for Assassination
* The Lie of a Strong Economy (Beneath the Towers of Avarice)
* Fooled Again: Major Party Turnabout
* The New War Candidate: Major Paul Hackett for Congress
* Free Judy! The Fine Art of Calling a Bluff
* Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in Haiti
* Blame the Democrats & Move On: The Federalist Court
* Against the Wind: The Inevitable End of the Iraqi Occupation
* London and Madrid: Reflections on the War on Terror
* Judith Miller: The Anti-Hero
* Schizo Scherzo: The Last Waltz
* The Last Throes: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
* Impeach Bush -- US Out Now!
* Recall the Governator
* The Gates of Hell: Occupied Iraq
* May Day: The Rise & Fall of the Middle Class
* The Papal Aristocracy: Confessions of a Nonbeliever
* No Citizen Left Behind
* A Marine Comes Home: The Untold Story of War
* The Compassionate Leader -- In a Time of Crisis
* In Defense of Barry Bonds
* Defending Dan? Rather Not
* David Went to Canada...& Johnny Got His Gun