Friday, December 29, 2006

The End of Saddam

Saddam Hussein has officially been executed. Post-Saddam Iraq is beset with problems, most especially the brutal war waged by radical Islamists both Sunni and Shia to fracture the country along sectarian lines and prevent democracy and pluralism from taking root. In the short term, the death of Saddam will do little if anything to alleviate this crisis. So, does Saddam's death matter? Absolutely.

For one of the few times in history, a genocidal, totalitarian tyrant has been held to account by his own people. Whatever the flaws of the process, and these flaws have been greatly exaggerated, the Iraqi people have finally obtained justice for the up to 1 million of their fellow citizens slaughtered by Saddam's regime.

At long last, the Arab world's answer to Hitler and Stalin has met his fate, and at the hands of his former victims. As long as America does not disgracefully abandon Iraq's fledgling democracy as we did South Vietnam, the long term impact of Saddam's demise could help to transform the political culture of the Middle East.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term "radical islamists" could be left out. That is a given. This is simply a civil war between the sunnis and shia. The shia have exacted vengence upon Saddam and now the circle will continue as it has for the past few years. Eventually the country will finally split (to some extent) into 3 parts.

10:25 AM  

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