Rebuilding a nation based on United States’ democracy means the death penalty and what better way to join the ranks of the most progressive nations as a young democracy than participate in the most high profile execution. Saddam Hussein today joined Hideki Tojo and Benito Mussolini as the only deposed leaders in modern history to be executed.
Although it seems perfectly clear that Saddam Hussein was a war criminal and committed various crimes against humanity, by executing him, the nascent Iraqi government shows that it is still the pawn of the Conservative Right United States government. There were many ways for Iraq and the US to proceed in this matter that would have served justice. First, the US and Iraq could have submitted Hussein to the War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague or the International Court of Justice. This would have showed the world that Iraq really is a progressive democracy. However, because of the US stance against both supranational tribunals, the Iraqi government was forced to revert to the Saddam-style executions with red cards and the like. Second, the US and Iraqi officials could have put him on trial for his countless other war crimes. This would have lasted several years and the former dictator would have lived his last days in a cell still defending himself of wrongdoings. Third, the Iraqi court and Prime Minister could have stayed his execution and relegated Saddam to live out his life from a jail cell and become no more than a chapter in Iraqi history after he became irrelevant.
Despite these options, the US and Iraq committed another crime against humanity by claiming to be acting in the name of humanity. If the US policy is progressivism in the Middle East and the creation of democracy, it must be a democracy that values human life above all other things. For what else is there without being safe in one’s own person? We are so quick to condemn others for byzantine practices but fail to see our own failings in the mirror.
Shame on the US for spreading state-sponsored death. Shame on the Iraqis for letting us do it.