Iraq’s High Tribunal, its highest appellate court, has affirmed Saddam Hussein’s death sentence and ordered that it be carried out within thirty days. It is unclesr how this order relates to the second criminal trial that is now ongoing; if it is carried out, all further charges and proceedings will obviously be moot.
As I’ve written before, I think it was a mistake to “try” Saddam in a court, as though there were some doubt about the murderous nature of his regime, and that doubt could somehow be resolved by a judicial proceeding. I’ve also been critical of the manner in which the trial has been conducted. It has dragged on much too long and has far too often served as a platform for Saddam’s grandstanding.
What was always necessary was that Saddam be executed, so that Iraqis can put his regime behind them, once and for all, and so that Sunni die-hards will abandon hope of a Saddamist restoration. Imperfect though it certainly is, Iraq’s elected government has every right and authority to put Saddam to death. The execution, in my view, can’t come too soon.
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