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Instant Karma

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   5 comments
Message Jayne Stahl
Aren't we glad we have a government that has an immediate gratification reflex where the delivery of justice is concerned? So, instead of Maxwell House instant coffee, Saddam Hussein was served up a cup of instant karma.

From the little we know of Saddam Hussein, he was a man who loved luxury, and opulence. While he clearly didn't respect it, he appeared to love life sufficiently so that his silence could have been bought. If the rationale behind his swift, and expeditious execution early this morning was, as some pundits have suggested, to keep him from talking, then rest assured that, for the right price, Saddam was one dead man who would have been walking, but not talking, so why didn't they just send him off to live with his wife and the girls in Syria? Bush and Cheney could even have bought him the proverbial Rolex. But to hang him? Is that any way to treat such a loyal accomplice in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Kurds? After all, Pinochet didn't hang for his 30 year reign of terror, but was subject to house arrest. Was Saddam more of a monster than Augusto? Or, was he more of an inconvenient monster?

To my mind, the rush to hang Hussein wasn't about keeping the truth from coming out. Everybody knows the truth, but nobody wants to act on it. The rush to execute Saddam was more about obtaining the requisite silence from the world community to guarantee that there wouldn't be some last minute deal, on appeal, to keep the noose at bay.

Saddam Hussein was America's "axis of evil" flavor of the month. You'll recall, back in 1990, he was emboldened, by our government, to attack neighboring Iran, and wreak havoc with Kurds as well as Iraqi nationals, but we didn't call it genocide then, we called it a coalition action. Donald Rumsfeld shook hands with him, and viewed him as a friend, indeed one who was armed and trained by the same military that held him until his last moments on earth, and then turned him over, like Judas, to those who would do our dirty work for us. Clearly, the motive behind this wanton, and feckless killing was "v" as in "vengeance," not victory, as some would have us believe is what we're after in Iraq.

By conducting such a transparently unfair kangaroo trial, the Iraqi Shi'ites collaborated with the neo-cons to virtually guarantee moral outrage, or martyrdom by default, for a world leader who was, unquestionably, a mass murderer, but a former president nonetheless and, as with any common criminal, entitled to a change of venue if he couldn't be assured a fair trial which, obviously, simply did not come his way in Baghdad.

By all accounts, Saddam remained "feisty" until the very end, even cursing some onlookers who insisted he destroyed their country. Why shouldn't he be feisty? After all, how could he possibly not have known that, once the anesthesia of shock wore off, the ignominy would register, and it would come in at a resounding 8.0 on the Richter scale.

History can now record that the greatest country on earth, and its citizens, have soiled any illusions of civilization by hanging the leader of a country. No one yet has come forth, and asked the inevitable--would Saddam have suffered the same fate if he were Christian? How appropriate for a country where a prominent Republican member of Congress expressed outrage at having a new representative insist on being sworn in with his hand on a Koran to turn Saddam over to his own without a single drop of Christian blood being spilled on American soil.

Haven't we spilled the blood of enough Iraqis? What is one more death in light of more than 650,000 Iraqi civilian lives lost to coalition forces? I guess we only call it genocide when it doesn't receive the "Good Housekeeping" stamp of approval.

Shame on anyone who argues that the hanging of Saddam Hussein was anything less than a cheap vendetta by one who claims to be born again, no less.

Moreover, maybe we can all sleep a little easier tonight knowing that a man who had absolutely nothing to do with an event called 9/11 which has already cost the lives of an equal number of American service men and women, and twenty times as many Iraqi civilians, a man who, prior to American occupation, probably couldn't pick out a member of Al Qaeda in a line-up, is now out of our hair, while the real evil-doers are still at large; some may be even praying for future presidents to throw a friendly presidential pardon their way, too.
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Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.
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