December 29th, 2006

bad news

A dictator's death...

It's strange to check out the news sites and see the fairly morbid coverage of Saddam's imminent execution.

I don't have a good opinion of the man, but I don't think he's any more evil/bad than any number of other world "leaders" (including our own president) who are still happily doing their thing in their respective countries. Strangely, I find myself feeling somewhat strange in knowing that a human being I've been aware of for so long is going to die within 2 1/2 hours (10pm et / 8pm mt). Most of the time when you read or hear about some random Bad Person (tm) being executed, it's someone that hasn't had that much news coverage. Invariably the nature of capital punishment in the US is that once all the media attention dies down it's still quite a few years until the person is executed so they aren't a public presence for all that long even if their crimes are truly heinous.

By contrast, I remember seeing coverage of the first Iraq war, and seeing him on TV in the years since then and boggling a bit at how well he (apparently) bluffed the world into thinking his country still had any sort of power to do anything dangerous (for quite a while, my suspicion was that he was pretty much full of shit). It's strange to think that someone I am aware of that that extent will be dead in a few short hours.

Somehow it doesn't feel like a victory or a particularly great moment in world history. He may be a Bad Person (tm), but it seems that our country has lost and given up far too much in order to follow another Bad Person (tm) into a stupid war that only seems to have made us less safe than we were. What's worse, even once he's dead we won't be out of Iraq, and the fighting and the killing won't stop. He'll ultimately just be another dead person in a fairly pointless exercise of military might.

It's an interesting way to end the year.
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