Saturday, December 30, 2006

After Saddam Hussein

What now after Saddam Hussein?

Saddam Hussein, who ruled Iraq with an iron fist for over 30 years was hanged today. He was responsible for three major wars which resulted millions of Iraqi deaths and economic loss. He ruthlessly suppressed his opponents and was hanged today for one such act in 1982.

The important question is not whether he was guilty of crimes against humanity but whether the Iraqi Government that exists today had any legitimacy to do what it did and whether the trial itself was fair.

The new Iraqi Government could have conducted a fair trial by methodically following international norms and there by bringing some amount of legitimacy to itself. But the trial was divisive and flawed from the very beginning. The final sentence and the execution all seem to have been carried out in a hurry.

While, US can technically wash its hands off the whole affair, it is implicitly responsible for how the whole thing transpired. It could have halted or altered the course of the trial,but it let squeaky Iraqi justice system muddle its way through this important trial.

After 3+ years of wars and thousands of Iraqi and American deaths, Iraq of today seems to be worse off than ever before and edging perilously close to a all out civil war. Removal Saddam Hussein didn't create a better Iraq and neither would the execution of him.