Krauthammer on Saddam’s obscene end

I guess even the normally rabid Charles Krauthammer has lucid moments where he takes note of right and wrong involving Arabs and Muslims.  (Like Shakespeare said, "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.") 

In addition to denouncing the general turn of events, he proposes the theory that the timing was motivated by sectarianism on the part of the Maliki regime.  (I don’t know whether this is supported by the facts.)

Charles Krauthammer – The Hanging: Beyond Travesty – washingtonpost.com (emphasis added)

Of the 6 billion people on this Earth, not one killed more people than Saddam Hussein. And not just killed but tortured and mutilated — doing so often with his own hands and for pleasure. It is quite a distinction to be the preeminent monster on the planet. If the death penalty was ever deserved, no one was more richly deserving than Saddam Hussein.
For the Iraqi government to have botched both his trial and execution, therefore, and turned monster into victim, is not just a tragedy but a crime — against the new Iraq that Americans are dying for and against justice itself.

[...]

Consider the timing. It was carried out on a religious holiday. We would not ordinarily care about this, except for the fact that it was in contravention of Iraqi law. It was done on the first day of Eid al-Adha as celebrated by Sunnis. The Shiite Eid began the next day, which tells you in whose name the execution was performed.

Never thought the day would come where I’d quote this generally bloodthirsty zealot approvingly.  For me to find myself doing so is worthy of  the Book of Isaiah.

I’ll give him this much–he’s eloquent.  I’m reminded of that cliche from the  cartoons of my childhood: "Imagine if he used that mind for the forces of Good!"

The grotesque twist of Saddam becoming a martyr in anyone‘s eyes is indeed a travesty and a colossal failure.  And his point about the importance of letting the trial run its course seems a good one to me.

How in tarnation could this have been allowed to happen?  It’s beyond reckless.  Not to mention utterly un-Islamic.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/hrashid/ islamoyankee

    Svend, do we know that the Iraqi Ithna’ashari celebrated a day later? Here in the US and in the Europe, generally, the Eid was celebrated on the same day. In fact, Eid al-Adha tends to be the same b/c of the Hajj dates.

  • http://akramsrazor.typepad.com Svend

    Salaams and thanks for the good question.
    I don’t know that this actually happened but such a communal difference wouldn’t surprise me, given how much this varies even among Sunnis (in the diaspora, national origins sometimes seems more prominent a factor than even madhab, as many immigrants seem to do it according to what their community “back home” is doing) . If it were so straightforward that Shiahs and Sunnis couldn’t disagree, then presumably neither could Sunnis among themselves, and we know that the Sunni community has had doing two days for years.
    Also, I don’t know what the breakdown was in the US, but I have heard from a few people around the States that Eid was celebrated this year on consecutive days where they were. For example, the main mosques in my area in Atlanta and Athens ignored ISNA and observed Eid on Saturday rather than on Sunday.
    But you have a point. I don’t know for a fact that this is what happened, so I’ll qualify the language accordingly.


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