Sunday, December 31, 2006

Sadr Supporters Taunt Saddam At Execution

The scene at Saddam's hanging is emblematic of the problems the U.S. is facing in Iraq today:

Grainy footage of (Saddam's) execution, apparently shot on a mobile phone by a witness who was standing below looking up at the gallows, was circulating widely on the Internet on Sunday, a day after Saddam was hanged for crimes against humanity.

As the hangmen prepare him for his final moment, some of those invited to attend standing below the platform taunted the former president, who was executed on Saturday before dawn.

One man shouts "Moqtada, Moqtada, Moqtada," a reference to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who heads a powerful Shi'ite political movement and a militia blamed by Washington and Sunni Arabs for running death squads targeting Saddam's Sunni Arab minority.


Though Sadr's movement is a major force in the coalition government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the outspoken comments by his supporters in the execution chamber may fuel charges by Saddam's defense lawyers and his supporters in Iraq and the wider Arab world that the process has been "victors' justice".

There is little doubt that Sadr's thugs are in the ascendancy in the Maliki government and in Iraq at large today.

We seem to have traded one murderous, genocidal thug in Saddam for another potential one in Sadr.

And all it cost is the lives of 2,998 American military personnel, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, $400 billion dollars, and a commitment of four years of occupation and counting.

Mission Accomplished?

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