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Though no apologist for Saddam Hussein, I think his execution was a bloody outrage. Not because he was guiltless of the crimes he was charged with, but because (1) this was the same man whom former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, as an emissary of Ronald Reagan (heralded by many Americans as one of the greatest presidents), greeted as an ally and presented with a pair of golden spurs; and (2) the government of the same country that so gladly supported him when it was convenient to do so was responsible for his arrest — and subsequent trial.

No doubt, because he was a bad man, little has been said against his execution. And many, in the West, who wouldn’t know the difference between a Sunni or Shiite, a Ba’athist or an Islamist, have lauded the action as justice done. What does it say about us? In the aftermath of 9/11, any possible — albeit tenuous — claim to high moral ground, was lost a long time ago, thanks to the leaders of the current U.S. administration and the citizens who re-elected them.

hugh keith-johnston

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