I've made a post about the hanging of Saddam already, but figured I might as well post some thoughts not related to the death of some jewel-thieving sodomite.
I posted to Big Blue Wave's post about Saddam, and figured I'd share in what I wrote:
The concern, as happens so often, is not whether Saddam "would have been a danger" locked up, but rather what his remaining alive would have said about America to those in the Middle East who might dare listen.
A living Saddam, whether freezing in Baker Lake or sitting on a rock surrounded by water in the Caribbean, was a symbol to the Middle East that the West is weak.
The vision by the primitive people who suicide bomb and promote attacks against troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere is not one of reasoned analysis, or based on some cultural notion of "how precious life is". All those people know is blood and violence, and if America is serious about reducing the blood and violence inflicted by these people, they have to have enough testicles left to somewhere somehow inflict a little blood and violence on their own.
Iraq, with assistance from the United States, executed Saddam Hussein. This is not some twisted result of American foreign policy. The New York Times might cringe at the "mixed signals" being sent, but people living in Iraq or Syria or Egypt won't. Saddam was somebody the U.S. wanted to get rid of. They invaded the country, sacrificed their soldiers, and caused death to both Iraqi civilians and soliders. The most humanist of rag-headed humanists would accept this as a necessary evil required to get at Saddam: what they would not accept was that Saddam was so bad that American and Iraqi troops had to die in order for the U.S. to get him, only to leave the dictator himself alive at the end of the day.
Saddam Hussein's dead body is hanging in the gallows because he got in America's way. Regardless of any spin put on the event by the White House or Susan Sarandon or bloggers, that is the lesson the Middle East will learn. And its a lesson that the U.S. had better be ready to teach another dozen times over. A dead Hussein, a dead Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and pretty soon tin pot dictators around the world would sit up and take notice. You think Hugo Chavez is taking the death of Saddam lightly over a morning bagel? Figure Mugabwe isn't breaking into a bit of a sweat. Doesn't results like that bode well for the future of precious life in these far-flung regions?
The execution of Saddam was a good step. For the next step, the West has to be willing to fight (and brutally kill without remourse) for what it believes in. Do that, and peace in the Middle East might become a reality.