Sunday, December 30, 2007

He's Dead, Jamal

Remember how the execution of Saddam last year was supposed to cripple attempts to reconcile the Sunnis with their loss of power and prevent our victory in the war?

Well, these AP reporters sure remember and they continue to peddle this line:

Footage of Saddam's Dec. 30 execution, filmed on a mobile phone and showing the former Iraqi leader being taunted just before he was hanged, was leaked to the media and shown across the world. It provoked an outcry, particularly among many of Iraq's Sunni Arabs, and sparked a horrific day of violence that left 80 people dead from bombings and other attacks.

Iraq then plunged into its bloodiest cycle of violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and American officials at the time feared the country was on the brink of civil war. The violence forced them to rethink their strategy and about 30,000 more troops were added.

Jamal Salman, a 35-year-old Sunni in Baghdad, said that "we had wished that Saddam's death would be part of the solution but it became part of a problem."

Part of the problem? There are some cause and effect problems here. Violence increased after Saddam's death? And the surge was then formulated after the post-election violence increase? Good grief! Signs of a new strategy in the form of the surge were evident long before Saddam's exectuion. And the surge in violence predated Saddam's execution and was largely committed by al Qaeda--not Saddam's followers--with their own surge of car bombs targetting Shias.

The authors at least mention that violence has since declined dramatically. Yet that is the most important part of the story and not the faux outrage of Baathists that their mass murderer leader was taunted at his execution.

In the end, the execution of Saddam was justice in action despite the Sadrist taunts. And the taunts were a fleeting embarassment submerged in the history since then of accumulating victory and increasing Sunni Arab acceptance of their defeat.

Be glad the vile monster is still dead. The world is better for it.