Home > World Events > Saddam dead. Hooray.

Saddam dead. Hooray.

January 3rd, 2007

I was off the air when the news of Saddam’s execution came through. I’ve had my say about the trial (here and here) already, and all the issues have been chewed over by others, so for now I’ll just say that he got what he deserved.

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  1. January 3rd, 2007 at 11:35 | #1

    Saddam’s barbaric lynching was designed to frame Moqtada al-Sadr and alienate his supporters ahead of a new US attack on his forces. Bush will make a speech spinning this escalation as “security” and urging further “sacrifice”.

  2. wilful
    January 3rd, 2007 at 12:20 | #2

    There are so many strong reasons why the execution of the brutal dictator should not have taken place. But it’s good to see that Howard has provided Australia’s endorsement of the act.

  3. jquiggin
    January 3rd, 2007 at 15:10 | #3

    Certainly nothing good will come of this. But at this point nothing good will come of anything done by the US in Iraq.

  4. Spiros
    January 3rd, 2007 at 15:14 | #4

    The Iraqis should have just shot Saddam, Ceausescu-style. Nobody would have thought the lesser of them if they did.

    But the sham process they went through, with the farcical trial and subsequent lynching, was the worst of all worlds.

  5. January 3rd, 2007 at 15:30 | #5

    Happy New Year John.

    As you say John, he got what he deserved – enough said.

    Gandhi, if you are so upset at his “barbaric” lynching, I am happy to put you onto a friend of mine who worked for an NGO in Iraq and saw firsthand what Saddam said. Some of you Bush-haters really need to get a reality check…

  6. wilful
    January 3rd, 2007 at 16:41 | #6

    How does that logic work Matt? The lynching wasn’t barbaric because Saddam was barbaric himself? Huh? Run that one past me again, see if I can make it make sense.

  7. David Allen
    January 3rd, 2007 at 17:19 | #7

    The more moral outrage you can summon about Saddam Hussein’s deeds the less enthused about his execution you should be, else how are you to easily differentiate your own morals from his?

    It’s pretty sad when someone so terrible is lynched by a baying crowd and he’s the most dignified guy in the room.

    Maybe it’s me but I’ve never been into snuff movies.

  8. January 3rd, 2007 at 17:45 | #8

    The bastard asked for it.

    He was strung up, & taunted while it was happening. He had been butchering his own people for decades, what did sideline observers expect? That he would be treated with “respect”?

    That was a gallows, for a butcher, not a “diversity & respect” awareness class at a TAFE college. It was administered by people from the community which had been on the receiving end of his savagery.

  9. Spiros
    January 3rd, 2007 at 18:27 | #9

    “The bastard asked for it.”

    If it comes to that, so did Adolf Eichmann, whom the Israelis hanged in 1962, for his Holocaust crimes.

    But the Israelis didn’t taunt and abuse Eichmann as he stood on the gallows. (And Eichmann, unlike Saddam, was found guilty after a properly conducted trial.. )

  10. Spiros
    January 3rd, 2007 at 18:27 | #10

    “The bastard asked for it.”

    If it comes to that, so did Adolf Eichmann, whom the Israelis hanged in 1962, for his Holocaust crimes.

    But the Israelis didn’t taunt and abuse Eichmann as he stood on the gallows. (And Eichmann, unlike Saddam, was found guilty after a properly conducted trial.. )

  11. January 3rd, 2007 at 19:55 | #11

    So Israelis are able to conduct themselves in a more civilised manner than Arabs. This in no way mitigates Saddam’s actions which started him on the path to the gallows.

    One step at a time Spiros, Saddam had the fairest trial ever conducted in an Arab country. They have come a long way since 2003 haven’t they?

  12. Dave Surls
    January 3rd, 2007 at 20:07 | #12

    “Saddam’s barbaric lynching…”

    Gee, stop. I’m getting all weepy.

  13. January 3rd, 2007 at 20:53 | #13

    Saddam ‘deserved’ nothing better.

    Fact that his trial was a farce wasn’t excellent. Fact that life imprisonment would not only be less barbaric but would not have made him a martyr might be of interest to anyone with a realist’s interest in resolving the conflict and the wider strategic issues such as ‘winning the war on terror’.

    Leaving aside the capital punishment debate, this was a mighty stupid short term act of symbolic revenge at the expense of peace.

    Just wait and see how it pans out…

  14. melanie
    January 3rd, 2007 at 20:56 | #14

    SATP, “So Israelis are able to conduct themselves in a more civilised manner than Arabs.” One of the more racist remarks I’ve seen on this blog. There are plenty of Arabs who don’t think lynching is a good idea, but I guess they’re not in power, in Iraq or any other country round there. Besides, state murder is never civilized. It reduces the executioner to the same level as the criminal.

    More generally, the Australian government is supposed not to approve of the death penalty – we signed up to the UN resolution that says it is ‘cruel and unusual’, as indeed is any form of murder. Howard’s statement that the execution was “proper and lawful” is not only yet another one of his lies, but basically says that state murder is legitimate. Echoes his lame response to the Singapore execution of Van Nguyen – which I suspect he only opposed for opportunistic reasons.

    I found it interesting that the new Secretary General had to be reminded that his endorsement of Saddam’s execution was against the policy of his own organization (perhaps he’s not quite out of the habit of being Korean FM or perhaps he has decided that Annan’s occasional criticism of the US was too risky). Also somewhat ironic that Putin and the Pope were the only western leaders who stuck to what is official policy in 90% of the liberal democracies.

    One more comment. The Kurds are the real losers. They will not get any airing of the injustices they suffered. It’s a pretty strong signal as to how they can expect to be treated in the New Iraq!

  15. snuh
    January 3rd, 2007 at 20:58 | #15

    “Saddam had the fairest trial ever conducted in an Arab country.”

    this statement is fascinating for any number of reasons, but for now i’ll restrict myself to one question: in what relevant sense is iraq now an arab country?

  16. January 3rd, 2007 at 21:32 | #16

    Melanie: So I took Spiros’ statement that Israelis can conduct an execution without descending into a rabble, diametric reversal of the Iraqis, and you screech that this is “racism”.. and the relevance is…. ?… ?….?

    News Bulletin Melanie: The hanging of Saddam happened in Iraq, to an Iraqi, by Iraqis. Australia doesn’t warrant a full paragraph in connection with it. Neither does the UN.

    Further News Bulletin: The Kurds have de facto removed themselves from Iraq, & aren’t likely to resubmit to Arab/Iraqi control. Any Arab who wishes to mistreat Kurds first has to defeat the Kurdish militia.

    Snuh: Iraq is an arab country in the “relevant” sense that the people who inhabit it are arabs.

  17. Tam o’Shanter
    January 3rd, 2007 at 21:34 | #17

    I am really surprised to find social democrats (sic) like JQ & Co here exulting in teh barbarous murder of Saddam. He was himself a social democrat, like his Baath Party, and under him Iraq was a secular country, almost unique in that part of the world, and Christians could and did rise to high positions (unlike in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iran). His invasions of Iran and Kuwait may have have been unwise, but Iran then as now was much more validly part of the “axis of evil”, and far more potently so than Saddam ever managed, while Kuwait then as now was a feudal fiefdom with no inherent basis for existence, least of all to social democrats (whom I had previously assumed were averse to feudalism). Saddam’s biggest, most foolish, and ultimately fatal, mistake was to unleash Scuds against Israel which was not a party to his invasion of Kuwait, and for that he paid dearly. True, he was not very nice to the Kurds, but then neither is Turkey, respected candidate for membership of the EU. Given JQ’s implied defence of feudal and fundamentalist values in Kuwait and Iran, perhaps his masthead should be retitled “Feudal fundamentalist”?

  18. melanie
    January 3rd, 2007 at 21:50 | #18

    I’m convinced that the haste with which Saddam was bumped of was because the new authorities (US and Iraqi) just didn’t want him to around to see any more of their almighty stuff up! Truly, since he was definitely not a nice person, he must’ve been snorting with laughter at the mess they’ve made of that country.

    One assumes that he went to the gallows feeling perfectly vindicated. I’m sure that’s why they killed him and he knew it.

  19. melanie
    January 3rd, 2007 at 22:16 | #19

    SATP, some news bulletins for you:
    1) Nobody can conduct an execution without descending into a rabble (even rabbles can be very well organized!). A synonym for execution is murder. Murder is not civilized behaviour. So it follows that Israelis can conduct a murder in neither a more nor a less civilized manner than ‘Arabs’. You did not say Iraqis, you said Arabs.

    2) While the hanging indubitably happened in Iraq, our PM has expressed a view on it, as has the new UN secretary general. These views are as (or possibly more) deserving of comment as yours.

    3) The President of Iraq is a Kurd. Kurds have been able to remove themselves from central authority insofar as the Americans have permitted it. The latter will not permit too much autonomy for the Kurds unless they also want to destabilize Turkey and Iran and the Iraqi Kurds understand this situation very well. They now also understand that there will be no trial of Saddam for his crimes against them.

    Further FYI, 20-25% of Iraqis are not ethnic Arabs. Anyway what is an Arab? Perhaps you think that all native English-speakers are English?

  20. January 3rd, 2007 at 23:01 | #20

    Should I get a hankie for myself Melanie?

  21. January 3rd, 2007 at 23:16 | #21

    Tam O’Shanter: You are stirring.

    Saddam was (as you point out) violently opposed to Iran & latterly Kuwait.

    You list very well some of the positive aspects of Saddam’s rule, especially when compared to other countries of the region. Makes it all the more of a shame that he was such a nasty piece of work.

    JQ feels Saddam got what he (Saddam) deserved. This in no way implies that JQ is a supporter/defender of Iran, Kuwait or their respective systems of government.

  22. January 4th, 2007 at 09:19 | #22

    Human nature being what it is, we must expect a few voices to cheer on such barbarity. Never mind the self-evident hypocrisy of such a position.

    “He who battles monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster.” – Nietzsche

    It now seems likely that the person who filmed and leaked the video was Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie (although another un-named guard has been arrested and al-Rubaie is blaming Saudi TV networks for “an infiltration to the crowd inside the chamber ” (so much for Iraqi security). See Josh Marshall’s blog for the latest on the video taping whodunnit (an overview here.

    Matt,

    I am happy to put you onto a friend of mine who worked for an NGO in Iraq and saw firsthand what Saddam said.

    Sure, send me the address if you like, but I don’t see what it would prove. In fact I don’t even understand what you are talking about: “what Saddam said”??? I guess you mean what Saddam “did”, right? As I recall from around 2003, he was blamed for killing 300,000 people – that was the figure on the wingnut blogs anyway. Never mind that he did much of that killing with US-supplied weapons, or that more than double that number have now died inder the US occupation. Perhaps your great vengeance and furious anger is a little misplaced?

  23. Steve
    January 4th, 2007 at 09:59 | #23

    Hi JohnQ,

    I’m not trying to be rude, but i do want to question you on this post.

    I’m worried that after many years of blogging, you are letting yourself get goaded by the RWDB’s too much. Perhaps you are putting up lowly posts like this simply as a form of innoculation against some of the easily ignored RWDB finger pointing that goes on e.g. (Quiggin is an apologist for Saddam because he opposes the iraq war!! etc).

    Middle east politics, and the involvement of countries like USA and Oz over there, and global politics, are subjects with countless nuances and facets, that require thoughtful and measured analysis to tease out. Surely posts like “Saddam dead. Hooray.” are just typical tabloid appealing to the gut and obscuring the difficult analysis to get beyond the gut and use your head to understand what is going on.

    I don’t mean to imply that you haven’t put a lot of thoughtful analysis in and expressed this on your blog. But why put up this post now? IT really does seem to me to be just a badge you can point to next time Tim Blair or someone hassles you for being a soft lefty. Is that it? Be interested to hear why you felt like putting up this post.

    And to descend to some finger point of my own:

    Do you really feel the need to use a word like “Hooray” when someone has been killed?
    If you don’t support capital punishment here, how could you be happy that someone overseas has been killed in a state-sponsored process?
    If it is ok to use a word like “Hooray” that Saddam has been killed, what are the limits for being pleased that someone has been killed. GeorgeW committed the US to this war in which hundreds of thousands have died. If he was killed, would you say “Hooray, he got what he deserved”?

  24. melanie
    January 4th, 2007 at 10:05 | #24

    #20 “Should I get a hankie for myself Melanie?”

    Why do you need a hankie Stevie? Did you lose an argument? Haven’t you learned yet that boys don’t cry? Tell you what, why don’t you just shift the goalposts again – that should fix it for you.

  25. January 4th, 2007 at 10:14 | #25

    Dear John

    There are sometimes advantages in arriving late for a discussion. You get to pick over the comments of others. I must frankly express my surprise that you JQ can be so inconsistent in your opposition to the death penalty. The legal fraternity, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others have no such problem.

    In any case, we should always remember that our opposition to killing needs to be universal (partly for our own good) and not selective. As ‘Gandhi’ says: “Never mind that he did much of that killing with US-supplied weapons, or that more than double that number have now died under the US occupation”.

    ‘David Allen’ puts his finger on this problem effectively when he says: “The more moral outrage you can summon about Saddam Hussein’s deeds the less enthused about his execution you should be, else how are you to easily differentiate your own morals from his?”

    As you, JQ, correctly say: “Certainly nothing good will come of this. But at this point nothing good will come of anything done by the US in Iraq”. We should ask ourselves and our inner consciences whether Saddam Hussein was ‘better’ as a client of the USA than George W Bush was as Governor of Texas, with an alarming rate of executions, including many Afro Americans, intellectually impaired and juvenile offenders. The casual cruelty of the Bush administration will mark this as one of the darkest periods in modern history.

    Armagnac says: “anyone with a realist’s interest in resolving the conflict and the wider strategic issues such as ‘winning the war on terror’. Leaving aside the capital punishment debate, this was a mighty stupid short term act of symbolic revenge at the expense of peace. Just wait and see how it pans out… ” How it pans out? Indeed – it can only be a huge mess that can’t be fixed. Sorry, I find it hard to believe that people arte still mouthing the ‘tosh’ that was fed to us in the lead up to the illegal and disastrous war of aggression and plunder (read Naomi Klein’s excellent little book) against the people of Iraq.

    Melanie is right on the money when she says: “the Australian government is supposed not to approve of the death penalty – we signed up to the UN resolution that says it is ‘cruel and unusual’, as indeed is any form of murder. Howard’s statement that the execution was “proper and lawfulâ€? is not only yet another one of his lies, but basically says that state murder is legitimate. Echoes his lame response to the Singapore execution of Van Nguyen – which I suspect he only opposed for opportunistic reasons”.

    I want to join Melanie in reminding readers that all of the horrible regimes in the Middle East are the ones foisted on those people by our ‘enlightened’ Western governments. Who doesn’t remember the pictures of Princess Farah on the front of ‘Australian Women’s Weekly’ and the support that was given to the bloody Shah of Iran, who was a CIA puppet? Who can forget the huge support given to Saddam Hussein by MI5-CIA that got him into power, supplied him with chemical weapons and congratulated him on the use of these weapons against the Kurds. Why was Donald Rumsfeld not a witness at the sham trial?

    We should be very cautious of any rumours that there is a democratic government in the apartheid state of Israel (which we also helped to create). We should also be concerned that the Israeli Mosad team abducted Eichmann from Latin America – not the sort of activity we would like to encourage Vladimir Putin or George W Bush to do more of.

    Finally, the most ‘unsafe’ opinion on the page from Steve at the pub: “The hanging of Saddam happened in Iraq, to an Iraqi, by Iraqis. Australia doesn’t warrant a full paragraph in connection with it. Neither does the UN”. I can only suggest that you had one too many tubes when you wrote that. Get real! Australia is part of the world system that supports the UN and the rule of law – or maybe it would be OK if you arrived at Guantánamo in the torture season (they have four of them every year).

    Regards
    Willy Bach
    http://www.willybachpoeticthoughts.blogspot.com

  26. January 4th, 2007 at 11:21 | #26

    Touche!

    Another good book to read (if you want to delve beyond the Murdoch spin) is Craig Unger’s ‘House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship between the World’s Most Powerful Dynasties’.

    Read that and you’ll want George W Bush and allies put on trial for crimes against humanity.

  27. January 4th, 2007 at 11:57 | #27

    For the unread among us, I imagine the headline of this post is an adaptaion of JQ’s previously referred to headline of Sir Frank Packer’s: “Stalin Dead. Hooray”

    One need not be a supporter of capital punishment to take the pragmatic view that Saddam’s death, however it came, is a good thing.

    Alternatively, the headline could be extremly tongue in cheek.

    You can all work yourselves into a lather over JQ’s hidden meanings in the headline, & what Tim Blair et al may think of him.

    Or you can get a life & focus on things which matter.

  28. January 4th, 2007 at 12:03 | #28

    Willy Bach: I wasn’t giving an opinion, I was stating a fact. You want to call that “unsafe”? I don’t see the relevance.

    Melanie: The hankie is for you. I only made observations, not provocative remarks. You want to get all lathered up & call you rantings an “argument” you had with me? Is everything an “argument” with you?

    I know one thing about arguments Melanie, if one fanatically hammers a point for long enough the argument becomes phyisical. With physical confrontations there is always (sooner or later) someone better. At that point the fanatical arguer gets their teeth knocked down their throat. And from my observations, by that time there is only applause for a motor-mouth finally being closed by someone with the gumption or ability to do it.

    I don’t seek, or recognise an argument from you. Clearly you have a bent for it, perhaps that is why you are “arguing” in cyberspace, as in real life it has (ultimately) the consequences I mentioned above. And I see THAT outcome almost daily.

  29. January 4th, 2007 at 12:13 | #29

    melanie, WillyBach,

    One obvious reason for the speed of the execution would have been to silence him Saddam before he could talk about who were the suppliers were for the gassing of the Kurds, i.e. the U.S. chemical industry and about the relations that he had with neo-conservatives like Rumsfeld.

  30. January 4th, 2007 at 12:28 | #30

    Re Halabja:
    “U.S. intelligence sources told the ‘Los Angeles Times’ that the poison gas was sprayed on the Kurds from U.S. helicopters, which had been sold to Iraq for crop dusting…According to Peter W. Galbraith, the senior advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who exposed Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds, two men who were key players in the Reagan-Bush era and later became principal figures in George W. Bush’s administration that helped kill the Prevention of Genocide Act, a bill that would have imposed sanctions on Iraq for its genocidal campaign. The bipartisan bill passed the Senate unanimously just one day after it was introduced. But thanks to Colin Powell and Dick Cheney, it never became law. “Secretary of State Colin Powell was then the national security advisor who orchestrated Ronald Reagan’s decision to give Hussein a pass for gassing the Kurds,â€? Galbraith wrote.â€? (pp79-80 ‘House of Bush, House of Saud’)

  31. Dave Surls
    January 4th, 2007 at 12:38 | #31

    “Never mind that he did much of that killing with US-supplied weapons…”

    Since it isn’t true, I won’t mind it.

  32. Dave Surls
    January 4th, 2007 at 12:41 | #32

    “His invasions of Iran and Kuwait may have have been unwise…”

    Kinda like looking at Germany in 1945, and saying that Germany invading Poland backfired a tad.

  33. Dave Surls
    January 4th, 2007 at 14:17 | #33

    ‘Re Halabja: “U.S. intelligence sources told the ‘Los Angeles Times’ that the poison gas was sprayed on the Kurds from U.S. helicopters, which had been sold to Iraq for crop dusting…’

    The truth:

    ‘The Iraqi counterattack began in the mid-morning of March 16, with conventional airstrikes and artillery shelling from the town of Sayed Sadeq to the north. Most families in Halabja had built primitive air-raid shelters near their homes. Some crowded into these, others into the government shelters, following the standard air-raid drills they had been taught since the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980. The first wave of air strikes appears to have included the use of napalm or phosphorus. “It was different from the other bombs,” according to one witness. “There was a huge sound, a huge flame and it had very destructive ability. If you touched one part of your body that had been burned, your hand burned also. It caused things to catch fire.” The raids continued unabated for several hours. “It was not just one raid, so you could stop and breathe before another raid started. It was just continuous planes, coming and coming. Six planes would finish and another six would come.”‘

    ‘Those outside in the streets could see clearly that these were Iraqi, not Iranian aircraft, since they flew low enough for their markings to be legible. In the afternoon, at about 3:00, those who remained in the shelters became aware of an unusual smell. Like the villagers in the Balisan Valley the previous spring, they compared it most often to sweet apples, or to perfume, or cucumbers, although one man says that it smelled “very bad, like snake poison.” No one needed to be told what the smell was.’

    ‘The attack appeared to be concentrated in the northern sector of the city, well away from its military bases–although these, by now, had been abandoned. In the shelters, there was immediate panic and claustrophobia. Some tried to plug the cracks around the entrance with damp towels, or pressed wet cloths to their faces, or set fires. But in the end they had no alternative but to emerge into the streets. It wasgrowing dark and there were no streetlights; the power had been knocked out the day before by artillery fire. In the dim light, the people of Halabja could see nightmarish scenes. Dead bodies–human and animal–littered the streets, huddled in doorways, slumped over the steering wheels of their cars. Survivors stumbled around, laughing hysterically, before collapsing. Iranian soldiers flitted through the darkened streets, dressed in protective clothing, their faces concealed by gas masks. Those who fled could barely see, and felt a sensation “like needles in the eyes.” Their urine was streaked with blood.’

    http://hrw.org/reports/1993/iraqanfal/ANFAL3.htm

    The attacks were carried out by fixed wing military aircraft which were supplied either by commie bloc nations, or by those peaceloving Frenchies who’d been a major arms supplier to Iraq since the late 1960s.

    But, hey don’t let me interfere with your asinine lefty propagandafest.

  34. brian
    January 4th, 2007 at 14:24 | #34

    The US press is reporting today that the film of the execution was taken by an Iraq aide to the P.M Maliki!
    The official is said to be widely seen as a CIA”Asset” .huh!
    Can the US ever get it right in Iraq ?

  35. Paul Kelly the journo, footy player etc
    January 4th, 2007 at 14:46 | #35

    The only persuasive argument for his execution was the lack of alternatives, as Gerard Henderson noted the other day. It would be logistically difficult to put imprison him anywhere for the rest of his life.

    But ‘hooray’ because he’s been killed? Didn’t really fill me with joy.

  36. January 4th, 2007 at 14:52 | #36

    The official is said to be widely seen as a CIA �Asset�.

    Which only reinforces my intitial comment that the lynching was designed to pre-empt a US escalation against al-Sadr.

    I imagine the headline of this post is an adaptaion of JQ’s previously referred to headline of Sir Frank Packer’s: “Stalin Dead. Hooray�

    Don’t forget “Pinochet’s Dead: Hooray!” Lazy blogging or clever innuendo? You decide.

  37. January 4th, 2007 at 15:19 | #37

    I can’t say I’m happy with any system of punishment that hands out what people deserve. I envy anybody who thinks they’d do better under such a system than the one we have now.

  38. January 4th, 2007 at 15:26 | #38

    Punishment shouldn’t hand out what people deserve? What should it hand out Chris B?

    Certainly our system does not dish out what people deserve. A most unfortunate state of affairs for the law abiding.

  39. January 4th, 2007 at 15:29 | #39

    To Steve in the pub – referring to your inability to argue in a civil manner and your threats of actual physical violence – leave it out, your remarks are totally inappropriate and notifiable.

    Certainly, I would believe JQ’s headline to refer to the Packer headline – but he should clarify his consistency on opposing the death penalty. Van Nguyen was executed partly because the Howard government flirted with the ‘legitimacy’ of executing terrorists, particularly the ones in Bali. Everyone in South East Asia would have picked up on the Howard-Ruddock line that the torture of David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib was just fine with them too. So, the USA could do whatever they liked as far as loyal allies like Australia are concerned.

    George W Bush probably thought that a speedy execution, timed perfectly for the ‘silly season’ of Christmas would help his ratings. But I suspect that the story has become muddier. American complicity in Saddam Hussein’s crimes against humanity is well documented and beyond dispute.

    Willy Bach

  40. Dave Surls
    January 4th, 2007 at 16:30 | #40

    “American complicity in Saddam Hussein’s crimes against humanity is well documented and beyond dispute.”

    Luckily, your opinion on this subject carries no weight.

    Nor should it.

  41. January 4th, 2007 at 16:35 | #41

    Willy Bach: I don’t threaten, I act. If you feel my comments are “notifiable” get on with the notifying. NOW!!

    I am unable to argue in a civil manner? I am not interested in arguing with anyone, especially types who get themselves all lathered up & cover their monitor with spittle blaming every concievable ill of the world on a fellow named George W Howard-Blairbush. I find such waffle tedious, odious, repetitive & definitely boring. I await an original thought from that quarter, as opposed to reflexive groping for an anti-howard anti-bush angle on everything. (Can such derangement co-exist inside a person alonside the ability to perform labour which is valued?)

    JQ does not have to constantly update/clarify any of his positions/beliefs. He has mentioned here more than once that he opposes capital punishment, I (for one) am able to retain that information without JQ performing a weekly reaffirmation.

    Put that in your pipe & smoke it.

  42. Dave Surls
    January 4th, 2007 at 16:39 | #42

    Anyway…if I was running the United States, my policy would be to execute ALL of the senior leadership of the former Baathist government of Iraq, because, among other things, they assisted terrorists like Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas, who murdered totally innocent Americans in cold blood…and I’d make it real clear that’s why I was executing them.

  43. jquiggin
    January 4th, 2007 at 16:52 | #43

    Dave, you’d better get Mom to call the doctor and increase the dosage on your medication.

    Reading your bloodthirsty comments, and realising that they represent a large section of Bush’s support base help to make it clear why everything his Administration has attempted has been a disastrous failure (I believe the term of art is now “a success that has not yet happened”).

  44. melanie
    January 4th, 2007 at 20:22 | #44

    SATP, you’ve been in the pub too long. Make sure you don’t drive please!

  45. January 4th, 2007 at 21:57 | #45

    John Quiggin is dead. Hooray!

  46. January 4th, 2007 at 22:12 | #46

    OK, that (Saddam) was me.

    Lazy commenting or clever innuendo? You decide.

    Meanwhile…

  47. January 4th, 2007 at 22:25 | #47

    Hmmn, that’s interesting.

    I posted a satirical comment as “Saddam”, ["John Quiggin is dead. Hooray!"], but the comment has not appeared yet, as it is awaiting “moderation”. So it seems we lucky few who post in real time are the blessed ones to whom Prof Quiggin has granted unimpeded access.

    Makes me look stupid, but interesting nevertheless.

    We live in strange times.

  48. January 4th, 2007 at 23:43 | #48

    Give it up Melanie. Researcher you ain’t, or you would know I don’t drink. I don’t know (or care) what your problem is, but it is your problem, not mine.

  49. January 4th, 2007 at 23:45 | #49

    Posts from beyond the grave usually take a little longer to reach here Gandhi, nothing to worry about.

  50. jquiggin
    January 5th, 2007 at 01:28 | #50

    Strange are the ways of Akismet

  51. Dave Surls
    January 5th, 2007 at 05:56 | #51

    “Dave, you’d better get Mom to call the doctor and increase the dosage on your medication.”

    Juvenile insult (and the same one repeated endlessly). Par for the course for state supported “academics”, I suppose.

    “make it clear why everything his Administration has attempted has been a disastrous failure”

    The Iraq war is a disastrous failure for the Baathists and their terrorist proxies (like Nidal and Abbas, for example), and for faux anti-war clowns.

    Not for my side.

  52. January 5th, 2007 at 06:41 | #52

    Latest news via Juan Cole: al-Sadr has the rope that was used to hang Saddam. So yes, it was a lynching.

    No wonder al-Maliki is telling the USA to take his job and shove it.

  53. wilful
    January 5th, 2007 at 08:03 | #53

    Anyway…if I was running the United States, my policy would be to execute ALL of the senior leadership of the former Baathist government of Iraq, because, among other things, they assisted terrorists like Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas, who murdered totally innocent Americans in cold blood…and I’d make it real clear that’s why I was executing them.

    So, quid pro quo, I would execute every single meber of the US Armed Forces, right down to the Coast Guard chaplain, becuase of the countless atrocities commited by your boys and girls in uniform that have resulted in the deaths of totaly innocent civilians from around the world.

    Makes about as much sense.

  54. Dave Surls
    January 5th, 2007 at 10:34 | #54

    “So, quid pro quo, I would execute every single meber of the US Armed Forces…”

    I’ll bet you dream about it.

  55. frankis
    January 5th, 2007 at 10:59 | #55

    Which side is your side Dave? I ask because it seems you often identify yourself by what you hate rather than by what you love, so why not tell us about your side? If there are many Iraqis on your side can you point to a recent article or study that would give a ballpark figure for their number? So many questions, questions …

  56. January 5th, 2007 at 11:46 | #56

    Dear John

    This is a sad discussion. I hope we won’t be subjected to a referendum on the capital punishment issue. Perhaps some of these people would have more fun somewhere else.

  57. wilful
    January 5th, 2007 at 12:06 | #57

    wrong dave. I was pointing out your idiocy. As a matter of fact, I’m pro-american. That’s why I’m devoutly anti-Bush et al.

  58. jquiggin
    January 5th, 2007 at 12:20 | #58

    Dave, it should be clear by now that I don’t regard your comments as worthy of a serious response. As several people have implied, unless you’re a secret partisan of Moqtada al-Sadr, your claims that your side is winning are simply delusional, as are your fantasies of exterminating all who oppose you (or rather, of having others do it on your behalf, since you clearly have no intention of putting on a uniform).

    I don’t see any purpose in your commenting here, other than as entertainment for my readers, and, as you suggest, the joke is getting old.

  59. January 5th, 2007 at 12:41 | #59

    Mr Surls is astro-turfing to take the debate away from the real issue. Even the website he quotes from contains a recent news release:

    “Hanging After Flawed Trial Undermines Rule Of Law”

    http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/12/30/iraq14950.htm

  60. January 5th, 2007 at 16:29 | #60

    Being against capital punishment in principle isn’t much of a principle if it’s suspended in certain cases.

    It’s interesting that some of those who are glad of the execution explain their enthusiasm in terms of Saddam Husseins bent for killing. In their position, they would find Saddam firmly on their side.

  61. January 5th, 2007 at 19:35 | #61

    Michael: There is a clear distinction between extermination of vermin & a desire to kill, exhibited by actively seeking out “deserving” cases for killing, where none really exist.

    Perhaps not all people understand this.

  62. derrida derider
    January 5th, 2007 at 19:48 | #62

    It really would have been better, on a lot of grounds, if Saddam had spent the rest of his natural life writing his memoirs in a high-security jail in the Hague. I suspect there are plenty of people in many countries (including the US) who are glad he never had a chance to write them.

    The timing and manner of his execution is just another disaster in the long list of disasters in Iraq.

  63. January 5th, 2007 at 20:45 | #63

    And those disasters commenced the day Saddam took power.

  64. January 5th, 2007 at 21:33 | #64

    SATB,

    Well not much really. It hinges on the principle that killing is best avoided, and that trying to achieve justice via killing is a futile exercise.

    Naturally, Saddam himself disagreed, finding executions via his secret police to be a very handy form of justice for those he regarded as vermin.

  65. Hal9000
    January 6th, 2007 at 08:09 | #65

    SATP “And those disasters commenced the day Saddam took power.”

    Written wth magnificent ignorance of Iraqi 20th Century history. Perhaps you’d care to re-think following a bit of Googling ‘iraq arthur harris poison gas’. Should be an eye-opener.

    Perhaps some thought (I know, it’s tough) and research could also be devoted to how Saddam Hussein achieved power, who put him there, and who were the urgers for his invasion of Iran.

    Meanwhile, I’m mildly intrigued by the non-drinking remark, since you choose a pub as your moniker and beer as your avatar. I like others had naturally assumed that the aggressive bile your posts normally consist originated from over-consumption. I’m saddened to learn these are the outpourings of a sober individual.

  66. wilful
    January 6th, 2007 at 08:51 | #66

    OK I’ve learnt my lesson. No more surly Dave for me.

  67. January 6th, 2007 at 09:57 | #67

    “Meanwhile, I’m mildly intrigued by the non-drinking remark, since you choose a pub as your moniker and beer as your avatar. I like others had naturally assumed that the aggressive bile your posts normally consist originated from over-consumption. I’m saddened to learn these are the outpourings of a sober individual.”

    Very good stuff Hal9000, clearly demonstrates the gulf between your beliefs & reality, and the words came out of your own mouth! :-) :-) :-)

  68. January 6th, 2007 at 10:30 | #68

    In Surls’ World the USA etc. never gave any support to the evil Saddam.
    Lefty liars photoshopped Rumsfeld into the famous photo shaking hands with him.

    To be fair, if those views are genuinely held by anyone but the blindest shill then his ‘side’ might indeed have ‘won’ to some extent.

  69. January 6th, 2007 at 10:48 | #69

    Megan: If you are going to adhere to that belief, Dave Surls’ side will come out way in front if holistic view is taken.

    For lefties backed the Russian Revolution, & were backing Stalin into the 1940′s (& indeed some are still). In fact every left wing takeover was supported by lefties.

    The scorecard of murdered millions would then put the left VERY MUCH on the wrong side.

    I suggest a change of mind. Yesterday’s ally often becomes today’s abhorrent enemy.

  70. January 6th, 2007 at 11:03 | #70

    I’m not on anyone’s side, I’m simply a spectator. But as far as sides go, you and Dave seem to be wearing the same coloured jerseys.

  71. jquiggin
    January 6th, 2007 at 11:09 | #71

    Dave Surls can’t take a hint, so I’ll spell out for him. He’s worn out my patience, and anything further from him will be deleted.

  72. January 6th, 2007 at 11:31 | #72

    “For lefties backed the Russian Revolution, & were backing Stalin into the 1940’s (& indeed some are still). In fact every left wing takeover was supported by lefties.” – SATP

    Oh dear, we’re grasping at straws to defend supporting Saddam by looking back to Stalin.

    Though even, then there is a significant difference; Stalin represented a perversion of leftist ideals, while the policies and actions of conservatives (Rumsfeld, Bush et al) in supporting Saddam were consistent with conservative ideals.

  73. Jill Rush
    January 7th, 2007 at 10:36 | #73

    I agree with Prof Q. I cannot be sorry that Saddam Hussein is dead. I think that the death penalty however does demean those who implement it and inures them to other evils that they may perpetrate. The kind of thinking where the ends justify the means is far from civilised and takes us back to days when the heads of enemies were put on spikes and displayed tp be gloated over. Needless to say these societies were in general brutal and nasty.

    The process and the subsequent media has caused me considerable concern. To have a photo of the gallows scene on the front page of the Sunday paper clearly seen by my and other people’s children along with details that there is a movie available on the web of this event is very disturbing.

    I doubt that there is anyone posting here who hasn’t viewed one or the other. Why have we had so little choice in this and why hasn’t there been real outrage at the horror movie so blatantly shoved at us? In the age of the airheads it seems that any nobility of action has long gone, but I really don’t want this as a way of the future in Australia. There is no reason to descend into a brutish, nasty society. What is most disturbing is that the Federal govt seems to be so comfortable with the fact that the judicial murder has been so graphically displayed in our media. Channel 9 showed all but the last moment in prime time without any comment from the government.
    Having read to the end of this blog there has been almost no discussion of the ghoulish nature of the response – just the latest sample of reality tv – perhaps it could become a series “Just Desserts”.

  74. Jimmythespiv
    January 7th, 2007 at 21:30 | #74

    JQ

    Yer’ to heavy on the deletions – even people sympathetic to his general drift can see he’s making a right pillock out of himself !

  75. Dave Surls
    January 8th, 2007 at 10:20 | #75

    Geez, point out a couple of untrue statements (out of thousands) made by leftys, and suggest that the top Baathists get the Nuremburg treatment, and right away Quiggin breaks out in a cold sweat, and whips out the censorship baton.

    You missed your calling, John. You should have been a commissar.

  76. Dave Surls
    January 8th, 2007 at 11:20 | #76

    “In Surls’ World the USA etc. never gave any support to the evil Saddam.”

    Well, I guess my comment will get deleted, but…I never said any such thing. You leftys seem to have a fundamental issue with just sticking to the facts.

    What I said is is that the story that the wicked Americans provided the Iraqis helicopters that were subsequently used to spray chemical agents on the Kurds at Halabja appears to be a bunch of hogwash.

    At least according to eyewitness reports gathered by those evil right wingers over at HRW.

  77. January 8th, 2007 at 14:38 | #77

    But they certainly were quick to jump in and point fingers at Iran, when they knew it was Saddam.

    Aiding and abetting anyone?

  78. wbb
    January 10th, 2007 at 22:32 | #78

    I second Jill Rush’s concern but then again, kids have a simpler cast if mind. Even tho, as on over-protective parent, I hid the front of the paper that day, I’m sure that if they’d seen it, they’d've just’ve thought: “the bogey-man is dead, hooray!”

  79. peterd
    January 16th, 2007 at 12:14 | #79

    SATP: “For lefties backed the Russian Revolution, & were backing Stalin into the 1940’s (& indeed some are still). In fact every left wing takeover was supported by lefties” …….
    Poor SATP: he still doesn’t understand that one could consistently be a supporter of the Russian Revolution (because of the destruction caused Russian society by the Tasarist regime) and yet be a critic of Stalin (as in fact many leftists were).

    SATP: “I suggest a change of mind. Yesterday’s ally often becomes today’s abhorrent enemy.”
    How true. And yesterday’s enemy can become today’s friend (our old friend Stalin again, before and after the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany).

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