Juan Cole on Saddam: The death of a dictator at Salon:

The body of Saddam, as it swung from the gallows at 6 a.m. Saturday Baghdad time, cast an ominous shadow over Iraq. The execution provoked intense questions about whether his trial was fair and about what the fallout will be. One thing is certain: The trial and execution of Saddam were about revenge, not justice. Instead of promoting national reconciliation, this act of revenge helped Saddam portray himself one last time as a symbol of Sunni Arab resistance, and became one more incitement to sectarian warfare.

One does not have to be opposed to the death penalty to have mixed feelings over his death. I am not a strong believer in the death penalty but I do believe that we have to be careful in condemning a death penalty in a country that has suffered so much because of this brutal dictator. At the same however it is clear from Cole’s story that the trial against Saddam was a political trial and that is one reason to feel bad about it, the other is the negative consequences his death might have.

When one looks at the Arabic blogosphere it is hard to find many people who are happy over what happened. Marc Lynch on Abu Aardvark has analysed the Arabic media who are in general worried about the consequences and Marc Lynch finds the execution on Eid plain stupid.

Several bloggers from Iraq also report on the execution. Such as Neurotic Iraqi Wife, horrified about the images, Today in Iraq with a round up of the latest news, Thoughts from Bagdad, also stunned about the fact that the execution was on the first day of Eid, Iraq Pundit has a surprising take before the execution and a true treasure is Iraqblogcount with a lot of contributors and blogs in English and Arabic. Also IraqSlogger gives a good overview of the latest news.

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