“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Dead Man .

UPDATE: Saddam Hussein is dead. He was executed for crimes against humanity. The former dictator of Iraq was hooded, led to the gallows in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, which houses his former presidential palace, before being executed without ceremony in front of Iraqi and American officials.

Years ago, Will Rogers said, "He never met a man he did not like." One of the Alsop brothers, I can't remember which, said he disagreed. He was dying of cancer at the time and said, "He never met a man he could not feel sorry for."

Saddam Hussein was a tyrant that showed no mercy to his enemies. He also had followers and friends. He had opportunities and made some huge miscalcultaions and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings. He deserved no better than he gave.

Maybe none of us deserve mercy or maybe all of us do. I do not know which. I feel a sorrow for the inhumanity inflicted on those that suffered as a result of Saddam's rule. Some of his enemies probably needed killing, most did not, but all of them and his own were the result of his doing.


  1. BAGHDAD, Dec 29 (Reuters) - The Iraqi government is still discussing the legal procedures necessary to execute Saddam Hussein and nothing has been decided about the timing, an aide to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Friday.
    U.S.-backed Iraqi television channel Al Hurra quoted Iraqi sources as saying Saddam would either be hanged within hours on Friday or the execution would be put off until after a week-long religious holiday.
    The aide to Maliki, who declined to be identified, said the government was still divided on the issue of whether a presidential decree was required before the hanging.
    A source in the prosecution, which according to the penal code must have a representative at an execution, told Reuters he was unaware of any plans for an imminent execution.

  2. With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer and his "Casey at the Bat"

    The outlook wasn't brilliant for ole Saddam that day
    The gallows stood ten feet high, he had one more pray'r to say
    And then when Carter went back to cry, And Ramsey did the same,
    A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the day

    A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
    Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
    They thought, "If only Carter could but get a whack at that �
    We'd put up even money now, with Carter at the bar."

    But the hangman preceded Carter, as did mullah fake,
    And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a rake;
    So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat;
    For there seemed but little chance of Jimma Carter playing that ole sap.

    And now the rope placed round his neck,Saddam he felt the tug
    And Carter stood a-watching it, in his heart there was a thud
    Close by the sturdy hangman, the handle set to pull
    "That ain't my way," said Carter, as Saddam was set to fall. The folks be all enthralled.

    Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
    The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
    And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
    But there is no joy in Tikriti-ville ole Saddam had his lights put out.

  3. And a translucent Buddy Larsen will be there to box in Saddam's ears all through his ascent for judgement. Maybe he'll spladle him too, just for kicks.

    Godspeed, Archangel Larsen.

  4. From Habu’s poem, I can tell he also is having doubts, feeling those rising pangs of remorse, asking himself, as do I, wasn’t there something we could have done for Saddam. I just feel that we let down a fellow human being who, more than anything else, just needed of a hug. An autographed ball glove might have made all the difference in the world. Now, we will never know the power of love on the sinner’s heart.

    Capital punishment is just murder, pure and simple. It is the means by which old, rich white men incorporate guilt. Let the loss of this one soul be a lesson to us all. When Mr. Ahmadinejad next gets cranky, rather than write him off, let us pass the hat. Who can tell what difference a pair of size 4 1/2 Frye boots, with the six inch heels, might make.

  5. Allen's insight,depth of understanding, and honor of the human spirit is visited on very few men.
    We would all do well to reflect on what that chipper shredder pounded into playground swingsets could have done for Saddams self esteem, his feelings of alienation and separation.

    Pull the lever,let him drop
    Hear that C-4 crackle and pop
    A few spasms of final life
    Then we carve him up with a butchers knife,
    It won't be pretty and it won't be nice,
    But the sonofabitch 'ull finally be on ice.

    *for those who want to participate at home print out this picture and hit it with your shoe.

    Saddam Home Kit

  6. Dan Senor, on FOX, says, "We do know how to put the city on lockdown.", if reference to Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle.

    Which indeed we do, the question being, why didn't we before and still do not, until Security is achieved.

  7. DR,

    re: lockdown

    For the same reason we insist the Israelis open the checkpoints: the State Department is filled with do-gooder dipshits, safely cacooned in DC.

  8. Right now Penna. Senator Arlen Specter is researching Scotttish Law for a way to vote on a non existent 'Sense of the Senate" resolution that requires the US to demand Saddam be bungie jumped to death. Weeee

  9. I don't believe NBC's news report that Saddams last meal was a chili dog.
    I believe he odered a halah Coney Island corn dog deep fried. Side order of Chitlins, and an RC cola.

  10. the State Department is filled with do-gooder dipshits, safely cacooned in DC.
    Roger that.

  11. The US raids and captures Iranians, in Iraq. Within a week all are released:

    TEHRAN, Iran – Two Iranians detained by American troops in Iraq and suspected of transferring weapons technology to insurgents in that country were released early Friday, Iran's state-run television and news agency reported.
    The U.S. military had no immediate comment. There was also no immediate response from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

    Iranian state TV referred to the Iranians as diplomats and said the release happened Friday.
    The two were handed over to Iranian officials in the presence of Iraq's National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie, said Iran's state-run news agency, IRNA.

    Hassan Kazemi Qomi, Iran's ambassador to Baghdad, said the arrest of the two diplomats was against internationally accepted regulations, IRNA said.

    “Fortunately with the effort exerted by the Iraqi officials, the U.S. forces, who first denied their arrest, were obliged to admit it and under pressure from the Iraqi government to release them,” IRNA quoted Qomi as saying.

    The White House said earlier this week that U.S. troops had detained at least two Iranians and released two others who had diplomatic immunity. A White House spokesman said the Iranians were taken into custody during a raid on suspected insurgents.

    On Thursday, a Pentagon official said U.S. forces had found “indications and evidence that all of the people rounded up, including the two Iranians, are involved in the transfer of IED technologies from Iran to Iraq.” IED stands for improvised explosive devices, or small bombs that are commonly used in attacks in Iraq.

    Catch & Release
    No Justice
    No Peace

  12. How long did it take? In less than 24 hours of the taking of the capitol, the US State Department is attempting to paralyze the Ethiopian and Somali military campaign.

    "What we'd like to see happen as soon as possible is arrangements take place between the Islamic Courts Union and Transitional Federal Government for a ceasefire"…

    “[T]he United States was talking with the interim government in Somalia as well as with neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to urge all sides to ‘make sure that we have an open and inclusive political process.’"

    "Certainly individuals and groups that supported the Council of Islamic Courts, or elements thereof, that want to be part of and want to help develop Somali society and a lasting, durable government are people who need to be included in this process"…

    No doubt, the Saudis Have Spoken

    “And I want two lumps of sugar with my tea and the apple crumb crumpet looks just yummy”, said State Department spokesnon-genderspecificperson Tom (Tiny Tom) Casey.

  13. Whit said, "Arguments against the death penalty are nothing more than the age old battle that mankind wages against God."

    "the innocent and righteous slay thou not" Exodus 23:7

  14. Not to rain on the parade, but if lawyers had not sought a stay from a Federal judge, my schedule would have been close to the mark. The paperwork wasn't filed until about 3:00 PM, EST. The judge's decision did not come down until approximately 9:00 PM, EST. Saddam was hanged sometime between 9:30 - 10:00 PM, EST. Damned lawyers!

    Nevertheless, YES!!!

  15. If Saddam has passed on into the great beyond, he probably knows everything now. He has become incorporated into the transcendental one, a glob of knowledge now blebbed into the mother blob of ordered information.

    Of course, so has Buddy Larsen, the Jedi to Saddam's Sith.

    And Gerald Ford has Buddy's back. Quite the dynamic duo.

    I suppose the epic fight will seem as if two massive galaxies are colliding, but it will just be Buddy Larsen the White, defender of matter, spacetime and goodness, taking out the trash.

  16. Goodnight, Rufus.

    May God bless your morning with disorienting quantities of pretty ladies, writhing and feminine, clawing at your every step, inescapable even in the kitchen, for there they stand, frying pans in hand, preparing a 5 course breakfast.

  17. AspergersGentleman,

    You are not communicating.

  18. Sorry everyone can't hemingway their way to a point, Bob

    maybe if i had a lucrative melon contract with Halliburton, i coulda road that wave to more concise speech. but god did not give me melons.

    Things happen for a reason.

  19. Good riddance - Saddam!

    Whit, excellent quotes from the "Good Book"!

    It will be interesting to see the affect, if any - as Rufus stated.

  20. Aspergers said, "maybe if i had a lucrative melon contract with Halliburton, i coulda road that wave to more concise speech. but god did not give me melons."

    Speaking of Iraq and melons...

  21. Well, the link to those melons didn't work, maybe this is better.

  22. Lady Hawk said, "I do not understand why people are against judicious use of capital punishment. One Catholic Church's pastor explained in a sermon how people need to hope for redemption from the evil people; that you cannot be Christian and believe in capital punishment."

    In Saddam's case, the death penalty is indicated simply because his loyalists would kidnap and kill many people in a bid to gain his release from jail.

  23. When you play at war, expect to be killed, sometime. Saddam was a shrewd player in his youth. As he grew old he lost touch with reality. This final act is the final proof of that.

  24. The Iranians had Diplomatic Immunity, rufus.
    Plain as day.
    Neither the US nor Iraq is at war with Iran. We are trying to improve relations wiith the Religion of Peace's Mullahs in Iran. Cannot do that if we arrest their diplomats that were invited to Iraq by President Talabani or Mr al-Hakim.

    We have been capturing and releasing enemy combatents in Iraq for years, literally years.

    Nothing new there, rufus.

  25. Catch & Release
    No Justice
    No Peace

  26. We have been capturing and releasing enemy combatants for years, literally years.
    Israel's been doing that for decades. Welcome to the Club.

  27. These are the times that try men's souls
    The summertime soldier and sunshine patriot will not long endure

    Leave War fighting and diplomacy to the Professionals, rufus.
    They are doing so well.

    The US Bovernment calls for negotiations in Somalia, bring those Islamic Courts folk into the "process"

  28. Rufus,

    Look on the bright side. The masks are coming off. Learn what is who, and who is what. The time WILL come to apply that knowledge.

  29. I think the US needs to move its forces to Kurdistan, and start encouraging the Kurds to start biting the Iranians and syrians where it hurts.

  30. It has been that way from the start.
    YOU may have finally become "aware", but the realities have not changed.

    Mrs Sheehan saw it from her perspective when her son died.
    I saw it when my son reported in, from the Front, combined with Mr Yon's reporting, of catch and release.

    At the BC, when the Yon story was posted, others thought the CSM's RayBans were just too cool, while ignoring the previous Catch & Release of LTC Kurilla's attacker.
    That was the real story.

    The history of the occupation is rife with anedotal stories of mismanagement of the battlespace, but, even so, the US ain't leavin', rufus.

    We're Stayin' the Course.
    To Victory.

  31. Mr Bremmer reported to Mr Bush that the radical Mohammedans would win the Iraqi Elections, rufus. The results of the Elections were known from the beginning, before a single vote was cast.

    It was full speed ahead, to elections, regardless.

    Mr Bush is not about to declare his Mission in Iraq an error in judgement. He, like any good poker player with a "strong" hand, will double down.

  32. Tell that to the 140,000 troops there, in Iraq, rufus.
    That it is over.
    To the familes of the GIs that will die, today and in the future.

    The "Fat Lady" is not even warming up. Let alone singin'

    Whether you man the barricades with Cindy, or not.

  33. So,

    • 20 M1 Abrams tanks
    • 55 Bradley fighting vehicles
    • 20 Stryker wheeled combat vehicles
    • 20 M113 armored personnel carriers
    • 250 Humvees
    • 500+ Mine clearing vehicles, heavy/medium trucks, and trailers
    • 10 Amphibious Assault Vehicles
    • 27 Apache attack helicopters
    • 21 Blackhawk utility helicopters
    • 14 Chinook cargo helicopters
    • 23 Kiowa surveillance helicopters
    • 4 CH-46E Sea Knight cargo helicopters
    • 1 A-10 Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft
    • 1 F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft
    • 2 UH-1N Huey utility helicopters
    • 8 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters
    • 5 CH-53E Super Stallion or MH-53 Pave Low helicopters
    • 2 H-3 Sea King helicopters
    • 25+ RQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicles
    • 3 F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft
    • 2 C-130 Hercules aircraft
    • 1 F-16 Fighting FalconCG (90-0776)

    And less than 3,000 US deaths confirmed by the DoD..

    Is all it takes.

  34. Either does she.

    Realities make strange bedfellows, for differing reasons & motivations.

    But to speak of possible Presidental Impeachment and the criminalization of Policy errors, that puts you near the Camp of those others that have already called for Impeachment and criminalization of Policy errors.

  35. Desert Rat said, "But to speak of possible Presidental Impeachment and the criminalization of Policy errors, that puts you near the Camp of those others that have already called for Impeachment and criminalization of Policy errors."

    No impeachment, but this is Bush's war, and if McCain wants to "stay the course" in 2008 say hello to Madame President Clinton.

  36. It's blood for oil. That's the reason the US is still in the south of Iraq. Those forces need to be drastically reduced (to about 20,000) with the remainder moved to the North.

  37. We've not built a single Base in the norh, mat.
    So the troops won't be moving there. The construction monies have all been spent and the infrastructure built, in the Heartland of Iraq.

    The Dems will not fund the new Bases and a long term deployment. The negotiations have not even begun. But both Governments speak to withdrawl, without a stay behind option. Mr Allen made US and GOP Policy clear in his debate with Mr Webb on Meet the Press.
    No long term Garrisons.

  38. Nonsense. You don't need construction money to base 20,000 troops in Kurdistan.

  39. Rufus,

    What's the mission you're trying to accomplish by keeping those troops there in the South? Price stability. It is the exactly what we don't want and won't be able to achieve anyway, due to Russian policy of ME destabilization. Price stability will also kill the drive for alternative energy.

  40. Rufus - you'd punish risk taking?

    If the burden of policy errors seems to unfairly affect soldiers, know that it will eventually come to affect the presently safe and stateside.

    Some will think the security of commuters is unwinnable, undeserved too, what with bright Hezbollah colors waving in the air you breath. Just hoping its not your train or bus will be the new way forward.

    Those Hez colors will be raised in the morbid impeachment carnival applauded by subversives for defending the country. That's not a course correction I'd welcome.

    All these sentiments were aptly predicted on 9/11. We knew, by description of it, what we were "getting into." Now that we're in the thick of it, many seem comfortable to make the mistakes we swore against making, back when donating blood was first and foremost on our minds.

    I think America is coming around. Oddly enough, impossible as it would have seemed weeks ago, two things stick out in my mind:

    Barbara Boxer rescinding award to CAIR

    And the plain English spoken in this comment thread

    English-speaking people are catching on to them. The unending patterns of brutality persuade powerfully.

    This site, Digg, has often been dominated by KOS and other jaded travelers. Seems like those travelers are jaded about something new.

    Case of Rat's odd bedfellows, just a different bed.

  41. Rufus,

    20,000 troops with 400 tanks. That's all you need. Just ask the Ethiopians.

  42. The Ethiopians have one, added advantage, mat:
    But even more important than the fighter jets, the intelligence officer said, is Ethiopia’s use of Mi-24 Hind helicopter gun ships that can target the ICU’s ground forces. While the ICU might use rocket-propelled grenades against helicopters, as we saw in the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident, thus far the ICU claims to have shot down a single Ethiopian helicopter.

    Second, the military intelligence officer said that he underestimated Ethiopia’s willingness to commit to the fight against the ICU. “This campaign is far more far-sighted than we expected,” he said. “They didn’t just do this on the fly; they had to have been planning this for several weeks. This is a major commitment.” ..."

    From PJ's via at threatswatch

  43. That's the thing, d'Rat. Your heart is either in it, or it's not.

  44. And the Iraqi heart (whatever that means), just aint in it. (Because contrary to what they say, they are Islamists).

  45. Without a doubt

    Mohammedans to a man

  46. Martial Law in Somalia

    Ali Mohamad Gedi, the Prime Minister of Somalia, spoke 20 miles south of the capital, and declared there would be months of martial law in Somalia, secured with the help of the Ethiopians. “This country has experienced anarchy and in order to restore security we need a strong hand, especially with freelance militias... No clan will be allowed to possess weapons of any kind. We will deal with people who claim they seized grounds according to the government laws... The capital will be secured by our good friends, the Ethiopian troops and the Somali forces.” Gedi later entered Mogadishu in an armored column.

    Sound familiar?

    dr and mat, agreed. The "Iraqi heart" you speak of doesn't exist - it's carved up and split between innumerable sectarian lines. The American heart, on the other hand, is just too big and generous (democracy, anyone?) for the Iraqis to embrace as their own.

    As for Kurdistan, I'm inclined towards the scenario that the peshmerga doesn't need our backing to deal with the militias. It might be less costly than we predict. After all, the Kurds have learnt how exactly to protect their splendid isolationism, even when Shiites and Sunnis are slaughtering each other outside the Kurds' doorstep.

  47. Harrison,

    That's because the Ethiopians don't have taqqiya Arabs like Abizaid in their Army.

  48. AspergersGentleman said...
    'Course, it's also said we should not ridicule the Albino, but some of them fellars are plumb nasty. You'd think kindness was bleached away with the pigment.

    Powder showed everyone that sometimes the Gods disguise themselves as the Albino to test us. So next time, hold your tongue, that pale person may have complete command over the elements.