News outlets are reporting that Saddam has been executed. I watched Alan Colmes and others argue tonight that executing him was unnecessary, that he was no longer a threat to the Iraqi people, that the U.S. had him in custody and that it would be best to just move on and let him languish in prison.
This, in my opinion, is naive.
Suppose the Democrats were successful in getting the United States to withdraw from Iraq by the end of this summer. What would we have done with Saddam? He would have surely been turned over to Iraqi forces and that would have increased the chances that somehow he would be freed. Those who want to see him returned to power would have been given new hope that he might yet survive and be released to regain his seat as head of the Iraqi state, and with that hope there would have been a renewed commitment to topple the government that we left behind.
Indeed, if we pull out too soon the Iraqi government will almost certainly fall, and, depending upon who got to him first, Saddam would be either sprung from prison or shot dead in his cell. If the former, this psychopathic killer would be seen by the Arab world as invincible, almost mythic in his indestructability, chosen by Allah to lead the Arab world against their enemies, both Muslim and non-Muslim. To what horrors would that lead?
Moreover, as long as Saddam was alive many Iraqis would have been reluctant to openly support the new government for fear that he would somehow be returned to power and punish those who collaborated with the government that succeeded him.
Executing Saddam was not only an act of justice, it was an act of manifest prudence. The Iraqi government did what they had to do.RLC