Hussein Hanged

Saddam Hussein has been executed:

Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator who spent his last years in captivity after his ruthless Baathist regime was toppled from power by the U.S.-led coalition in 2003, was hanged Saturday for crimes committed in a brutal crackdown during his reign, a witness said.

“Saddam’s body is in front me,” said an official in the prime minister’s office when CNN telephoned. “It’s over.”

Good riddance.

However, our mission is far from being accomplished, and this bit of good news will not do much in the way of changing that.

Update: See what I mean?

As a noose was tightened around Hussein’s neck, one of the executioners yelled “long live Muqtada al-Sadr,” Haddad said, referring to the powerful anti-American Shiite religious leader.

Update 2: John Cole captures what I was thinking last night, but for which I couldn’t find the words:

Finally, even though I know he is guilty, and deserves to die, I still can not help but look at the pictures of the gallows and get a chill. There is something so final, so irreversible, so barbaric and primitive about capital punishment (in particular, hanging) that I still can not embrace it, even for scum like Hussein. Advocates of capital punishment will tell you that the finality and the barbaric aspect of the act are features, not bugs.

I am not so sure.

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