Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam’s execution: the lesson

This day will go down as a momentous one in the history of not just the Middle East but the entire world. A major player of the region’s politics has gone, gone for ever.

Saddam Hussein came to power violently. He ruled violently. He was deposed violently. There was violence after he was overthrown. And, his end also came violently. The guarantee that violence will cease for good after his death, comes only from a blind belief in the improbable.

That Saddam was a violent man is the point of view of not just George Bush. It is also of the near and dear whom he eliminated ruthlessly. It is also of the many bystanders and the silent observers; and most importantly, probably of Saddam himself. What else does his utter lack of remorse even at the gallows indicate? It’s sure he knew this day was coming; only he didn’t know when.

I switched on the TV as soon as I got up around 8.30 am. And the much expected news was out there. And around 2.30 pm, the first images of the last moments of a tyrant started streaming in. We have heard of people being hanged to death, but never seen such a chilling sequence of events.

There is a lesson in this, nevertheless. Nemesis catches up, one day or the other. The retribution comes in some way or the other.
After all, Saddam did, or at least had the power to do, whatever he wanted. He lived like a king, he lived his life to the full. And, it was time finally for him to leave. But was he one whose departure has to be grieved, especially since he himself played with death so closely all his life?

  • Video footage of Saddam at gallows: on NYT site with report
  • Video footage of Saddam at gallows: with Al-Arabiya TV report on Reuters site

    1. Very true. Nemesis catches up. I do not understand why people in Kerala are still out in the streets for him :)

    2. Payyans: Kerala observing hartal and inconveniencing the people is totally incongruous with what one would normally expect from a state populated with very well educated and informed people.