Cruel & Unusual Punishment for Saddam?

When the Iraqi parliament elected their new president, Jalal Talabani, FNC reports a television was placed in Saddam Hussein’s jail cell so he could watch the proceedings. So, we may be hearing cries of cruel and unusual punishment from some watchdog groups like Amnesty International. You see, Talabani is a Kurd. Yes, he hails from the same ethnic group that Saddam abhorred, suppressed and massacred with those WMD chemicals. Thousands of Kurdish bodies were also unearthed from mass graves following the liberation of Iraq. We can only imagine and revel in the horror that Saddam felt while he watched the proceedings.

While the position of Iraq’s president is largely ceremonial at this point, it appears Parliament intentionally thumbed its collective nose at the past dictator and his regime. In a move which can only be construed as closing the door on past prejudices, they chose a minority leader — from a people disdain by the previous regime — to guide their new government. The election broke the two-month impasse in establishing the new Iraqi government. In Talabani’s own words, he will govern a country “freed from the most horrific dictatorship.”

To round out the top of the new government, the parliament elected two vice presidents: Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shi’ite who was finance minister in the outgoing government, and Sunni Arab tribal leader Ghazi Yawar, the former president. In these choices, they appointed a figurehead for each of the major ethnic/religious groups in the country. Not bad for an infant democracy! President Bush applauded the choices in a statement: “The Iraqi people have shown their commitment to democracy and we, in turn, are committed to Iraq.”

But prominent Sunni Arab groups — whose members are believed to make up the backbone of the insurgency — distanced themselves from the government, saying al-Yawer and al-Hassani didn’t represent them. — FNC/AP

Of course, one of the minority parties underrepresented in the Parliament because they boycotted the elections grumbles about the choices. In fact, the disagreement over which Sunni would be elected as vice president held the deal up for all these weeks. The Sunnis, Saddam’s faction, needs to accept the reality of their position and learn to live with compromise. After being in power for so long, they must face readjustment of their expectations. The real world awaits them . . . whether they are ready or not.

Let’s return to the question of the day: Was forcing Saddam Hussein to watch the election and announcement of the new Kurdish president cruel and unusual punishment? Ah, we can only hope!



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2 Responses to “Cruel & Unusual Punishment for Saddam?”

  1. Big Dog says:

    It would have been cruel and unusual if they made him watch Dan Rather reporting the story….

  2. Surfside says:

    Ah, Big Dog, you always find a way to put the icing on the proverbial cake.