Dictator Dead, Chaos Continues

I was at a jeweler’s on the rue des Consuls in Rabat when I heard the news that Saddam had been hanged. I looked up from the silver necklace I was admiring to see the hazy, greenish video of the bearded dictator being led to the gallows. “They hung him?” I said. I had heard of the sentence pronounced by the U.S.-controlled Iraqi court, but I had thought it would take a few weeks, if not months, before it was carried out. The jeweler, an old man in a gray jellaba and white skullcap, shook his head. “It’s only going to make it worse for the Iraqis,” he said. “And they did it on Eid, too!” he said. “Why couldn’t they have waited a few days?” The implication was clear: The hanging of Saddam on the eve of Eid was a deliberate act of humiliation. And we all know how well that works. Already Sunnis are marching in Samarra, Tikrit, and elsewhere. There will be more violence, more bloodshed. If an old man sitting in his shop in the medina has more sense than the “leader of the free world,” then there is no hope for Iraq.

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