Monday, November 06, 2006

Saddam Predictions

London Times online states:
"[t]he former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will be hanged by the end of January, a senior member of Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa party predicted today as an around-the-clock curfew kept the lid on sectarian violence after the deposed dictator was sentenced to death. 'I don't think it will drag on beyond January of next year,' said MP Haider al-Abadi, who is a confidant to the Iraqi Prime Minister."
Reuters focuses on the complexity of the issue, and the ambiguity and uncertainty therein:
"Saddam Hussein's death sentence is not the end of the legal process and political obstacles may also keep him from the gallows for some time. U.S. officials working with the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi High Tribunal also describe it as 'premature' to disclose exactly how Saddam's appointment with the hangman might take place."

Many sources are questioning the timing of the verdict, wondering if the Saddam trial was brought to an end just in time for the US mid-term elections. Others agree the timing may be interesting, but do not believe it will affect the elections.

Phillip Carter, writing at Slate, predicts the "conviction may even impede our march to success and frustrate our exit from Iraq." But Tony Blair disagrees. An AP article, by Beth Gardiner, discusses Blair's belief that the death penalty is bad even for Saddam Hussein. Blair predicted the trial "also then helps point the way to the only future...a nonsectarian Iraq in which people from different communities live together and decide their future through democracy."

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