SILVER LININGThe aftermath of Saddam’s execution [Archives:2007/1014/Opinion]

January 8 2007

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
The Iraqi government surprised the Muslims by executing former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on the first day of Eid. The timing, as well as the way of carrying out the execution, has instigated the anger of the people. I myself acknowledge and I previously wrote articles that the man is a dictator and deserves this end. But the decision to execute him during the first day of the Eid is really disgusting and has demonstrated that the current government of Iraq is still obsessed with revenge sentiments not only against Saddam and his regime, but all Sunni people. And unfortunately, such groups cannot build a nation of freedom and democracy as we have been aspiring towards. We wished that the ousting of Saddam would bring hope and a better tomorrow for Iraq as we expected that who would replace him would be much better and with a liberal thinking, looking ahead to the future. However, the outcome is really frustrating and painful.

In fact, the execution of Saddam at this particular time and in the humiliating way we saw on TV, the Iraqi government and the Bush administration have generated more support and fans for Saddam even in his death. Not only this, the execution has widened the gap between the Sunni and Shiite groups not only in Iraq, but also across the region. I have listened to a number of people and through discussion with them, come to realize that the critical tone against the Shiites has mounted.

The ordinary people who supported Hezbollah and its secretary general Hassan Naserallah during the latest Israeli pounding against Lebanon are now frustrated with the Shiites and the way they deal with the Sunni groups in Iraq. The potential fiasco of the relationship between the two religious sects is definitely at stake.

They even look at Iran, who they used to consider as a growing nuclear power as a pride for all Muslims, as a first enemy of the Arabs believing that Saddam was right in battling Tehran in 1980s. The Bush administration perhaps wanted to push to this end, but certainly, this gap between the Sunnis and Shiites is likely to expand.

Another major victim of the execution of Saddam is the truth. Saddam is truly a dictator whose death sentence has been expected by everybody. However, so many people including legalists believe his trial was not complete and was not fair; he could have been a good witness on many events that took place during his tenure as head of Iraq state including the war with Iran, invasion of Kuwait, attacks on the Kurds and many more crimes. We believe that justice should have been made to all actors of such events and all should have been held accountable.

Any way, Happy New Year to all the people across the globe and I hope 2007 will be free from wars, killings and full of peace and prosperity to all.

Mohammed Al-Qadhi ([email protected]) is a Yemeni journalist and columnist.