Posted by Wordsmith on 1 January, 2007 at 12:16 am. 4 comments already!


When you look at this image what do you see?  Why is it that the MSM is always in a perpetual state of pessimism?

Freedom Eden picks apart the Milkwaukee Journal Sentinel’s editorial which focused on how the death penalty is wrong.  MSM is chock-full of similar examples of negativity toward the just execution of the Butcher of Baghdad.  Today while I was out and about, I saw a copy of the Sunday edition of the LA Times lying around, so I picked it up to peruse.  On the frontpage, the news headline was:  "HUSSEIN ERA ENDS, BUT NOT VIOLENCE".  Well…duh.  Checking online for more LATimes stories, I find:   "Europeans denounce Saddam’s Execution", "Anger, grief at funeral for Saddam". 

As I sit here watching the local news, the reporters mention the celebrations in brief, while dwelling upon the ongoing violence ad nauseam (including the ever-favorite highlighting of the numbers game).  Yes, 3,000 soldiers have now died.  The numbers are important in that each life is irreplaceable and meant the world to someone and to some family.  But why this obsessing over numbers, other than to take the fight out of our windsails?  Rather than making us want to fight harder, by reporting on each soldier death, the manner in which the MSM reports the loss, is to make it sound like a senseless death.  Rather than strengthen our resolve, it threatens to undermine and weaken our will.

Why can’t they just report the good news without the obligatory "but…"?  "Saddam’s execution was a good thing, but…"; "Saddam was a brutal dictator, but….."  I suppose this is what Laura Ingraham would call "the but monkey".  The liberal media cannot seem to bring themselves around to reporting the good news without highlighting, underlining, and underscoring  the bad when it comes to the situation in Iraq.  They need to constantly remind us of the perception that the sky is perpetually falling.

A brutal dictator has given up the ghost.  And the MSM now appears to  want to focus on the ghost; on how the spectre of Saddam will still hang over Iraq and not quell the bloodshed.  The glass-half-empty media may be right. 

As thrilled as I am that the world is rid of Saddam, there are a couple of things that trouble me in his execution.  One is the timing of it; the other, the macabre and melancholy coverage that did nothing to diminish him in the eyes of his loyalists. 

The execution took place at the beginning of the Islamic holy days, Eid-ul-Adha.  It sounds as if the execution was supposed to take place just before the start of the "Feast of Sacrifice", which began at 6 a.m.  But Saddam is said to have met his demise at 6:10 a.m (NYTimes). 

David Gartenstein-Ross at Counterterrorism Blog writes:

Eid al-Adha is one of Islam’s two most important holidays, and today throughout the Muslim world the holiday is being overshadowed by Saddam’s execution. A source in the Muslim community reports that in Saudi Arabia, some Muslims simultaneously watched the Eid salat on one television channel and Saddam’s execution on another. One woman in Saudi Arabia commented that she found this "unsettling," and not because she has any warm feelings for Saddam. Rather, for many Middle Easterners, Saddam’s execution seemingly intrudes on what should be a time of celebration for them: it is an intrusion because the Iraq war is extremely unpopular throughout the Middle East, and the televised execution is a stark reminder that the war is still raging.

Why couldn’t the execution have been scheduled after the Eid, which lasts four days?  Did anyone in the Iraqi government think this through? 

Saddam’s final letter is released, portraying himself as a devout Muslim.  At his execution, he’s holding a Koran and by most all accounts, is painted rather heroically, exchanging insults and mocking those present; with religion on his lips, he refuses a hood.

He said a last prayer. Then, with his eyes wide open, no stutter or choke in his throat, he said his final words cursing the Americans and the Persians.

There are several versions of his final moments at the gallows; and all of them are fitting for a martyr’s death.  He knew exactly what he was doing; what he was saying:

“Long live the nation!” Mr. Hussein shouted. “Long live the people! Long live the Palestinians!”

I don’t think Saddam cared a rat’s ass about the Palestinians, any more than he actually believed in the power of  Mohammed and Allah.  But is it any wonder that the Palestinians would mourn his loss?  And reading those words, who can doubt that his "heroic" defiance won’t be an inspiration to young Palestinians to grow up to become martyrs for their sick and twisted ideology?  9/11 happened 5 years ago.  Middle-Eastern boys who were children when 9/11 happened are now young men.  Perhaps young, angry men, saturated in the death cult that is the Jihadist movement.

Another account I read states that "Mohammed" was the last word to leave his lips before the door dropped.  Whether that is true or not, a reporter has put it into print; and that is validation enough to be embraced by those who yearn to believe in Saddam living and dying a martyr’s death. 

 rcald at Daily Kos (who also was noting the timing of the execution with the Eid) makes a valid observation:

Now, Saddam Hussein is certainly not an Islamic leader, and his Baathist sympathizers, to the best of my understanding, are largely secular. However, he is trying to use Islamic metaphors to construct himself as a symbol of Iraqi unity in the face of a foreign military force as well as a government he repeatedly asserts is the puppet of the West.

It was a mistake to allow Saddam to die, so dignified, defiant, and unrepentant.  An inspiration, rather than an example to those who want to follow in the footseps of a martyr.

Perhaps, this time it was my turn to see the glass half empty and half full.

Saddam is no martyr to me; but then….I’m not the one going around looking for inspiration and reasoning to kill our troops and obstruct democracy from taking root in Iraq.

Apologies and hat tip to Clay Bennett for splicing his liberal cartoon.

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