I had to turn off the TV-news.
This is a solemn, important moment. It’s not a joyous one. An evil man deserved to die. His elimination was necessary — not close to sufficient, but necessary — for achieving, over time, a semblance civilized stability in Iraq. The celebration in the streets, though, the dancing and firing guns in the air, does not augur well for that achievement.
This wasn’t victory. It didn’t end suffering. It was, in the heat of a war that has actually gotten more vicious and more uncertain since Saddam’s capture three years ago, the carrying out of an essential but unpleasant duty. It marginally enhances Iraq’s propects, and ours. But Saddam’s death (as opposed to his deposing) has no impact whatsoever on the deep dysfunction and hatred that is rending what passes for Iraqi society. The unbridled display of dancing and shooting says more about that than the death of one man — monstrous though he was — who has been imprisoned for three years.
Saddam’s death is a marker worth observing. It is not something to go up in a balloon over.