Dearborn, Michigan is home to a large expatriate Iraqi community - I heard that they are largely Christian, but certainly not wholly so since CNN was interviewing the Imam of the local mosque. In any case the celebration seemed spontaneous and genuine.
Rana and Ragad Hussein are shown in an earlier interview, painting a very different picture of the man who they knew as a loving father.
2:08 AM - CNN just announced an unconfirmed report of a car bomb exploding in Iraq. Of course they can't yet confirm the identity of the bombers
or their purpose in setting it off either.
Almost 2:30 now... Unfortunately, I have to go to work in the morning, so this is as far as I will get tonight. I'm sure that there will be a lot more to discuss tomorrow night!
Stay safe, everyone!
Briefly, because I'm getting prepared for work... This morning CNN is showing Saddam being led to and fitted for the noose, but it stops short of showing the actual execution. They say that there is a picture released of the body, but He has been very much alive in all of the pictures that I've seen so far. I've heard the news of his execution, I believe them when they say that it has taken place, but I have yet to see any real evidence of it.
I wonder how long it will take for there to be rumors of conspiracy and conjecture that the execution did not actually take place???
12/30/2006 - It's been a bad week for some famous people and Hussein is only one...
James Brown passed away from congestive heart failure earlier this month and today was the memorial service;
Soul Celebration! Thousands of people gathered in Augusta, Georgia this afternoon to see James Brown off in a rousing celebration of his music!
The "Godfather of Soul"'s life was celebrated by many luminaries including Michael Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton and M. C. Hammer. James Brown himself was there to be seen front and center in his golden casket ! ! ! The love was there and the house was rocking !
Of course, Gerald Ford also passed away - 93 years young! I saw some of the commemorative speeches that were going on this afternoon - I believe that the funeral will be Tuesday. He was a good man who stepped in when Nixon was impeached and Vice President Spiro Agnew had already resigned over tax evasion charges. The most controversial thing that he ever did was to give a presidential pardon to Richard Nixon for whatever crimes he had committed and that may have been the determining factor when Jimmy Carter beat him in the next presidential election.
I know that I'm getting off point here when I'm talking about anybody other than Hussein, but I think that it also gives us some perspective. Hussein's notoriety was just that and the end of any possibility of his returning to power may allow the different factions in Iraq begin to have a truly serious dialogue about where their country is going and how it's going to get there. Odd as it may seem, the execution of Saddam Hussein may eventually be seen as "Hope on a rope!" I certainly hope that Iraq can begin the healing of some very old wounds and even though the scars may always be there, the body politic of Iraq can come together after some concessions to each of the major political groups and once again become a healthy nation in its' own right, independent of outside interests.
01/02/2007 - 6:30 AM - This is unusual ! Normal mail service is suspended for the third day in a row!
Of course, Sunday there were no deliveries (except for Express mail !) and Monday was the holiday. Today has been declared a national day of mourning for Gerald Ford and most, if not all, federal offices are closed for the day. So Wednesday mail service will resume for the first time since last year! Of course today is the state funeral for Gerald Ford... A very good man who was, briefly, a good president!
I hear that Saddam Hussein has been buried near Tikrit, despite some concerns that his grave site could be desecrated if he was buried in Iraq. I had heard that he might be buried in Jordan until there was some cessation of hostilities in Iraq, Perhaps that was impractical... Despite the fact that his leadership was largely secular in nature and his religion was more a matter of convenience than of faith, it is still probable that he will be considered a Sunni martyr. That may be a bit ironic, since he is considered to be responsible for some two million deaths during his reign as dictator!
In any event, he is now last year's news and I hope that the healing can begin. I sincerely wish the best possible outcome for all concerned and that those people who lost family to his regime can achieve some degree of closure with his death.
It's a new year... Let's make the best that we can of it!
Yesterday I heard that there had been an unauthorized recording made of Saddam Hussein's execution and that it had been posted on the internet. However, I didn't find any reference to it when I did an Internet search. I've been hearing a lot more about it today! Of course, the Iraqis have been hearing a lot more about it than I have and they are outraged! Of course the government is upset that there were recording devices other than their own there, but that is not what has the citizens upset! Especially the Sunni population! In the portions that I have seen and heard, the witnesses to the execution were Shi'ite and they were taunting Saddam and chanting "Muktada" - presumably for the Shi'ite cleric, Muktada al Sadr.
Perhaps the Iraqi government thought that they were keeping things under control by doing the execution quickly. It is reported that the execution went forward against US advice. That and the Shi'ite overtones to the execution throw the responsibility solely on the shoulders of the Iraqi government. Obviously, the US cannot control the government. I would hope that they do not want to, having achieved democratic elections in Iraq,
so that the government could be chosen by the people and represent the rule of law with their approval, to be determined through subsequent elections... (?)
And so it goes with the best laid plans of mice and men! (They aft do gang agley!)
January 3rd, 2007
I saw the pirate video of the execution last night !
It looked bad!
Maybe Hussein was guilty and complicit in thousands, maybe even millions of deaths, but that doesn't justify that kind of behavior!
Having said that, I can well imagine some Shi'ite or Kurdish tribesman who has lost twenty or more relatives telling me that the last thing that Hussein deserved was the quick clean death that he got. What did he care about a few insults? His life was already in the hangman's hands!
I might even agree with them, but that is not the point. He might deserve six months of microdoses of his own chemical weapons for each individual that died at his orders... BUT that is not the point ! This situation deteriorated to its' lowest common denominator and on that particular day that was not the man who stepped up to meet his death at the executioner's hands and refused the blindfold that was offered to him.