If what I'm hearing from the media is correct, Saddam Hussein is not much longer for this earth.
Before we completely go giddy with joy, we should remember this is a somber occasion. Whenever anyone is put to death for crimes against humanity, it isn't supposed to be a party atmosphere. Americans and Iraqis alike have sacrificed so much to get to this point. We owe it to those who have endured what Saddam did to treat his execution with the gravity it demands.
Some have come up with ideas to televise Saddam's execution via pay per view and use the money generated to pay the families of our soldiers fighting in Iraq. A noble sentiment on one level, but I'm not comfortable with it. The Germans have a term, "schadenfreude," which loosely translated means taking pleasure at the misfortune of others. Seeing some of my conservative breathren's reaction to Saddam's execution and how quickly it's coming up, I can only say schadenfreude is running wild.
I don't want to be in that group. As bad, as ruthless, as utterly reprehensible as Saddam has been, I can't take joy at his execution. It's the closing of a chapter of world history, a chapter written in the blood of millions of of his victims. A chapter that didn't have to be written had we had the courage to hold Saddam accountable when we had the chance in Operation Desert Storm. It's hard to accept, but it's necessary. We could have stopped it, and we didn't.
Given that, how can any American be happy that Saddam is going to be hung? It may make us feel good for a short time or bolster our resolve to continue fighting, but it doesn't undo the past. It won't bring back a single Kurd gassed by Saddam. It won't heal the emotional and psychological scars of the women who survived Saddam's rape rooms. It won't stop the insurgents from targeting our troops and Iraqi citizens. It won't restore families torn apart by Saddam's machinations.
No, killing Saddam won't undo the damage he caused, but it should serve as a reminder of what happens when absolute power goes unchecked by those with the power to stop it. And that's something we all need to learn.