Saddam Hussein was sentenced today, November 5th, 2006 to a verdict of death by hanging. Though the trial could hardly be called professional, and though the Iraqi prime minister 'predicted' before the trial this death sentence, he probably deserved it.
After the sentencing (and before it, actually), the Iraqiya channel showed scenes of Iraqis celebrating in the streets. I was a little surprised that in my neighborhood, and surrounding neighborhoods, there was no trace of celebration. I think if this had happened two years ago, people would have celebrated with their traditional gunfire celebrations. But now, with the situation as depressing as it is, and with the fear of repercussions from certain elements, people (sp. Sunnis) see this as another event in their life that is not helping make the situaiton in Baghdad better.
I think that it is necessary to emphasize that Sunnis were just as much harmed by Saddam's rule as Shiites and Kurds were. Our uncle in law had to flee the country during the last few years of Saddam's rule because a death sentence was out on him. He was only able to come back to his family and country because of Saddam's ousting. Another uncle was jailed for a few years and all his possessions were taken from him, for a fleeting word he said against the tyrant's regime. Others were killed and went missing. And all Iraqis, young and old, were affected by the crazy wars and sanctions that Saddam put them through.
Two years ago, when the trials against Saddam first started, people were excited about them and watched the proceedings intently. Aunt M, who's husband had been through so much because of Saddam's tyranny, would exclaim against that 'arrogant tyrant' and was constantly waiting for the guilty verdict to be announced. But today, after Iraqis have seen so much violence and death and horror, this guilty verdict brings just a little bit of justice into their lives. So much more needs to be fixed now.
How do I feel about it? I remember watching Saddam on TV when he was still in power, and to me he epitomized the Arabic word jabbar- arrogant, powerful tyrant- more than any other dictator ruler out there. Seeing him when he was caught and through out his trials, and today, was just so humbling. Going from so high up, from such power and arrogance and jabaroot to such an end, subhanaAllah, very humbling.
What else am I feeling? I'm seeing people turn this into a Sunni/Shiite clash, and that is not right. Like I mentioned before, everyone, Sunni/Shiite/Kurd, were affected by the former regime. But things have not gotten better since Saddam's days, to say the least, and many people here are just not celebrating.