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Was the cost worth the price?

January 03, 2007

Re "Hussein executed -- and Iraq braces," Dec. 30

The execution of Saddam Hussein may prove to be another strategic blunder in the war on terror. The United States is perceived, by the Arab street, as the one responsible for the hanging of an Arab leader. Hanging is considered a humiliating form of execution, especially when it is scheduled on a major Muslim holiday. His death will further stoke hatred and revenge against this country.

Because Saddam was incarcerated, he posed no danger to anyone. Sparing his life could have been used as a bargaining chip to bring the Sunni insurgency closer to a peaceful deal with the Shiites. His execution will surely aggravate the ongoing sectarian strife, which could result in further destabilization of Iraq and certainly more U.S. casualties.


Woodland Hills


Re "Hussein era ends, but not violence," Dec. 31

People are asking whether the hanging of Hussein was worth the bloodshed. More than 3,000 American men and women killed, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, more than 1 million fleeing their homeland, our enormous war debt, and it is not over yet. But there is another point in this equation of "was it worth it?" The cost to the nation in prestige, honor and pride will take generations to overcome in order to bring back the beacon of light America has always stood for. We not only invaded a country without cause, but our president and his administration lied us into it for ulterior motives. A president who represents us with his never-ending defense of his invasion and our torture policies while condemning a killer and torturer, Hussein. This act has not made us or the world safer.




Re "Hussein death video aired," Dec. 31

I found it difficult to make a qualitative distinction between the photos of Hussein with a rope around his neck and those of terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi and American hostage Nick Berg prior to Berg's beheading.


Los Osos, Calif.


Re "Keeping faith with a bloody tradition," Current, Dec. 31

Christopher Hitchens sees no difference between the Iraqi court, which heard months of evidence, and death squads, which murder Iraqis every day. Hitchens claims that every transfer of power in Iraq has been marked by killing the incumbents, and he compares the court's justice to the mobs that tore apart prior Iraqi leaders. This is nonsense.

Secure in his cubicle, Hitchens insults the brave people who staffed the Iraqi court for 30 months. Several people (mostly lawyers) were assassinated during the trial. But the others heroically went back to their tasks every day. Hussein was not killed by a mob. He was charged, tried, defended by counsel, convicted, sentenced and finally, after appeal, executed. Hussein had a final cigar and never expressed remorse. Hitchens' feelings aside, the Middle East begins 2007 as a much better place to live.


Rehovot, Israel

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