Anyone keeping an eye on the whole Iraq thing (I know it’s difficult to tear away from the Britney scandal) has probably noticed that we seem to be making enemies faster than we can kill them. In fact, the balance seems to have tipped to the point where we’re pretty much universally considered the bad guy by those people.

I’m pretty sure the place we went wrong was by getting all them Iraqis killed. No matter if you believe Bush (30,000 dead), Tony Blair (50,000 dead), or those epidemiologists who do all the major disaster death-counts for a living (650,000 dead), the point is we’ve caused a lot of folks over there to get killed and it’s put us on shaky ground with the Iraq population who, for some reason, would like to see us leave their country before we get them personally killed.

Whichever death toll you believe, it would seem that the majority of Americans still felt that the death count was too low by at least one, and were looking for looking forward to Saddam Hussein’s death (Ironically, for crimes against humanity.) Now Saddam was a pretty bad guy and all. He was responsible, sometimes directly, for the death of anywhere from a half a million to a million people in Iraq ( a difficult feat to beat: to make sure we’ve got the high-end covered, we’re going to have to stay in Iraq at least until the end of the Bush presidency. ) But crimes aside, what better way is there to let the citizens of Iraq know who’s really in charge than to have their government (which we established) ‘execute’ the guy who used to run the country?

None that I can think of.

Of course, killing the old boss is a time-honored tradition here in the west. To take just a small period in English history, we see can see it in action:

  • In 1649, King Charles I was defeated in a revolutionary war. After his defeat, he was tried and convinced of high treason by the victors. They put him to death.
  • Lord Cromwell took over the helm for England, theoretically making it a democracy. But, unfortunately, he killed lots of people rather whimsically, then he left the title of ‘Lord Protector’ (not to be confused with ‘king’) to his son, Richard.
  • In 1660, Richard (being held in house arrest) wisely gave up power to Charles the Second. King Chuck II had the good manners to not kill the co-operative Richard, but did dig up his father, posthumously execute him, and leave his head stuck on a tall pole in central London for four years.

    If there’s any conclusion to be drawn from all this, it’s that former Iraqi President Saddam should have seen it coming and current the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani should be shaking in his shoes. Especially because, if the U.S. does pull out of Iraq anytime in the near future, it’s historically assured he’ll be following in the footsteps of the man he didn’t see fit to pardon.