What difference is his execution going to make to chaos in Iraq?  I hate Saddam, but I can’t blame him for the current situation — my country has become the most dangerous place on earth. Where is the freedom the Americans promised?

Aziz Majeed, a Kurd from Irbil, Iraq, alluding to the increasing chaos in Iraqi cities in the aftermath of Saddam’s sentence to death by hanging. Saddam will be hung, pending appeal, for crimes against humanity he committed in 1982 in Dujail, which is primarily Shia. He organized the slaughter of 148 men and boys in Dujail because there was assassination attempt against him in the city. Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam Hussein’s half-brother, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, Iraq’s former chief judge, were also sentenced to death.

Protesters — such as those in Tikrit, Saddam’s hometown — and celebrants — in including those in Sadr City, Najaf, and Baghdad — alike evidence the escalating violence and amplified factionalization that will result from the verdict.

Mimi Hanaoka

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