And all the world rejoices, right!
Well, not exactly. It’s unequivocally a good thing that the monster with a human face, Saddam Hussein, has finally met his Maker. Justice was done. I think the whole world should breathe a sigh of relief and feel a certain … satisfaction.
In spite of that, God himself says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live.” (Ez 33:11) We should always feel a little saddened when we see a Saddam Hussein put to death, even as we nod our heads and say, “Justice.”
The Times in London has a piece worth reading for its description of Saddam’s infamous career, though it veers into silly bias and near-slander when it says, “But a new American President, George W Bush, determined to find a scapegoat for the Muslim terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001, was in no mood to abide by the niceties of international law. ”
But the death of Saddam, sad or not, should be a very sobering thing. Saddam was the ultimate survivor. He waded in blood to reach the top, but had multiple enemies who would have gladly killed him many times along the way. The full measure of his ability to survive can be seen in the fact that he stayed in power after the first Gulf War. If he hadn’t been dragged from his hole in the ground, if he had still been missing at this point, if the U.S. finally pulled out of Iraq … he might have actually managed to hang on long enough to be restored to power.
But for all his reign of terror, he was pulled from the ground like a homeless beggar. And for all his bluster in the courtroom during his trial, and his fearsome reputation, he was just, in the end, another criminal fearing death.
Death, in fact, was the one foe he was really not ready to face.
At this point, there are conflicting reports about whether he met his death bravely or not. Settling that question may require actually watching the video of his hanging. But it doesn’t really matter. He still died.
I guess there are limits to being a survivor.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
Saddam Hussein was a walking argument for the death penalty. He was also a walking argument for the existence and justice of Hell.
Sobering indeed. But for now, at least, a horrible murderer and torturer received justice. His victims and their families, of course, even now do not have real justice. Saddam’s death can never atone for all the lives he took or destroyed.
But it’s as good as we’re going to get…