The execution of Saddam Hussein is now seen as an "act of crude vengeance," ABC's Terry McCarthy reported. "The anger is spreading." Protestors cited the rush to hanging and its timing, on the first day of Eid, the Moslem holiday. "Most provocative" was the taunting by guards loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and the illicit videotape from cellphones. "It is not so much the insults against Saddam himself but the implication that the Shiite government has so little regard for the Sunni community as a whole…Incredibly it has given new dignity in death to the former dictator."
There were six guards and 14 witnesses in the gallows room, of which only two had video cellphones: "They were high ranking officials," a prosecutor told NBC's Richard Engel. The video has so far received more than one million hits on YouTube. "The gallows are on a US military base and many in the region are blaming the US for letting this happen."
CBS analyst Fouad Ajami told Randall Pinkston that the execution amounted to a demonstration of independence by the Baghdad government and so was, "a day of deliverance, perhaps in an odd way, for the United States." Pinkston demurred. He, too, pointed out that the US "had custody of Saddam. If the US had not given him to the Iraqis, he would not have been executed."
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