While there is a lot both in the mainstream media as well as on blogs that span the entire political spectrum regarding the imminent execution of Saddam Hussein, Travis Sharp of The Iraq Insider offers some unique information, including viewpoints from Iraqis themselves. Here:
Commentators are divided on whether the execution will increase or decrease violence. Sgt. Stuart Fowler told the AP: "As long as he's alive, there's still some power and people still rise up…Once the execution goes through, I think it will be a relief for a lot of Iraqis." But, as Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies pointed out, "I don't think that this is likely to have much of an effect on the overall question of the U.S. occupation and the resistance to it and the civil war that has been growing in Iraq anyway."Iraq will NOT televise Saddam's execution. In fact, the media is not invited, according to the Bushies. However, his hanging will be videotaped and I'm sure the tape will not be leaked and appear on the Internet (yes, I'm being sarcastic on the latter, but the videotape detail is true as reported).
Iraqis have their own opinions on the end of Saddam:
“This is a just sentence because Saddam oppressed the Iraqi people but I think it came at the wrong time because we’re living through a cycle of violence,” said Baghdad resident Mohammed Nasir.My view is that the violence in Iraq right now is not a matter of former Baathist functionaries battling against the oppressed but now vindictive Shiite majority.
“I just hope they let him die naturally because if we execute him, his followers will unleash mayhem,” said Edward Iskander, a 37-year-old shopkeeper.
“I think his death will end violence from Sunnis and they’ll be forced to negotiate for reconciliation. We desperately need to turn this page in history,” said Akram Salman, a 21-year-old mathematics university student.
“I’m very happy that justice was finally done,” Ali said.
“All I ask the government is for a broadcast of his execution,” declared laundry owner Yusif Ali.
Sunnis are not continuing the insurgency in al Anbar province because they seek revenge for Saddam being deposed. The Sunnis are continuing the insurgency because they have had loved ones killed either by the U.S. or Shiite gangs. And Shiite militias continue to attack defenseless Sunni civilians because they have had loved ones killed by the U.S. or Sunni insurgents.
Also from Travis:
I think it is a mistake for U.S. policymakers to continue to believe that a single momentous event—like the execution of Saddam—will cause a mass epiphany in Iraq and lead the warring parties to realize the error of their ways. With the war so far advanced and so many civilians negatively affected, justifications for continuing violence needn’t extend beyond personal grievances.
Saddam’s execution will not change the nature of the mess the U.S. created in Iraq. The conflict has gotten away from us and can no longer be managed through heavily spun media events (remember the toppling of Saddam’s statue in Fardus Square way back when?). Since we can’t possibly make up for the personal losses suffered by the vast majority of Iraq’s population, our options for reclaiming popular support are nil.