The previous post was made early this morning, before I had a chance to see the corporate media response to Saddam Hussein’s execution. What I have seen since then hasn’t improved the mood of my response to the event.

The Chicago Sun-Times front page consists almost entirely of a haggard Saddam Hussein headshot accompanied by the bold, all-capitalized word “HANGED.” The Chicago Tribune isn’t much better: it’s front page is dominated by much the same, the only difference being that the single word is “EXECUTED.”

The local ABC affiliate ran its own story, and here’s where it gets fun. The story led off with video footage of hooded executioners placing the noose around Hussein’s neck. In bold letters, in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, was the following phrase:


Yeah, right. This is a ham-fisted attempt to convince the rubes that Hussein’s execution was staged by and for Iraqis, with no input from the colonial occupiers. The lack of Arabic print on the screen reinforced the notion that the video was more intended to appeal to U.S. supporters of Bush’s Iraq adventure than it was intended for the benefit of any Iraqis who might see it. Other versions of the video I’ve seen, such as this ABC News report, are careful to use the Arabic graphics. At least they’re giving the rubes some credit.

The story I saw this morning continued with some reactions from local Iraqi expatriates (it included no mention, though, of whether they’re in a hurry to return to their homeland now that The Evil One is dead). Also, the other video footage I’ve seen makes a point of showing Iraqis here and in Iraq celebrating the erstwhile dictator’s demise. In none of the reports I watched were any U.S. citizens interviewed for their thoughts (at least not any white ones).

It is clear, however, that the execution of Saddam Hussein was designed and packaged more for domestic U.S. politics than for anything in Iraq. The Bush Plan is a miserable failure, but the Bushies know their base. They know that this sort of style-over-substance grandstanding plays well with the fat, ignorant, spiteful, and racist right-wing rubes. They know that few, even among those in the ‘liberal’ media, will question how Saddam Hussein can be made to pay with his life for killing a few dozen Iraqis, while his crimes against thousands more go unmentioned in his ‘trial.’ The Bushies know that their base doesn’t give two rat shits about suffering Iraqis, or they might be demanding that Bush, his father, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Madeleine Albright, and Bill Clinton all be swinging from ropes right next to Hussein for their own murderous crimes (and their complicity in Saddam’s excesses) against the Iraqi people.

The Saddam Hussein execution isn’t about justice, it is about the fuck-you politics of Right-Wing U.S.A. As I said before, though, in the end the joke will be on us. The laws of God and nature demand that such brazen, murderous arrogance be held to account, and it shall.

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