Saddam Hussein is in his last days. Found guilt of crimes against the people he once ruled, he will be hung by the neck until dead. The crimes and the punishment offend the sensibility of many western people. Brutal rule has been often the norm in the region of the world Saddam inhabited.
Genghis Khan once ruled the entire region. The Khan came into power through brutal warfare. He maintained his empire with brutal punishment for laws violated. Through brutal rule, peace and rule of law came to the East. It was said that a virgin could ride a fine stallion with a bag of gold from one end of his empire to the other. She would arrive with her horse, her gold and her virginity.
Hopefully the era of brutal rule in Iraq has ended. If the Shiite, Sunni, Kurds and other sects in Iraq can stop for a moment and think, they will realize that they have a great opportunity. But can they let their vendettas die quietly?
This really depends on if the Iraqi people recognize that the brutal terrorist attacks by foreign nations serve only the interests of the foreign nationals. With Al Queada terrorists on the Sunni side and Iranian fighters on the Shiite side, the fighting will never stop until the Iraqis purge their nation of meddling foreign nationals, including the US troops.
The withdrawal of the US troops is in the hands of the Iraqis. If the Sunni and Shiite factions agree to disagree without blood shed. The coalition forces will leave. What happens after the withdrawal is in the hands of the Iraqis. The United States has to realize that Iraq, as a sovereign nation may take positions contrary to US policy. As a sovereign nation the Iraqi people will choose their own allegiances. The world will have to accept their decision.
The warm and fuzzy idea that all people can live together in peace and happiness is a long way off in the East. Just as Catholic and Protestants fought for years in Ireland, the Sunni and Shiite have a lot of issues that may not be settled soon. What we in the west find horrific may become the norm in Iraq. That decision is to be made by the Iraqi people. With less foreign interference, the people of Iraq have a much greater chance of coming together in peaceful compromise.
In his last statement to the people of Iraq, Saddam called for forgiveness and understanding. For all his brutality, if the people of Iraq listen to Saddam’s final words the Iraqi people can be a model for the remainder of the world to follow. I for one feel that the Iraqi people are up to the task. The government they build may not meet western ideals, but the Iraqis have and can live together in peace.