or at least, it’s the only form of revenge left available to Saddam Hussein:
Saddam Hussein urged Iraqis to embrace "brotherly coexistence" and not to hate U.S.-led foreign troops in a goodbye letter posted on a Web site Wednesday, a day after Iraq's highest court upheld his death sentence and ordered him hanged within 30 days.
A top government official, meanwhile, said Saddam's execution could proceed without the approval of Iraq's president, meaning there were no more legal obstacles to sending the deposed dictator to the gallows.
Which reminded me of this from Albert Pierrepoint’s autobiography. It’s from a description of the first execution he conducted:
The fact remains that he went to his death jauntily. And he was by no means unique. I came to experience much the same attitude in many other condemned men. The thought that kept occurring to me was that the death penalty had not deterred them, and the immediate prospect of death had not consumed them with terror. Possibly the thought of the noose which hanged them deterred others, but the actual execution inspired respect for the man rather than revulsion. And if such an execution had been held in public, witnesses would have felt sympathy for the man’s dignity rather than satisfied recognition of society’s vengeance – which is not what the theory of capital punishment preaches.
And this is presumably what Saddam wants: to die well and as publicly as possible. And this in contrast to the botch of the trial and the current Iraqi government’s determination to hustle him off and have him quietly strangled in some basement somewhere.