This is going to be an annoying week coming up. We are going to get a bunch of articles by Conservatives congratulating themselves on ridding the world of this murderous tyrant and castigating Liberals for not wanting to rid the world of the murderous tyrant. So that will be fun.
Juan Cole has an interesting article on the death over at Salon, in which he talks about how the Bush Administration and the new Iraqi administration may have bungled this (at least from the point of view that it would be better to avoid sectarian violence).
The tribunal also had a unique sense of timing when choosing the day for Saddam's hanging. It was a slap in the face to Sunni Arabs. This weekend marks Eid al-Adha, the Holy Day of Sacrifice, on which Muslims commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son for God. Shiites celebrate it Sunday. Sunnis celebrate it Saturday –- and Iraqi law forbids executing the condemned on a major holiday. Hanging Saddam on Saturday was perceived by Sunni Arabs as the act of a Shiite government that had accepted the Shiite ritual calendar.So that's nice. Of course some people in this process might be in favor of sectarian violence (at least until their side wins) and others, presumably, just don't care.
The timing also allowed Saddam, in his farewell address to Iraq, to pose as a “sacrifice” for his nation, an explicit reference to Eid al-Adha.