30 December, 2006
Saddam Hussein is going to be no more. He bade two half brothers farewell on Thursday last in a rare prison meeting as he awaits execution, but USA and Iraqi officials are giving conflicting accounts of whether he would hang within days.
A senior Bush administration official said the ousted president could go to the gallows as soon as Saturday. But Iraqi officials backed away from suggestions they would definitely hang him within a month and a cabinet minister told newsmen a weeklong religious holiday would stall any execution.
The novelty of the U.S.-sponsored process by which Saddam and his third half-brother Barzan, along with another senior member of the Baath party, were convicted on November 5, 2006 has left considerable room for wrangling over the timing of any execution among rival factions and between Washington and Baghdad.
Battling to stave off all-out sectarian civil war, Shia Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had said he wanted Saddam hanged this year for the killings, torture and other crimes against the Shia population of the town of Dujail.
But some of Saddam`s fellow Sunnis have warned this could reinforce their community`s alienation and many ethnic Kurds want Saddam first convicted of genocide against them.
Asked whether the execution could spark violence by lingering Saddam loyalists, a White House official replied that "they start violence for any reason they can come up with."
Here are some question
1) Does Saddam deserve such treatment?
2) Was his trial fair and transparent or influenced by the USA?
3) Will his hanging aggravate violence in Iraq?
4) Will his hanging of Saddam affect the freedom movement in Iraq
5) Saddam Hussein is being hanged for issuing orders to kill 150 prisoners. What about George Bush?