Saturday, December 30, 2006

R.I.P., Saddam's victims

Saddam Hussein, of course, should be added to any list of significant 2006 deaths. That's why you shouldn't do the year-end wrap-ups until the year actually wraps up. I discuss why my normal opposition to the death penalty doesn't extend to deposed dictators in the comments to this post on Victor's page.

A roundup of the fates of various twentieth-century tyrants here. Most died of natural causes; Saddam was the only one to get a full trial (Ceaucescu's was rather brief). Still, I think it's premature to say that "the state of Iraq has succeeded." In a legal sense they conducted the trial and the execution, but in a practical sense the Iraqi state still can't enforce its authority without the help of the coalition military forces. I'd be a lot happier if I had some confidence that the arrow of progress was pointing toward an internally stable, democratic, non-Islamist Iraq.

A Yahoo! News search for "Stroessner" reveals a twice-updated AP article rounding up 2006 deaths first published as far back as December 18! Notable bad guys who died of natural causes this year include Slobodan Milosevic, Alfredo Stroessner, Augusto Pinochet, Turkmenbashi, and P.W. Botha. Of course, this list won't be final for another 24 hours.


At Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 3:42:00 AM PST, Blogger Victor said...

Fidel Castro ... make it so

At Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 3:48:00 AM PST, Blogger Victor said...

Also, Pinochet was a good guy.

At Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 12:40:00 PM PST, Blogger Adam Villani said...

Hey, Turkmenbashi was entertaining as hell, but I'll still admit he was a bad guy. You could do the same for an anti-Communist.

At Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 4:43:00 PM PST, Anonymous clynne said...

Charlie Stross (the SF writer whose book I gave to Dad for Christmas) had a lot to say about this that I agreed with.

At Sunday, December 31, 2006 at 4:44:00 PM PST, Anonymous clynne said...

How annoying! Blogger makes you explicitly force a link rather than autolinking to fully qualified links!


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