Hussein faces fate much worse than U.S. opinion

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 13, 2003

By noon Wednesday images from half a world away filled conversations. And I listened in on a few.

"Did you see them tear down the statue?" someone asked, referring to live coverage of a huge Saddam Hussein statue being toppled.

"Yeah, old Saddam was knocked down today," another responded.

Email newsletter signup

Millions from around the world watched as U.S. troops cut through the heart of Saddam Hussein's center of power, Baghdad. The Iraqi people finally tasted a bit of freedom - right before our eyes. Dozens of historic images were produced this week.

Among the first was one that gave many Americans reason to smile. It featured a small group of U.S. troops inside one of the recently captured Iraqi palaces. Sitting among the remnants of Hussein's strongholds, the soldiers sat on Hussein's fancy furniture and rested a bit. Others told of the once-in-a-lifetime experience of entering Hussein's palaces.

Those images were proof that our forces were quickly gaining control and domination over the Iraqi regime.

Seeing them gave many Americans the feeling that the war effort was working.

Then, the next images proved that not only was the war effort working, it was greatly needed, too.

Those images showed thousands of Iraqis celebrating in the streets, tearing apart images of Hussein and destroying the last vestiges of Hussein's reign of terror.

As military and intelligence leaders continue to discover the exact whereabouts of Hussein, many Americans were discussing what we should do with him, if he's found alive.

Among the most creative ideas was from a colleague who took a rather tongue-in-cheek approach to punishing Hussein.

His plan was simple.

Put Saddam in a cage and cart him around the country offering residents a chance to abuse him for a small donation. The proceeds would help fund the rebuilding process in Iraq.

It seemed like a perfect solution. Think of the money it could raise. And, it would be the perfect eye-for-and-eye solution to how to punish Saddam. Right?

While the thought of making Saddam taste a little of his own medicine by forcing him into a P.T. Barnum style road show may sound good at first, something about it just did not seem right.

No matter how atrocious Saddam's regime has treated the people of Iraq, we must remain true to our beliefs.

While war was necessary to quickly remove the evil regime from power, now, as we mop up the last remnants of Saddam's regime, holding fast to our civility is a must.

But thinking about ways to pay Saddam back doesn't hurt anything, really.

Rest assured, he will have to answer to a much higher power than the American populace and public opinion.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached by calling (740) 532-1445 ext. 12 or by e-mailing him at