It has been a while since I’ve been to a hanging. Thanks to cell phones and video cameras we all got to go to the gallows last week. Saddam Hussein was hung on television. Why don’t we feel any better? Perhaps it is because it looked more like vengeance than justice, or maybe it was all those ski masks and “Go to Hells,” and the invocations to Muqtada al-Sadr. It left me a little unsettled. I learned one lesson from Vietnam (the first televised war). If possible, don’t die on the wrong battlefield. Iraq is the wrong battlefield.
A few weeks ago Mr. Smith went to Washington. Senator Gordon Smith put his own neck in a noose when he spoke from his heart. He said “We are caught in the middle of an ancient argument between two groups who are fighting over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Mohammed.” Then he went on to say “It’s not our fault, it’s not our fight, and we can’t fix it.”
Digital cameras brought us inside Abu Grhaib. What we saw made us feel ashamed. Now a cell phone camera brought us to the gallows. What we saw did not make good men feel good. In Iraq, we are at the end of our rope. Our leaders and deciders are working on a new strategy. We don’t have enough FEMA trailers to fix this coming storm. There is not enough rope to hang all our enemies. We stood on the gallows last week. There are only two ways to come down from a gallows. One is humble and one is hard.
Today a Ford lies in state. Not the car company, but the President. It was the President, not the car company, that had the “better idea.” Ford pardoned Nixon when everyone else wanted to “hang ‘em high.” It seems this war hero and former Eagle Scout did not think much for going “hellfire and damnation” all over the world. He wanted to “end the nightmare.” Ford was a great president. The world has enough hangmen. Tomorrow we will bury a healer.