Would Saddam Escape Death Penalty As Part Of An Iraqi Unification Deal?
Here’s one for you. A day after 300,000 Iraqi Shiites protested against the US occupation in Baghdad, where demonstrators equally castigated George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and Saddam Hussein as peas of the same pod, tomorrow’s Telegraph in England is reporting that someone inside the new Iraqi government is signaling that Saddam may escape the death penalty as part of a deal with the Sunni/Baathist portions of the insurgency to stand down and join the government.
Sure it sounds far-fetched that the Shiite majority would allow Saddam to escape death, but President Talabani is already making similar noises. Plus, it would be significant for the Sunnis to lay down their arms and join the government, and for the insurgency to be reduced to simply an Al Qaeda-supported Zarqawi effort because the Sunni disengagement would mean that the unified government would isolate and mobilize Iraqis to view Zarqawi as an outsider bent on destroying their hard-fought independence. Zarqawi's group takes the overtures seriously, as they have issued a statement already saying that they will continue fighting no matter what the Sunnis do.
And if Iraqis unify in their opposition against Zarqawi, their unification against our continued occupation wouldn’t be far behind as they plan for their own future free of all outside influences and control.