An interesting take on the meaning of Saddam's execution for the current tumult in Iraq, from a blogger who is new to me (and a professor of Mongolian studies at Indiana University). The execution, he says, "was an expression not of democratic values, but of REVOLUTIONARY values: like King Charles on the scaffold, Marie Antoinette on the guillotine, Nicholas II and his wife and children up against the wall in the Ekaterinburg cellar, Jezebel's blood being licked by the dogs."
We have made a revolution in Iraq, one which we cannot control and should not try. It is a day of the oppressed masses rising up against centuries of deprivation and humilition, of drowning Pharoah and his chariots in the Red Sea, and so of course we are therefore terrified and perplexed by a phenomenon which we insist has never had any place in our sanitized faith and history. By all means get out now while we still have time.
Of course in the short run it will look pretty ghastly. Revolutions almost always do. As Jezebel quietly reminded the arrogant new master sporting his prophetic commission to wreck vengeance on the wicked: "Did Zimri have peace, who murdered his master?" And if the Shiite revolution does win, a spell of (cautious, limited) counter-revolution will still be necessary if Iraq is to get any kind of decent government. But all those deploring the ugly, vengeful, and vulgar death of Saddam had better start getting used to the fact that in the end they will have to make a "regicide peace" with Iraq's new masters who will no more repudiate this deed than Putin will rebury Lenin in a common grave.
Even if you disagree with his take, you won't regret it if you read the whole thing, which is knee-deep in interesting historical comparisons.