You can add the execution of Saddam Hussein to the long list of Bush Administration failures in Iraq.

The hanging of Saddam Hussein this past weekend was a rush job that deteriorated into an atmosphere reminiscent of a lynching. The Americans could have prevented the execution from becoming a farce by refusing to hand over Hussein until better preparations had been made, but instead Bush’s “I wash my hands of this” approach ended up in a botched process that became another stage for sectarian vengeance that in turn will likely fuel more sectarian violence. The New York Times says the execution deteriorated “into a sectarian free-for-all that had the effect, on the video recordings, of making Mr. Hussein, a mass murderer, appear dignified and restrained, and his executioners, representing Shiites who were his principal victims, seem like bullying street thugs.”

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