Despite all of the bad news coming from Iraq -- the mounting death toll of US soldiers, the relentless massacres, the political infighting between Shiite and Sunni -- comes something that should raise the spirits of everyone.
Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of crimes against humanity by an Iraqi court and has been sentenced to execution by hanging.
The verdict only covers Hussein's crimes in Dujail, a Shiite town in which 148 men and boys were killed in retaliation for an alleged assassination attempt against Hussein. But let us not forget the other crimes of Hussein and his regime. The murder of at least 50,000 people in the Anfal campaign against the Kurds, the use of chemical weapons in Halabja, the expulsion of the Marsh Arabs from their homes, the invasion and plundering of Kuwait...the list goes on.
The only question now is whether Hussein should be hanged immediately, or if he should stand trial for the rest of his crimes. I've written before about this choice, and I think that now I lean towards continuing the trial. The new judges seem to have gotten the courtroom under control, and the insurgency has grown well beyond the point where executing Hussein would take some of the wind from its sails. So let history record and let all the world publicly consider Hussein's crimes. Besides, sitting in jail is probably worse for Hussein than being executed.