Mark Steyn, while supporting the execution of Saddam, also recognises that it was disastrously handled. In an article entitled Blowing a “hinge moment” of history, Steyn writes:
Given that Saddam was transferred from coalition custody to the Iraqi government only a few hours before his demise, I’d be interested to know whether US authorities proffered any “advice” on the optics: Ixnay on the torture dungeon, maybe in the exercise yard with a couple of Iraqi flags; get the heavies out of the Quentin Tarantino get-up and into some neutral prison-warden garb or Baghdad Airport parking-garage-attendant uniforms; if you have to have victims’ loved ones present, go for the widows and photogenic orphans rather than Moqtada’s boys. Meta-message: “Time to move on, says Government of Free Iraq”, not “Payback’s a bitch, says local enforcer.”
And, if nobody in the US government came up with any such advice, why not? How come we have a political culture that can produce a content-free party convention down to the nano-second but gives not a thought to hinge moments of history?