J.R. Dunn over at The American Thinker makes a brilliant point on the significance of the execution of Saddam Hussein. His trial and hanging were the first of its kind for any 20th Century dictator:
Lenin - Dead of the complications of a stroke, perhaps assisted by poisoning, January 21, 1924. Benito Mussolini - Executed without judicial procedure by communist partisans, April 28 1945. The act was robbed of any meaning by the concurrent murder of his innocent mistress, Clara Petrucci. Adolf Hitler - Dead by his own hand beneath the ruins of the Berlin Chancellory, April 30, 1945. Stalin - Dead of stroke aided by medical neglect at age 74 at his dacha outside Moscow, March 5, 1953. Ho Chi Minh - Dead of heart failure at age 79 at his home in Hanoi, September 2, 1969. Francisco Franco - Dead of old age at 82 on November 20, 1975. Mao Tse Tung - Dead of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at age 82, on Sept. 9, 1976. Tito - Dead of circulatory problems on May 4, 1980, three days before his 88th birthday. Nicolae Ceaucescu - Shot out of hand at age 71 after a bogus "trial" following a national uprising, December 25, 1989. Ruhollah Khomeini - Dead of cancer on June 3, 1989, at the age of 89. Kim Il-sung - Dead of a heart attack at 82 in Pyongyang, July 8, 1994. Pol Pot - Dead at age 72 (possibly a suicide) on April 16, 1998, while waiting to be turned over to an international tribunal. Idi Amin Dada - Dead of old age at age 79 on August 16, 2003, in exile in Saudi Arabia. Slobodan Milosevic - Dead in his cell under unexplained circumstances while in the hands of an international criminal tribunal at the Hague, March 11, 2006.At long last, justice.Most of the great butchers of the 20th century died of old age, in their own beds, some of them honored by millions. Not a single one met justice in the sense accepted in free states across the world. The handful who died otherwise are aberrations, victims of strange events that act as models for nothing.There is one single exception - the hanging of Saddam Hussein on December 30, 2006 after a careful, lengthy trial carried out under extremely difficult circumstances according to internationally recognized judicial norms. The state of Iraq has succeeded where the rest of the civilized world has failed. It is a singular achievement, and it will stand.