Saddam being convicted of murder is an example of good justice. He ordered the deaths of thousands of his countryman. I weep not for his execution.
Baghdad being on lockdown in these days immediately following this verdict is an example of good policing. The restrictions probably are saving lives.
Yet at the same time, we might want to ask ourselves if good justice and good policing are the only arts being practiced here.
I'm talking about "good politics."
Especially if you are an Iraqi military commander who is beholden to American forces under the command of a Commander in Chief whose party is facing a bitter election for control of Congress tomorrow.
I wonder whether the lockdown- the end of which has not yet been announced- is being implemented in part because the worst thing an Iraq-war-backing, up-for-election GOP Senator or Congressperson needs right now is another car bomb or roadside explosive picking off 50 Shia or one of our own.
The races are so thin in some districts and states that one more car bomb and scenes of carnage on the news between now and voting time could tip a few undecideds over to vote for a candidate who is against further prosecution of this war.
White House Press Secretary Tony Snowjob said yesterday that the U.S. did not engineer Saddam's sentencing date for maximum domestic political benefit.
Even if we give Tony the benefit of the doubt, though, something strikes me a bit odd about this multi-day curfew in Baghdad and two Iraqi provinces.
The more lives we save, the better. But do you think the Baghdad lockdown has a political component to it- i.e. suppress the bad news reports until the voting is done?