There are reports this week that Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman, who sentenced former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to death by hanging in 2006, has been killed by rebels in retaliation for the execution. It is the nightmare of judges who could find themselves called to account for prior rulings by a mob. In this case, Rahman could see the steady territorial gains of the Sunni ISIS militants and must have known that he was at great risk.
In reality, Rahman should never have the judge in the trial. He was the replacement chief judge of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal’s in 2006. The prior judge was removed over perceptions that he was too lenient. Rahman however, was sitting in judgment over, among other crimes, Hussein’s killing of 148 people in the town of Dujail. Yet, Rahman’s home town had been the subject of a poison gas attack in 1988 by Hussein.
In the meantime. Saddam Hussein’s former generals and Baathist party members are joining the ISIS insurgency in a deepening sectarian war against the Shia. So we could have not only an Al Qaeda offshoot (that didn’t exist before we invaded) and Saddamists create a new government in Iraq after spending $2 trillion and suffering thousands of military deaths and injuries.