I'm with the Vatican. Saddam Hussein's death by hanging will not bring peace to Iraq, because eye for an eye justice never solves problems.
But I'm also with President Bush. Hussein received a fair trial, despite protestations by his defense team to the contrary. The absolutely impartial trial his attorneys sought was an impossibility, and there is no doubt that Hussein received much better treatment than the people whom he had executed after sham trials. So although I am implacably opposed to the death penalty in absolutely all circumstances, I do support Iraq's right as a sovereign nation to handle its own affairs. Certainly most Iraqis seem supportive of the execution, even if the ghoulish video is enough to make you queasy.
The tepid response in the US, in contrast to the jubilation in Iraq, has been telling. No crowing from the President that another mission has been accomplished. No bloviating in the blogosphere about the awesome might of the United States of America. Hussein's hanging, even for those who support it, is just one more piece of news from a disintegrating country. Notice that his hangmen all wear masks, because they don't want to end up dead for being part of Hussein's final chapter.
Let us hope that 2007 restores a measure of civility to Iraq, because it is absent at the end of 2006.