CIA officer: Saddam will be a martyr
Former CIA field officer Robert Baer has an editorial on Time's website speaking to how Sunnis will view the era of Saddam Hussein following his execution.
"It doesn't matter to the Sunni that Saddam is guilty of the crime he's charged with: the massacre of 140 Shi'a villagers in 1982 in reprisal for an attempt on Saddam's life. At the risk of oversimplification, the Sunnis think the Shi'a villagers deserved it. It was that kind of rough justice that Saddam used to keep Iraq together.
Nor do the Sunni care that Saddam is guilty of a lot more bloodshed, from gassing the Kurds at Halabjah to the invasion of Kuwait. Nor do they care he was a catastrophically incompetent leader who more than the United States led to their downfall.
All they care about is this: as the current war grinds on, as Iraq's death toll starts to approach Saddam's deadly legacy, as the Sunnis lose more and more of their power, as memories fade, Iraq's Sunni will think of Saddam's rule as a golden era. They'll remember Saddam as the leader who kept Iraq together, kept them on top and prosperous, kept the Shi'a and the Kurds in their place, and kept the Iranians from invading during the Iran-Iraq war."