For all the trouble it's given the U.S., there have been some major accomplishments in operation Iraqi freedom. The first of which was invading Iraq, the second of which was killing Uday and Qusay, the third of which was capturing Saddam himself, and now, the fourth: the sentencing to death and eventual execution of Saddam. Is this going to have a "Wicked Witch is dead" effect? Certainly not. But it's going to do a hell of a lot more good than it will ill.
2 of Saddam's seven codeffendents will join him at the gallows. More than that, though, one can hope that a lot of the more anti-American (rather than pro-Iraqi) sentiment will die with him.
Was the trial perfect? No. If Saddam had been an average citizen in any Western country, and his trial had gone on with the outbursts, assassinations, mishandled documentation and other courtroom indiscretions that plagued this trial, he would have been let off with a mistrial. But this isn't any citizen, and this isn't any case. This is Saddam Hussein. Iraqis know what he did. The world knows what he did. Iraqis will forgive the court if the trial was not 100% legitimate.
And furthermore, do not give too much credence to Saddam's last-ditch attempt to become a martyr. The only people who are really going to miss him are those who saw their survival as being dependent on his authority. So there will be some significant Sunni unrest in Tikrit and the rest of Saddam-Land. So what?
This won't fix all the problems in Iraq, but it will give the entire nation a chance to pause and ask themselves, "Now that he's dead, now what do we do?" It will encourage debate amongst Iraqis, serious debate. I don't know what the U.S. needs to do to make the most of it, but I do know what they have to avoid: letting Saddam live. There will be an appeal, according to Iraqi law, but no matter what happens the conviction must not be overturned.
Justice must be done, and this is the best opportunity the U.S. will ever have to show that Western justice and Iraqi justice are on one side, and the "justice" of the Islamists and of the Saddams of the world will always be on the other.
The article, for those who wish to read it: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/world/middleeast/05cnd-saddam.html?ref=middleeast.
I think I speak for many, when I say, good riddance. That being said, Saddam is a clever SOB, and no human life is without merit. But I think God will understand me when I say, I forgive him, but it's time for him to die.