In the words of the Vatican spokesman, Frederico Lombardi:
I don't think I can say it any better than that.
"A capital punishment is always tragic news, a reason for sadness, even if it deals with a person who was guilty of grave crimes...
"The killing of the guilty party is not the way to reconstruct justice and reconcile society. On the contrary, there is a risk that it will feed a spirit of vendetta and sow new violence.
"In these dark times for the Iraqi people, one can only hope that all responsible parties truly make every effort so that glimmers of reconciliation and peace can be found in such a dramatic situation."
Every day we see and hear reports of how the Iraqi people are suffering. I must admit that I don't understand all the religious and political complexities of the Middle East, but I hope that things get better in the new year. And not just for this part of the world, but for Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia....
(I guess the conspiracy lovers will have to come up with a whole new raft of theories - Saddam living in LA with Elvis etc.)