I went online this morning with the intention of writing a blog post about 2006 in politics. Yet the news on BBC that Saddam Hussein was executed today has entirely distracted me. How can we find ourselves in the situation where we have invested so much time and energy in Iraq, and yet allow capital punishment to still be carried out there? OK, perhaps that just goes to show what happens when the USA is the ultimate driving force behind the military activities. As for the quotes about the execution given by numerous leaders, they all refer to a fair trial and the sovereign right of the Iraqi state. What a joke. Not even the USA would execute someone this quickly, and was Sadam’s trial really fair – with all the lawyers being replaced etc.? In the quotes list, the only voices of moderation come from the Foreign Minister of Malaysia, and The Vatican. Yes, we know Sadam was a tyrant, but we should not seek revenge in this equally tyrannical manner.
UPDATE – 01.01.2007
You just knew it would happen – footage of Saddam’s last moments have leaked out. Nothing that has gone on in Iraq – from the Abu Graib torture pictures through to this – has been out of the public gaze, the coarse imagery brought to the fore in the internet age. It’s so horrid, so grim. What chance that 2007 will bring an imrpovement in Iraq? Slim I fear.
I am sorry to say Jon that althought I oppose the death penalty on principle I can’t help to feel a kind of joy to see a dictator meet his fate in such a way. Saddam Hussein joins Mussolini and Ceaucescu in a well-deserved bitter end for a life of crime. The only regret to have is that there was no trial for his most horrible acts as those in Kurdistan.
You’re so right, Jon. A life sentence in prison is also a far more worse punishment than death sentence I think. He should have had a fair trial and got a sentence for the killings in Halabja, the invasion of Kuwait and the war against Iran. Oh well.