Friday, December 29, 2006

The dictator must die

Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard that Saddam will be hung in the next day or two. While the MSM is carefully considering whether ratings trump good taste in airing the execution, I'm pondering the greater effects his death will have on Iraq.

We've already stirred up a hornet's nest there this week with arresting the Iranians and killing Sadr's elder deputy in cold blood. Iran is pissed off and making noises about retribution and Sadr's supporters have taken to the streets in violent demonstrations. Meanwhile Saddam's loyalists have already begun to demonstrate as well as the first hints of the impending execution became known. It looks to me like Bush's new "surge" strategy is already working. It's creating a surge of intercine violence all across Iraq.

Does Saddam deserve to die? Of course he does. The man was a brutal tyrant and mercilessly slaughtered his own countrymen. But to paraphrase Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings - Many live who deserve death but many also die who deserve to live. Can you give life back to them? So do not be quick to deal death, for even the wise cannot see all ends and some who deserve death may yet have a part to play for the greater good. But perhaps the NYT put it best this morning.
Toppling Saddam Hussein did not automatically create a new and better Iraq. Executing him won’t either.
In fact, as far as I can see, it very likely will make things worse. And besides death is quick. If the point is to make Saddam suffer for his sins, wouldn't life imprisonment be the greater punishment?
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Blogger His Honor the Mayor said...

Does Sadaam deserve to die?
Does one man get to carry out a death sentence against another?
I don't think so.
I am opposed to the death penalty, even for the most heinous criminals, because I think that it reduces the society committing the execution to the level of the murderer.
I could go on about how states that legalize capital punishment often continue to see a rise in violent crimes, and how those that outlaw it often see a reduction, but you've probably heard them all before.
I think that the ultimate punishment for a criminal like Sadaam is to put him in a cell by himself for the rest of his natural life. Let the families of those he executed come visit him and scream at him through his jail bars at all hours of the day and night.
But even as a die-hard opponent of the death penalty, I don't think that I or any other members of Amnesty International or anybody anywhere is going to lose any sleep when he is put to death.
Maybe that makes me a hypocrite, maybe it just means that defending a man like Sadaam just takes more compassion than one human can muster.

5:13:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Well said yerhonor. I'm also against the death penalty. I don't think it's a deterrent against crime and it's barbaric.

But I won't mourn his death either, except that it will be at the state's hands.

6:55:00 PM  

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