Friday, December 29, 2006

At 6 AM local time for Baghdad Iraq, Saddam Hussein was hanged. Pardon me if I don’t share in the joy of some. Instead I’m rather angry. I’ll explain why.

First and foremost I’m unwavering in my opposition to the death penalty. It’s not justice and has no place in any civilization that wants to pretend it’s civilized. If the act of killing another human being isn’t dastardly enough, Saddam was hanged. Hanging is a brutal and horrible method full of snapped neck and crushed windpipes. Yet it was still used to execute Saddam. Also hanging in Iraq is reserved for lowly criminals. The method of execution was an insult to a fatal injury.

Piling on insults is horrific idea. As this December has already been one of the deadliest months for US troops since we entered this unholy crusade of the neo-conservatives over three years ago. So let’s kill Saddam Hussein with a brutal and humiliating method and throw more fuel on the out of control fire that is burning in Iraq. The civil war between the Sunni and the Shiites continues to worsen and the insurgency refuses to yield or weaken. Let’s just give them another reason to hate the United States.

Let’s not forget some little details here. Saddam Hussein was found guilty of one crime, even though he was accused of many others. Why was he not tried for all his crimes? Why wasn’t he treated like Slobodan Milosevic and sent to The Hague to face an international court? Why in God’s name was he put in front of some Iraqi kangaroo court? Did someone need him out of the way? Was someone in a hurry to see him dead? I’m not sure we’ll ever get good answers to these questions but they need to be asked.

Of course when it comes to international law the Bush administration has a shameful record. Remember when Alberto Gonzales said the Geneva Convention was “quaint’?

Of course those who support the execution of Saddam Hussein have countered with arguments like “he deserved to die” and “one trial is enough” and have even accused me of sympathizing or empathizing with Saddam Hussein. Here are some counters to all of these.

If a person is accused of multiple crimes then that person should be tried for them all. That’s justice. The accused must face trial for the crimes they are said to have committed. To not put the accused on trial for all their crimes is no better than a kangaroo court. If they were worried about security send him to The Hague. Let him stand trial for that which he is accused don’t just pick the crimes which are easy to convict him because that’s not justice and justice is what all courts must do.

Killing Saddam is an awful idea. Not only will it probably escalate violence in an already violent country it is not fitting punishment. Wouldn’t it be more punishing for Saddam Hussein, a megalomaniac, to sit in a lonely maximum-security prison cell with no power than to make him a martyr?

I do not empathize or sympathize with Saddam Hussein. Hussein was an evil man who had no business leading a nation. But my opposition to his hanging stems from both my opposition to the death penalty and my passion for justice to be served.

Since Saddam Hussein is dead I have a small favor to ask. Can we please get US troops out of Iraq? I’ll even let George put his flight suit on and land on the aircraft carrier and talk about “Mission Accomplished” if he’d like that. I’ll even let them spend the twenty million in the federal budget for a victory celebration. Just bring the troops home now before it gets worse. We are closing in on 3000 dead American men and women. God only knows how many Iraqis have been killed. It’s time to end this horrible blood soaked fiasco and bring get the troops out of the violent quagmire of Iraq. It has to end before The United State’s has lost all her dignity.


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