Saturday, December 30, 2006

Double-Edged Rope

So, Saddam got the short drop, and a sudden stop. While Shiites and Kurds (and not a few NeoCons) will be dancing with glee, something tells me that the world has not been markedly improved with the execution of Saddam Hussein. The blood on his hands and in the Iraqi soil, still cries out, but will get no answer. There will never be any penance, and never any reconciliation.

It was a foregone conclusion that Saddam was going to hang, from the moment that they pulled him out of his hidey-hole, and he knew it as well. Despite the efforts to put on an apparently fair trial, it will always the seen as just a veneer of civility to an otherwise delayed execution. There was never any question as to the eventual outcome, it was just a matter of observing formality.

There was a TV movie, in 2000, about the trials at Nuremberg. In the movie, Hermann Goering sums up the trials as such; Yes, I understand, we lost the war and now you're going to hang us. To him, and by extension, many others now, Saddam's hanging will be seen as only a consequence of losing an armed conflict with the United States.


Dad29 said...

It's an argument which will take up a lot of bandwidth over the next few weeks.

I take no joy in his execution. On the other hand, it was the Iraqis who made the decision; presumably they know the local situation better than we do.

Kasia said...

I can see that, Jimbob (and Dad29). At the same time, though, had the U.S. intervened to save Hussein, it would have made a mockery of any claim to sovereignty that Iraq may have had. I'm afraid this is part of the whirlwind we're reaping.

I've opposed the death penalty since I was in high school; it's one of the few political views I've had that hasn't changed much over the last decade or so. The only way it has changed is I've gone from being absolutely against it in all cases, to allowing that there may be a few cases in which it may be permissible. I think this is one of the few cases I've seen in my lifetime that makes it into the 'merits debate' realm, but then, it wasn't up to me to begin with. I did pray for him, though, and will continue to.