Sunday, December 31, 2006

And Saddam was hanged by the neck

When they found him in the bolt-hole they should have put a bullet in his head and buried him in the desert. There would be no pretense of lawful conduct, there would be a plea of extraordinary circumstances in a time of war. Be done with it, move on.

Instead they handed him to a poorly trained court. They allowed his lawyers to be assassinated one after the other. They charged him with international crimes while dangling a breach of international law over his head (and around his neck).

The self-styled hero of the Arabs was able to style himself a martyr, slain by the new administration that itself indulges in torture and extra-judicial killing. Thousands of idiot would-be terrorists, young, angry, open to suggestion, are given additional inspiration.

We kill him, Israel builds a new settlement. There is no progress towards peace.

Our inconsistency and hypocrisy are so brazen, so flagrant, that any hope those young angry men might consider peaceful campaigns based on human rights and the rule of international law is jettisoned.

Because we're going to get loud and righteous when those brats who tried to smuggle heroin are lined up for the same penalty. Death penalty is wrong, we'll say, belatedly adding "for this crime, which we don't think is so serious". Not for crimes where we endorse it.

Do as we say, not as we do.

UPDATE: His hangmen, Shiites, got to taunt him as they killed him. Just like Abu Ghraib but with gallows.

More than anything it brings to mind the scenes of Somalis dragging the bodies of Rangers through the streets of Mogadishu. There isn't a sniff of law or justice about it.

6 comments:

Legal Eagle said...

It's rank hypocrisy, isn't it? When my husband and I saw John Howard on the tv last night talking about Saddam, we got really angry. How can people take the West and its talk of democratic freedoms seriously if it allows peoples' rights to be undermined when it wants? I felt quite depressed yesterday.

The Daily Magnet said...

Sorry to be contentious Armaniac, but where was the sniff of law or justice extended to his victims? Everybody dies, he got a longer life than a lot of his victims

Tactically, was there any good way of handling it - an 'ideal' way - to keep him alive, would have seen him continue to have unabated influence - particularly considering the gaols they have there at present.

I don't think the situation can be judged in perspective by Western eyes, we have such a different life and culture here - but this is a land that allows rock spiders to walk free with a warning or a sentence lighter than a thief & women to go to gaol for defending themselves. What sort of justice can Oz be an authority on?

Legal Eagle said...

From a pragmatic point of view, does killing Saddam actually solve anything? It doesn't bring back the people he massacred. Nor does it resolve the huge sectarian divide in Iraq. While his execution might satisfy the Kurds and Shi'ites who were persecuted by him, it stirs up Sunni Muslims (particularly given the fact that Saddam was executed on Eid).

My preferred option would have been to lock him up for the rest of his life and throw away the key. Perhaps, as you say, that was not feasible. But dead or alive, he will remain a problem, I think.

B. S. Fairman said...

There is a clearly a case for dealing swiftly with fallen tyrants. Mussolini and Ceausescu were both dealt with within days and nothing would have been gained by dragging them thought a trial.

Lamont Cranston said...

You forgot to mention that the governments who supported him during his worst crimes - USA & co. - have not stood trial. [and the Iraq-Iran War excuse is bogus, the support began long before that and continued right up until he invaded Kuwait].

Anonymous said...

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