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#39683 - 31 Dec 06 06:45 The execution of Saddam Hussein
xsbir Offline
Member+

Registered: 29 Oct 06
Posts: 75
Loc: The Big Durian
In my opinion, this execution today was a reprehensible crime on the part of the puppet Iraqi government and its master the USA. Enlightened countries long ago abolished the death penalty.

I wonder how many innocent Iraqis and Westerners alike will pay for this crime with their lives.
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#39687 - 31 Dec 06 07:11 Re: The execution of Saddam Hussein [Re: xsbir]
Polar Bear Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 23 Nov 05
Posts: 6177
XSBIR, I fully and wholeheartedly agree with you. Not because of the undoubted carnage that will now follow, and not because I am anti death penalty.

I object because Saddam did what he though best for his country. And to be honest, based upon the current situation, although he was a brutal dictator, he knew how to hold Iraq together.

I am saddened and disappointed at his execution. Notihng has been achieved for the loss of a life.

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#39690 - 31 Dec 06 07:37 Re: The execution of Saddam Hussein [Re: Polar Bear]
xsbir Offline
Member+

Registered: 29 Oct 06
Posts: 75
Loc: The Big Durian
From The Economist, Dec. 27, 2006


THE statement by an appeals court judge this week confirming that Saddam Hussein will indeed face execution, possibly within days, has been greeted with little more than a shrug by many Iraqis. It may be that the ruling was considered all but inevitable. The former dictator was convicted by the Iraqi Special Tribunal in Baghdad and handed a death sentence, in November, over the killing of 148 people in the town of Dujail, in 1982. Although a second trial is ongoing, it was widely assumed that Iraq’s new government—and its American ally—wants to see Mr Hussein executed sooner rather than later. The White House has praised the ruling as part of a process “to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law”.

There are reasons why Mr Hussein’s execution might perhaps be welcomed. Justice demands that he should be held to account for the many murders, the torture, the displacement and other crimes he committed while in power. If ever the death penalty were deserved, it would be for precisely such a dictator. Although the trial had serious defects, it was not entirely for show. He received the sort of hearing in court, the opportunity to speak out in his defence, that none of his victims enjoyed. And there may, arguably, be a practical benefit. With the former leader dead, rather than languishing in prison, his supporters would lose any hope that they may, through violence, somehow bring him back to power.

Yet executing him would be a mistake. Not only is capital punishment wrong in itself, however wicked the guilty party, it is most unlikely to help bind Iraq’s wounds. His trial was flawed enough to provoke condemnation from Western human rights groups, among others, and to seed suspicion in some parts that the former tyrant’s execution is less a matter of justice and more a case of revenge. Showing greater respect for human life than he ever did would represent a rare moral victory for Iraq's rulers. Keeping Mr Hussein alive would also allow other trials detailing far greater evils than Dujail to be completed—such as the one, already begun, in which he stands accused of instigating the so-called Anfal campaign against Iraq's Kurds, in which more than 100,000 people may have been killed and millions uprooted.

The decision whether to go ahead, however, is one for Iraqis to make. Mr Hussein’s supporters may riot, or worse, when the news of his execution emerges: he himself says he will be “sacrifice” and a “true martyr” for Iraq. But the ongoing misery of daily killings is driven by many more forces than fighters loyal to their former leader—the bitter rivalry between and among Shia and Sunni groups, the influence of al-Qaeda, the activities of organised criminals and other factors matter rather more. Most Shias and many Kurds seem to welcome the verdict: they do not care a jot about the technical defects of the trial. As for the Sunnis who were loyal to the previous regime, it is the legitimacy of the present government, not the probity of the court, that is fundamentally in question. Putting Mr Hussein to death will not, of course, make him a martyr. However, nor will it do anything to encourage the reconciliation or compromise that Iraq needs.




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