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Posted by on Dec 29, 2006 in At TMV | 17 comments

Saddam’s Hanging: Another Step Down The Wrong Path

Iraqis, as a collective, have been thrust into a very violent mentality. Frequent mortar attacks on their neighborhoods and a void of dominant police have created a social and ideological climate of violence in Iraq. Breaking Saddam’s neck to thunderous applause nationwide can only contribute to what seems to be an almost-Roman integration of violence into culture. In a time when the Coalition and the world are trying to “civilize� Iraq, won’t hanging Hussein only provide another (and even more highly publicized) example that violence is the solution to political problems?

Taking Michael’s lead, I gave my opinions on the scheduled execution over on my new Zenith Blog.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • bellisaurius

    On the other hand, picture the amount of violence that will occur if he doesn’t get executed.

  • An ironic point, I suppose, but they wouldn’t be expecting it if we hadn’t promised it. If the Iraqis hadn’t put it on the table. Etc.

  • bellisaurius

    This one’s just simply the wrong person to make the point about. It’ll be better to take the death penalty topic up after they settle down.

    One of the theories I’ve heard about concerning how civil society was formed, was that once, crimes involved things like blood debts and families taking revenge for things (the eskimo, or was it Inuit? still practice this to some extent). Revenge was the dominant issue.

    Eventually, the group decided it was better to have the dirty work placed into someone other than the hurt party’s hands. Thus the concept of justice was born. As part of the deal, however, part of a person being guilty meant that they should be punished.

    To not kill Saddam would mean that people would feel an inequity was committed, and assume the courts weren’t going to give them justice. It’s too fragile to worry about the best moral decisions, and instead go for what the people want. The system needs to establish itself.

    This all said, my favorite way of dealing with these things is a South African Truth Commission, but we let that ship sail a long time ago when we did things like disband their officer corps.

  • Andrew, terrific post!

  • SFB

    Interestingly, for all those supporting a democratic form of government, the reason the European states no longer have a death penalty is because a very small elite in government has abolished it, and resist attempts by the people at large to reinstate capital punishment.

    I do not expect to change the opinions of the anti death penalty people, but I do think that the punishment is appropriate for the kind of crimes Saddam Hussein is convicted of. I do not think people who commit mass murder are going top be rehabilitated and made productive members of society. Yes it is punishment, pure and simple. Punishment which fits the crime. If you deprive someone else of life and liberty, your life and liberty should be taken from you.

    Hanging is much more merciful than the death many of Saddma Hussein’s victims received. If you want to show some sympathy, how about extending it to his vicitms? The sooner he swings, the better. Likewise, I’m all for executing killers in our country.

  • Jim S


    As far as the killers in our country part of your post is concerned wouldn’t it be nice if we could be sure that they really are killers first? Far too many cases recently have shown that the jury system is perfectly capable of getting it wrong. Sorry, but someone serving life with no parole can be released. We can’t resurrect someone mistakenly executed.

  • vwcat

    The hanging of Saddam is stupid. Everything done in this Bush folly is stupid.
    All we have accomplished is to earn the lasting hate for us in the region. We will have a very long and hard time to regain our reputation in the world after Smirky has destroyed it in a matter of a few years.
    May America hang it’s head in shame for what we have done to the people of Iraq and for electing that imcompetent boob.

  • GreenDreams

    right on vwcat.

    Killing Saddam martyrs him, as you will see very soon. This will not improve the situation one bit.

  • grognard

    The victims of Saddams violence want revenge, Sadr lost virtually his entire family to Saddam, if they don’t see Saddam hung they will be more than willing to find Sunni substitutes. I don’t see his hanging as effecting the violence on way or another, this situation in Iraq is no longer about Saddam.

  • Thunder Snow

    Here’s an interesting verse I came across today, not often quoted by Christians supporting the death penalty:

    “Never put an innocent or honest person to death. I will not allow anyone guilty of this to go free” (Exodus 23:7b, NLT).

    In Saddam’s case, he’s far from innocent, and I admit that though I generally oppose the death penalty, it’s hard to work up much compassion for this guy, kinda how I thought about Timothy McVeigh.

  • GreenDreams

    It’s not compassion not to kill him. It’s common sense. A life in prison is arguably worse than a quick end, an international court would not be seen by Sunnis as Shi’ite revenge (or at least less so. And there will be a violent reaction to his hanging. The images of a hanging Saddam will be another terrorist recruiting tool. grognard’s inadvertent grammatical slipup is prescient. It will “effect” (bring about) violence rather than “affect” (have an effect on) it.

  • May America hang it’s head in shame for what we have done to the people of Iraq

    Ach, yeah. Liberating an entire culture from violent tyranny is about the worst thing we could have done.

    Look. Nobody said the transition would be smooth or that, in the short term, more people won’t die than would have otherwise. The point is that if we had done nothing, the oppression would have continued indefinitely, while now you have a spike of violence but once it is squelched you have a free nation once and for all.

    Was it not worth fighting the American Revolution because it threw the country into chaos? I don’t think even you will agree to this, unless you would similarly tarnish Washington alongside Bush – if all Presidents who fought for liberation are “Smirky” in your book.

  • GreenDreams

    Ach, yeah. Liberating an entire culture from violent tyranny is about the worst thing we could have done.

    What BS ! Iraqis are 50 times more likely to die a violent death today than under Saddam. Let me remind you under Saddam, women didn’t wear the burqua, went out alone without being raped or killed, could drive (unlike Suadi women), go to school (at the best schools in the Arabic Middle East), the water, electricity, sewers and oil were flowing and life was pretty peaceful. That “violent tyranny” meme is just our pathetic way to rationalize destroying a secular regime that was no more oppressive than many we support. We blew it going in there, and indeed, we will leave in shame and defeat. Next time, let’s stick to bullying countries we can actually defeat, like Grenada!

  • I could respond, but it’s pretty clear you didn’t read the second paragraph of my comment. See above, please.

    Nobody said the transition would be better than the previous conditions. That’s not the point.

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    TS, here is your Bible quote in a better translation and a larger context (Exodus 23:1-9 JPS 1917 translation):

    1 Thou shalt not utter a false report; put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
    2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou bear witness in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to pervert justice;
    3 neither shalt thou favour a poor man in his cause.
    4 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.
    5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under its burden, thou shalt forbear to pass by him; thou shalt surely release it with him.
    6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.
    7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not; for I will not justify the wicked.
    8 And thou shalt take no gift; for a gift blindeth them that have sight, and perverteth the words of the righteous.
    9 And a stranger shalt thou not oppress; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

  • Davebo

    Look. Nobody said the transition would be smooth or that, in the short term, more people won’t die than would have otherwise.

    Look, I know things are bad now. Iraq didn’t turn out like you’d been told it would, no flowers and candy, horrible violence, and a half trillion of our dollars down the hole.

    But let’s not just make crap up OK?

    Because practically EVERYONE in the administration said the transition would be smooth, we’d be greeted as liberators, the oil money would pay for reconstruction, blah blah blah.

    I am positive you didn’t miss all these claims.

    So why lie now?

  • Davebo

    And folks, can we leave the Bible out of this?

    Hasn’t the Bible been demeaned and degraded for political reasons enough already?

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