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Monday, January 01, 2007

Saddam's Execution, Mother of All Cover-Ups

The execution of Saddam Hussein, justice, or the Mother of All Cover Ups.
George Bush must be doing one helluva dance today. He calls it “justice served” but I for one wonder how he would feel to be tried in an Iraqi court!
Hussein should have been brought to trial in front of the world court, not the Iraqi court. His crimes were against humanity, not just Iraq.
Had he faced the world court he would have received a fair trial. It is questionable whether his trial in front of an Iraqi judge was fair at all. The situation being what it is in Iraq, it could be argued that neither the current Iraqi government, or its courts, are legitimate. Both exist at the courtesy of the American and British occupiers, and not, some would argue quite correctly, at the will of the Iraqi people.
Furthermore, had Hussein been tried in front of the World Court, he would undoubtedly still be alive. And if Hussein were alive there would still be a chance he would talk. If he talked, maybe he would explain how he became the president of Iraq, where he got his guns, who supported him, and why they turned on him in the end. With him dead, his lips are sealed, which is why I think Bush is probably dancing.
There is also the little matter of capital punishment. Death penalties are supposedly deterrents, but criminals do not think about deterrence when they commit crimes. Most criminals do not beleive they will be caught, so deterrence does not figure into criminality, at least there is no evidence that it does. Many US states still practice capital punishment, but there is no evidence the practice has resulted in less capital crime.
Revenge is another motive for capital punishment, an eye for an eye. However, there is no evidence that revenge ever solves anything, nor is there any evidence that it makes any of the victims feel better. I’m sure there are a lot of people glad Saddam is dead, but does his death improve their quality of life? Not likely. Iraq continues to be in deadly turmoil, even with Saddam gone, and it will continue to be in turmoil.
What is learned from executing criminals such as Saddam. When Hitler’s henchmen were hanged, did it stop the advent of neo-nazi movements in Europe. I think not. In fact, it gave neo-nazis some martyrs to rally behind. Has the execution of serial killers brought an end to serial killing? No!
When are the people of this planet going to learn? We don’t learn how to stop crime by killing criminals. Maybe, just maybe, if we kept them alive, studied them, interrogated them, watched them, ran tests on them, we might learn something about them. And if we learn something about them we might, just might, find out what makes them tick. And if we find out what makes them tick, then maybe we might, just might, find out how to prevent such people from committing crimes in the first place. If we kill them, then we never know.
Finally, what about the criminal. Seems to me that killing these people just lets them off. They never have to live with their actions, they don’t have to be around to see what thier crimes do to their victims. They never have to answer any questions. They don’t have to live with their actions. Some believe they are judged by God, but we have no evidence of that. In fact, to folks like Hussein, a death penalty is something of a reward. Saddam went to his grave believing himself a martyr to a cause. If he’d lived he would have had to face the rest of his life in jail, his power stripped from him, his cohorts gone, his wealth lost, his life ruined. If we really want revenge, would it not be sweeter knowing he had to live with himself and his actions?
Personally, I think the execution of Saddam was a crime against humanity because now humanity will never know the whole story, the history, and without that history in our consciousness, we mostly likely will have to relive the whole experience again, with some other tyrant.
But the worse thing about the murder of Saddam is that we will never know, from the horse’s mouth, just what role the US played in his ascension to power and his many years of abuse, and that amounts to the Mother of All Cover-ups, because his accomplises will never be named.
Methinks George Bush Sr. is also doing a dance today.


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