Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Saddam


I don’t know what to think about the death sentence for Saddam Hussein now that his final appeal has been lost. On the whole I tend to think that “an eye for an eye” justice only increases the blindness in the world.

On the other hand, he killed a lot of people. We’ll euthanize a dog if it only bites more than three people.

On the third hand, it is said we could learn a lot from such a man. I don’t know. We’ve never lacked for homicidal dictators, some of whom have even lived long lives, and the most we’ve ever learned from them are all the many ways that people can be savaged.

On the fourth hand, sometimes too much can be said for education.

On the fifth hand, Saddam Hussein is somewhat of my generation, and my generation has been responsible for Vietnam, Cambodia, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet, Osama bin Laden, John Wayne Gacy, O.J. Simpson, 9/11, Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham, and George W. Bush – killers all. Maybe we should all go.

No verdict yet.

On the sixth hand, we are as a species nowhere near as modern as we think; quite primitive, in fact. Such a species finds release, relief, and closure in revenge. Many of the victims, as well as the friends and families of the victims, of Hussein’s rape, torture, and murder regime need for him to undergo the indignity of having his hall pass canceled.

On the seventh hand, without Hussein the Sunni who fight the Shia who fight the Sunni who fight the Shia will finally realize they no longer have an ogre to attack nor a hero to defend. They are only brutalizing each other.

I said at the beginning I didn’t know what I thought about this. I still don’t. In the absence of clarity, then, perhaps the people should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Let the sonofabitch hang.

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