Sunday, December 31, 2006


Glancing at the Carwreck

I admit that I looked at the cellphone video of the execution by hanging of Saddam Hussein which is up everywhere on the web (easy to get at Drudge). The certainly used a thick enough rope and a long drop (which is key to effective, rapid death). I wonder at the side placed noose, but it seems to have done the job.

I have no idea what effect, if any, this will have on the situation in Iraq we all despair about, but I like to see justice done and I feel it was done here, although really to do justice here you would have to be able to magically revive Saddam and hang him at least 400,000 more times, one for each of his murder victims which we know about.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that if you're going for a quick death by broken neck, then the noose placed to the side (along with a long drop) are necessary.

I suppose the noose set to the back would force the head forward, and not guarantee a broken neck. I'm not sure what would happen with the noose set in the front, but it sure wouldn't look right. And hey...they werefilming.
After 24 hours or so of contemplation, I have formed an opinion that the timing and details of Saddam Hussein's execution left much to be desired.

Initially, his trial was hardly the epitome of decorum. Those elsewhere who opposed his deposition and execution may argue he was the victim of a kangaroo court in consideration of the various procedural glitches including but not limited to changes of counsel, one of which I recall was occasioned by the assasination of one of the defense attorneys.

Of course chief among those those who opposed his deposition are the Palestinians and I cannot feel any sympathy for them being bereft and compelled to find a new poster boy.

Although, the old saw advises "Justice delayed is justice denied," I think that a few more more trials would have provided a beneficial catharsis to the evils of his reign. The Kurds deserved their day in court.

I am generally opposed to capital punishment, particularly in the United States. Conversely, I believe that if you are going to execute people, the executions should be public: like the Stadium treatment. Public executions lack dignity. Dignity is not the word for which I am looking but I do not think it is proper to allow the executioners swear at the condemned. The condemned may do whatever he or she likes with the caveat that people remember the way in which the condemned leave life.

There was some debate as to whether Saddam should have been tried at the World Court in the Hague--another body that is not known for its swift administartion of justice (see Slobodan Milosevic)but the decision was made that the Iraqis deserved to tried Saddam.

Like most other things to which they have been entrusted, in my opinion, they made rather a hash of it.
"...the situation in Iraq we all despair about...."

Include me out. While some believe despair is a sin, I just don't see any particular reason to despair. It took the British 12 years to end the "Malayan Emergency" and it took 8 years (+/-) to end the Vietnamese War (the 1975 war was an invasion years after the US left). Shall we discuss Northern Ireland?

Unconventional war takes time and patience. Your despair shows little of the latter and allows little of the former.
"Like most other things to which they have been entrusted, in my opinion, they made rather a hash of it."

I think that grossly overstates the point. I think that, if anything, the Iraqis were too slow to execute their murderous dictator. There was no serious question about his guilt, after all.

I do think a public execution might have been cathartic, though.

As to the celerity of justice, the threshold issue is: do you have a trial or just dispense justice a la Nicolae Ceausescu.

If you are going to go the trial route, then it is encumbant that the proceedings be like Caesar's wife, to mix metaphors.

I did not approve of dragging things out as long as they did w/ the month long recesses. I did favr the Kurds getting their day in court.

As for the execution, having the executioners wear black ski masks and allowing them to jeer @ Saddam lent an amateurish air to the proceedings.

I agree that there was no question, much less a serious one, regarding his guilt. I think it's a question of the validity of the process rather than the end result.

Tony, nearly all the Iraqi military wears face masks nearly all the time. It is a disturbing fact, but it wasn't just the executioners (who traditionally cover their faces). I'm with Doug, as usual, about the grade the Iraqis get for the trial and execution of Saddam. Better than Ceausescu, and much better than trying Milosovic until he dies of natural causes in den Hague.
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