I've been processing the Saddam hanging and don't have much to add to all the blather we've been subjected to over the last day or so, but just a few thoughts if I may.
First, I'm not a proponent of capital punishment in general, especially the spin from those who support it and claim it's a deterrent against crime. Study after study has shown it's not.
It's revenge, pure and simple, and, hey, that's fine if that's what you want. But at least admit that - it would be a lot easier to listen to your crap. Clearly it was only vengence in the case of killing Hussein (here's the inevitable cell phone video of the execution, more graphic than the official TV broadcasts).
And yes, let me do the obligatory yadda yadda - Saddam was an evil man, a tyrant, no-one is crying any tears over his death, etc. etc. - but let's face it: this became the latest desperate way for Bush and the right-wing to say, "See, we're winning."
Boy George and his team have turned Iraq into a bloody debacle, but, woo hoo, we got that bad guy.
The problem is, they have fed us so much bullshit over the last few years, so many things became "The Turning Point," it becomes meaningless after a while.
The Iraqi army gave up without a fight. Turning point. The Saddam statue in that Baghdad square famously came down. Turning point. Saddam was captured. Turning point. His sons were killed. Turning point. Iraq held elections. Turning point. Saddam was tried. Turning point.
But of course, none of it was.
And now this.
We also keep being told: "Just six more months, that's when things will really turn around."
Well, how many six more months will it be?
And in this next set of six months, how many more hundreds of American military will be killed, maimed, blinded, burned?
I also have to say, watching that video as it came in last night, seeing Hussein surrounded by those hooded men, it just felt wrong. Undignified. A Banana Republic act. Not what a great nation should be a part of.
This is what an American-led invasion and occupation has come to - the supposed good guys looked like nothing more than the thugs who kidnap and kill people like Daniel Pearl.
But George W. Bush slept through the night, of course. He apparently wasn't even awakened to be told of the execution. I suppose that's somewhat fitting since this empty little suit of a man has sleepwalked though history already. And has done perhaps irreparable harm to this country, it's institutions and its reputation in the world.
And here's the thing - when people on the right, valiantly trying to defend Bush, say Saddam and his regime were terrible, or the Islamic terrorists are evil - well, of course they were and are. But shouldn't we be aiming for a much, much higher standard.
Let's all hope the new year is going to be better.
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