Saturday, December 30, 2006

Not a victory

I'm really torn over the execution of Saddam Hussein. Some of you know that I'm morally opposed to the death penalty because it's not reversible. Innocent people have been executed, I have no doubt, and some people (guilty or not) have suffered greatly during their executions. The former reason hardly applies to Saddam. The man was evil, truly a butcher and he visited great atrocity upon his people -- none of this is in doubt.

Saddam's obvious guilt and evilness however doesn't make execution right, especially given the US' blatant complicity in the matter. And really, what good does his execution do for this world? Nothing. Iraq is still in flames, with no solution in sight. Saddam's execution will be merely a footnote in this last year or so, a gruesome way to end 2006. Meanwhile, Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds will continue to battle each other and our men and women in uniform will be caught in the middle.

At this point, Saddam had little to no influence on events on the ground so I'm sure people figured this 69-year old sad sack version of the dictator was dispensable. At least we didn't go through the farce of putting him on trial for every single on of his atrocities and then giving him 12 death penalties. Saddam's reign of terror and his spectre as a leader is finally over, but this execution is not a turning point, and it's certainly NOT something to celebrate or claim as a victory. Instead, I have no doubt that terrorists will use Saddam's execution as yet another reason to wage war on the West.

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