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January 04, 2007

Officiating a Human Sacrifice?
Posted by Shadi Hamid

Jason Scorse (of Voices of Reason) in a comment to my previous post makes a good point:

Shadi - you're being way too timid in your reaction - the execution looked very much like it was a snuff film and the fact that the executioners were chanting in favor of Al Sadr, who is a terrorist bent on ethnic cleansing, is utterly despicable. This is what we are spilling so much blood for and spending upwards of a trillion dollars and wrecking our international legitimacy for? This is an utter disgrace.

Jason, you're right. I should be a lot angrier. I just watched the video of Saddam's execution right now for the first time, and I can't imagine being more disgusted. You'd think that if there was one person in the world that deserved the death penalty, it was probably Saddam. But after watching the video, it makes you wonder whether the death penalty is a good idea even in those cases where the guilt of the accused is so clear-cut and overwhelming as to be unmistakable. Once again - another example of the US being in the right, and turning it into a wrong.

Christopher Hitchens might have just written the best commentary on the subject. Money quote:

Thus, far from bringing anything like "closure," the hanging ensures that the poison of Saddamism will stay in the Iraqi bloodstream, mingling with other related infections such as confessional fanaticism and the sort of video sadism that has until now been the prerogative of al-Qaida's dehumanized ghouls. We have helped to officiate at a human sacrifice. For shame.


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