Monday, November 06, 2006
Saddam Death Penalty
We like to think we are more civilised than our ancestors who viewed public hangings. But are we really? A look at today's tabloid headlines made me think twice. 'Saddamned to Hell' read the front page of the Daily Mirror, taking obvious relish in the outcome. Aren't we a country that has renounced capital punishment? But while it takes place far from home and is therefore sanitised it appears that our collective desire for vengeance can safely be exorcised via a media spectacle.
Meanwhile Tony Blair voices his opposition to the death penalty. But he is a hypocrite to invoke Iraqi sovereignity to justify the verdict of death by hanging. That was not on his mind when he sent British troops to help the Americans invade the country.
It is necessary to add that this was a victor's court, put in place by what is a US client regime (Bush need have no hang ups as does Blair as he presided over death row while governor of Texas). There appear to have been irregularities in the trial, and dispute as to whether it has been a fair one.
However, if the death penalty was to be reserved for war criminals (and if such trials were to be in any way 'fair') Bush and Blair would also have been in the dock.