Sunday, December 31, 2006
Photo of Saddam's execution
The photo above was from today’s Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), showing the former dictator of Iraq in his final moments, on one of the holiest dates of the Muslim year.
The SMH reported that Saddam appeared calm and spoke to his executioners just before his death. He then recited a Muslim profession of faith, "There is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet," but made no other remark after balaclava-wearing policemen escorted him to the scaffold.
Sami al-Askari, a prominent Shiite politician close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who witnessed the event, said: "One of the guards pulled a lever and he dropped half a metre into a trap door. We heard his neck snap instantly … they left him hanging for around 10 minutes before a doctor confirmed his death and they untied him and placed him in a white body bag."
Of course US President George Bush hailed the execution as a milestone, though we wonder what sort of milestone it was, considering it was state sanctioned murder.
One could argue that Saddam Hussein deserves the hanging but KTemoc is against the death sentence for anyone, because by condoning such a murder (shrouded under the guise of legality and public support) we have descended down to the brutal level of the person executed for his/her crimes.
But it does reflect the sort of mentality President Bush has, though of course he would have to support the execution of Saddam, if not for anything than to mask his illegal attack and occupation of a sovereign Iraq.
We need to recall (quite easily) that the Bush’s casus belli was the absurb proposition Saddam was a threat to global security when the truth was that those allegations of Iraqi nuclear and other weapons were, and have since been confirmed 100%, as US fabricated fibs.
The Vatican condemned the execution as tragic. The execution of Saddam Hussein has also exposed a deep divide between the US and Europe. Italian PM Romano Prodi deplored the decision to execute Saddam, while Renato Martino, the cardinal who heads the Roman Catholic Church's council for justice and peace, warned that "nobody can give death, not even the state."
Denmark, France, Portugal, Spain and Germany have all recorded their opposition though in most cases the criticism is qualified opposition directed at the morality of capital punishment (like KTemoc’s) rather than sympathy for Saddam.
Predictably the other two members of the Coalition of the Killing supported Bush’s hailing of the execution in sycophantic obsequity.
It’s doubly damning for Britain and Australia as the two countries themselves do not have capital punishment. How could their leaders then support any state execution?
Their leaders’ blind and obligatory support of Saddam’s execution demonstrated how those politicians have succumbed to the grubby expediency of using Saddam’s execution as a pseudo-truimph for their illegal actions when they are in reality besmirching their nations’ humanitarian credentials.
Not surprising, as KTemoc predicted, that soon after the hanging, a bomb planted on a minibus exploded in a fish market in Kufa, a Shiite town 160 kilometres south of the capital, killing 17 people, including four children.
How many more innocents must die from the evil let loose by President Bush and his cohorts?