Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Is Dead

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Prez Bush said that the execution of Saddam was "bringing him to justice."

How does that work, exactly, in Bush's Christian scheme of things?

Would it not be more accurate to say, "Saddam needed to be wacked because he was a super-dangerous sociopath with lots and lots of power. It's not the Christian thing to do, but I'm the leader of the most powerful nation on earth with major economic and military interests in Iraq, and it works for me. How it winds up affecting the Iraq situation, I can't say and frankly, I don't much care."

I suppose that's way too much to hope for. Just like it was too much to hope that the recent confab on Iraq that took place at Bush's Crawford, TX ranch wouldn't be described as "NON-DECISIONAL."

Did Saddam deserve to die? Legally, yes. He got a fair trial, he was sentenced, the sentence was carried out. Is capital punishment ever justified? I'm still struggling with it. Some entire years I say, "NO." Other years, like this one, I don't know why I was ever so passionately against it. When the BTK story broke a few years ago, I swore I could have strangled him myself, and gladly. Actually, in my fantasy scenario he was set upon by enraged people with shovels and then left tied on a leash to a stake in an empty, extremely remote field to bleed to death or to die of hunger or thirst. Not that I got too specific about it or anything. I just feel that the human community has every right to fight against evil incarnate when it is unleashed among them. Jesus and I argue about this a lot.

I'm preaching a series on the Ten Commandments this year. I suppose this story will come up when I hit "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

[This just in on Dec. 31st from the NY Times:

Kind of late to be respecting Iraq as a sovereign nation, eh, Margaret Beckett? -- P.B.]


Blogger Jaume said...

Let me see, are we talking about a man who sent a army to occupy a whole region in the Middle East, killing thousands of innocent civilians, just to satisfy his thirst for power and oil?

Yes, the man could be Saddam. Who else would do something so obnoxious? ;-)

BTW, I am against the death penalty. All of them, anywhere. The American democracy will not be a model again for anyone until it gets rid of it.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

I know, I know. So many times as I worked at my computer today I heard snips and bits of descriptions of him, and it was like, "Wait a second. Are they talking about Saddam or Bush? Let me turn up the radio."

Blogger Ian said...

I remember Dukakis getting blasted for his "weak" response to the capital punishment question presented to him in the form of what his response would be if someone attacked Kitty. I've long thought that his response should have been "I'd want to kill the %&*%, but I'd also want society to stop me from doing it." There are so many good reasons to oppose capital punishment, not least of which is that revenge does nothing. But I'm just enough of an idealist to ask my society to rise above baser human instincts and, well, do "the Christian thing."

Yes, Saddam was a monster, but there is something about his execution that saddens me.

Anonymous anniesmom said...

While Saddam Hussein got a fair trial and the sentence was legally (and swiftly) carried out, I still take no joy in his death. (Nor does it please me that his pistol is mounted on W's office wall.)

Blogger Jaume said...

I am very saddened when I see the USA in the same list as China, North Korea, Arabia, Iran, etc., as one of the countries in which the death penalty is regularly applied and more casualties are legally caused by the state. I want to see the USA in the list of those democratic countries which have made a moral decision to stop applying the death penalty. It is only a recent achievement in our civilization that the death penalty is not to be applied, and the USA cannot wait any longer and remain in the company of tyrannies on this shameful issue.

Anonymous Amy said...

I just feel that the human community has every right to fight against evil incarnate when it is unleashed among them. Jesus and I argue about this a lot.

I think you and Jesus could both agree on your first sentence. Where the argument might come in is that Jesus, as I read him, says we have to fight that evil within ourselves as well. Calling one person (even a Hussein) "evil incarnate" and ignoring the way evil is incarnated in each of us takes us down a bad road.

Ian addressed this well in his comment, and William Schulz said pretty much the same thing in his recent Berry Street Essay & UU World article. It's only human nature to want to kill, maim, torture the people who hurt people we love. A wise and just society stays our hand.

So a question for Bush might be, "How does this execution create a more just society?"


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