04 Jan 2007

Lynching Saddam

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Christopher Hitchens basically agrees with our own position on the disgraceful business, though he is a dreadful Euro-sissy on the subject of capital punishment in general.

Americans, unlike Europeans, typically understand that some people just need killing. There is a certain type of defective individual, in whose case it’s far better for all concerned if he is simply taken out behind the barn and shot.

The problem with hanging Saddam is the cowardly manner in which it was done, the turning over of a helpless wretch to an equally despicable mob to be done to death, and its timing: far too late, and during Christmas.

The disgusting video of Saddam Hussein’s last moments on the planet is more than a reminder of the inescapable barbarity of capital punishment and of the intelligible and conventional reasons why it should always be opposed. The zoolike scenes in that dank, filthy shed (it seems that those attending were not even asked to turn off their cell phones or forbidden to use them to record souvenir film) were more like a lynching than an execution. At one point, one of the attending magistrates can be heard appealing for decency and calm, but otherwise the fact must be faced: In spite of his mad invective against “the Persians” and other traitors, the only character with a rag of dignity in the whole scene is the father of all hangmen, Saddam Hussein himself.

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