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Way OT: What was your reaction to Saddam's hanging?

I think you can condemn a tyrant's actions and find a fitting punishment, but not through execution. If Bush were convicted of crimes against humanity or treason, would he be put to death, say in his hometown of Texas?
Likely not.

Sat. Dec 30, 11:11pm

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To be brutally honest, my reaction was apathy. There's nothing I can do about it. He's dead. So are a lot of other people. Worse happens every day, better happens everyday, and I don't feel particularly empowered to realistically do anything even if I was so inclined.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 6:38 AM

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I really just hated the way that the news kept showing his dead body over and over again.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 7:28 AM

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I think that Europe's response is interesting to read. I am a bit abashed to belong to one of the only non-third world countries that still has a death penalty. I'd rather be allied with the EU in their condemnation of the death penalty. On the other hand, Iraq is its own nation with its own laws, so the execution was legal. I'm afraid it will just create a martyrdom situation. Oh well, there you have it! Totally OT!

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 7:31 AM

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John Burns From NY Times:

Burns, for those of you who read the times on a regular basis, is a superb reporter, and had this interesting comment.

"That I could feel pity for him struck the Iraqis with whom I talked as evidence of a profound moral corruption. I came to understand how a Westerner used to the civilities of democracy and due process — even a reporter who thought he grasped the depths of Saddam’s depravity — fell short of the Iraqis’ sense, forged by years of brutality, of the power of his unmitigated evil."

This is not a comment for or against the death penalty, but does provide some context. And we are often a context-starved nation....

I personally would have preferred that Saddam spend his final days in a cage being taken around the world like a circus sideshow. People would pay money to see him, maybe hurl an insult at him or have an insult hurled back. And that money could help fund Iraqi schools or some nice PC thing like that.

But the reality for people who suffer from another persons evil- that is personal. And while the death penalty makes me feel squeamish, is flawed, its effectiveness questionable-- I would not want to deprive others the right to seek closure or revenge or justice.


Sunday, December 31, 2006, 7:40 AM

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Europe is not as against the death penalty for saddam as you may think...

You might be surprised to know that a majority of Europeans support the death penalty for Saddam. The percentages are lower than in the US, but this whole idea of Europeans being this liberal paradise is not quite right. That is the way they appear now- but threaten their way of life and you see their true colors...


Sunday, December 31, 2006, 8:42 AM

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i am against the death penalty and sadam's execution made me uncomfortable. my brother has been in iraq 2x and i think this whole war is a sham.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 9:43 AM

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I have no problem with the death penalty -- I only wish it could have been more drawn out and painful to fit the crime. Or for the sake of the Iraqis tyrranized by him, it should have been done medieval-style, letting everyone who wants to see it, see it live and in person.

But then, I'm a big fan of poetic punishment. Like drunk drivers should have to sit in a stockade in the middle of town (or the shopping mall!) so that everyone knows who put their lives in danger that week. Or how about the whipping post for drug dealers who sell to kids (I think Delaware proposed something like this about 15-20 years ago).

So that's how I feel about the concept of the death penalty. As for Saddam specifically...I don't think it will change things for us as Americans. It was symbolic and political, but that's about it.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 12:56 PM

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I had the opposite reaction from the above. He was a brutally horrible man but I don't believe that vengeance serves any purpose. I wondered if he had been treated humanely before his execution. I have purposely avoided the news coverage and have only seen a photo of the noose being put over his head. Even that was chilling.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 2:36 PM

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I think it was chilling too. Bush said something like that the trial he got was more justice than he ever gave to his victims. But in a just and democratic society, you lead by example-- and that includes tyrants and dictators' treatment. "The Iraqi gov't" may have passed this on as their decision, but moments before the execution a prominent newscaster said "No one knows when Saddam will be executed except God and President Bush."
I just find it scary that we (the US) seemed to have a hand in something so medieval and backwards as a hanging.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 3:14 PM

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To the 9:43 poster, how does your brother feel about the war? I understand a huge amount of soldiers are for the war. Either way I am for the war and please thank your brother for me.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 9:32 PM

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