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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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2:36, do you think the families of the 100,000 + people who were killed ordered by him or during his reign of power worry whether or not if he was treated humanely? Maybe you would like to ask the people who lost loved ones while he ruled how they feel and then debate them?

Personally, he was a terrible, evil man, the likes of Hitler, who should have been done away with in 1990 when we had the first opportunity. I do support the death sentence and I think its serves a purpose. I don't think people on death row should have to wait so long, that is torment. I agree with the 12:56 poster. People need to start being responsible for their actions.

3:14 poster: Yes lets just blame Saddam's actions on Bush. As far as the newscaster goes that was just some stupid liberal remark. Like most news reporters there are very few who actually report the news without being bias.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 9:45 PM

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Woohoo! The world is a better place without him in it!! Nasty, bitter, evil man who was afraid of opposition of any kind. A man who committed mass genocide on his own people, instilled fear in a nation, who snatched victims right out of their homes in front of family and slaughtered them, took his own people and did experimental tests on them. Broke entreaties and sanctions for years. He deserved to die, the only thing I find more unfortunate is that someone didn't do it sooner or that he didn't suffer as long as he deserved. The middle east is a mess, always has been and always will be, unfortunate but true. I've spent time in several countries there and the people I encountered hated him but were to afraid to talk aloud about it. There will never be any sort of peace there.

To the OP, comparing Bush to Saddam is a total joke. You should rethink your opinions.

The news keep showing his body because a lot of people will think maybe it wasn't real, maybe it was staged. His body needs to be shown. Lets not forget the 100,000 or more people who lost their lives under his rule.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 9:57 PM

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9:57-- well said.

Sunday, December 31, 2006, 11:28 PM

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I felt a profound sense of sorrow, not for Hussein necessarily, but for the entire situation (including that which can be laid at his feet). It's deeply sad and horrible that there are people in the world who commit the acts that he has committed. It is deeply sad and horrible that people feel such anger, hurt, bitterness, etc. as to lead them to hang someone. It's deeply sad that not everything can be solved easily, not everyone can be treated gently, not everything can end peacefully.

So I felt deep sadness. I have a strong faith and it places even this in a context that enables me to feel hope overall, and not despair. But it's a troubled and a troubling world at times.

Monday, January 01, 2007, 12:39 AM

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It is sad, but it is reality. Sadder still is that George Bush stands alone trying to change that reality. And all he gets for it is crap. I view Bush as a hero for what he is trying to do in the middle east.

Monday, January 01, 2007, 10:03 AM

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I suspect that Bush will be remembered very differently by history than he will be by those of us who are alive now. I'm saying that as someone who abhors the christian right wing nonsense that he represents. And I don't care much for what the rest of the world thinks - after all, a bunch of countries (France, Russia, etc) who took the stance that "we don't support this war, but if you win, we expect our business debts/arrangements to be protected" aren't worth listening to. Gotta love the snootiness of dying powers.

I also think that the pictures of Saddam in his not-so-tighty whiteys got more coverage than the hanging, but it's early days yet.

Monday, January 01, 2007, 11:36 AM

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Bush is a hero for orchestrating Saddam's hanging? Really?
I wonder how hard Osama bin Laden is laughing right now. Why isn't he in the gallows if Bush is such a hero?

Monday, January 01, 2007, 3:13 PM

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No, Bush is a hero for tackling the broader problem of a dysfunctional middle east and is directly responsible for helping bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. Now this is a messy problem, but this is amazing stuff, and the US Military is doing a fantastic job. The critics of Bush simply hate him for reasons that predate 9/11, and they are right to do so. The alternative to what Bush is doing is essentially nothing/status quo. To the critics of Bush who respond to this post- instead of reciting the tired anti-Bush rhetoric that we all know well-- what is the alternative that leads to a resolution of the problems in the middle east that threaten us and our interests??????

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Monday, January 01, 2007, 3:39 PM

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Very interesting thread - some very thoughtful responses ...

I was the poster who wondered if Saddam had been treated humanely before his execution - wondered - and I'm a bit surprised by the vehemence of a later poster who suggested that I should debate this with the families of his victims. Torture, hanging - this is babarism - what we were fighting against in challenging Saddam to begin with. His suffering, his pain, his death - none of these things will change what has come before. Vengeance has no positive outcome, it's just perpetuates violence.

Monday, January 01, 2007, 4:14 PM

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complete retribution. vindication. Happy for the families and loved ones of the tortured under his rule.

Monday, January 01, 2007, 5:21 PM

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4:14 I find your comment (both of them) very odd. How can you say hanging someone is barbaric? Is it better they keep him locked up in a 5x7 cell for the rest of his life while the tax payers (families of his victims) pay for him to live out the rest of his life? I say not, but that is my opinion. Is hanging more barbaric then beheading someone, as was one of his favorite ways to kill? No positive outcome? Maybe it will stop the next Saddam from being so evil, even if just a little. Maybe the next ruler will have a harder time controlling his people. No nation should be afraid of one man and this nation was. He was a horrible man, not even close to resembling anything human, with feelings, respect for others, nothing. He did deserve to hang. And I hope for all his victims sake that he was scared and full of remorse but more likely he wasn't.

3:13 I'm sorry did Bush actually hang him? How exactly did Bush manage to sway his trail? Do you think the people over there are stupid?

Anyone can dislike Bush for any number of reasons but to blame everything he gets blamed for is crazy. When we look back on his term in office in 50 years from now he will be viewed as a hero, an administration that stood his ground and believed it would change things for the better. He has had one of the most challenging offices in history right from the get go. And I think he has done a fantastic job with what he has been dealt with. Does anyone really believe peace can be achieved by talking? Even before Christ the middle east was a battlefield and it always will be. It makes me sad that so many people in this country believe we have it so bad, to many people take things for granted. We live in one of the greatest nations in the world and if you can't see that you should try living somewhere else, maybe then you will appreciate the freedoms and ways of life we have here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 2:36 AM

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Wow 2:36am I am surprised of how ignorant you are of how the Saddam's trial got going.
1. Iraqi exiles, living in the UK and the US, were HAND-PICKED by the Bush adminstration to create the Iraqi constitution, get the Prime Minister elected, and select the judges for his "trial." If you think the Bush administration's hands are clean of this hanging, I am sad for you.
2. An Iraqi court, would NEVER have ordered Saddam's execution on a Muslim holiday-- it is against Iraqi law. Ironically, they executed him on the "Feast of the Sacrifice" which commemorates when Abraham offered to sacrifice his son for God. And they say they don't want to make him a martyr. duh.
3. How INTELLIGENT of you to suggest that anyone that disagrees with the way this President is running the country into the CRAPHOLE should move out of it. Ever heard of freedom of speech and freedom of expression? Or has Bush managed to convince you that those rights are only afforded to the people that share your point of view?
4. We went into Iraq because of W M D. Anyone find any? Hey, anyone hear of a little tyrant named Kim Jong Il who had enriched plutonium in his grubby little hands BEFORE we went into Iraq? Anyone wonder why Bush didn't do anything about him? And HAS NOT done anything about him, even though North Korea now has nukes?
You're SO right. Bush is a SUPER president!! Hey, while we're at it, why don't we re-elect Nixon? Then we'll be on the right track again!!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 3:13 AM

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I'm going to judge you for killing thousands of people. And to teach you that it's the most horrible thing you could do, I'm going to kill YOU!

Does this really make sense? Of course Saddam was a horrible man, but who are we to decide when a person is to leave this earth? I think he should have been punished, not killed. Sometimes I can't believe this is the world I live in.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 3:32 AM

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One thing that has always struck me is that the anti-bush people tend to shout and get very emotional, while the people more sympathetic to his view tend to take a more measured approach.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 7:37 AM

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Its sad. Why cant we just all get along?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 9:43 AM

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Hear, hear, 3:13am!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 10:34 AM

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3:32...that makes complete sense to most of us, actually. You made a very valid argument for the very thing you present as nonsensical.

Who out there would not delight in killing the man responsible for butchering their parents/children/siblings/spouses? Hell, I'd fight to be the one placing the noose around his neck just so I could smear it with bacon fat to piss him off on a religious level in the final moments of his life. I think his death was too tame for what he did...prolonged agony beforehand would have made a better statement to aspiring genocidal dictators. Like put him in a pit with the family members of the 168 people he was convicted of killing and let them take their pound of flesh. Literally.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 12:08 PM

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that is really disturbing. anyone who imagines that killing someone would be delightful ... well, you are scary

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 12:21 PM

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to answer 12:08's question...

There are people who do not 'delight' in his execution. On the news they interviewed a woman who was a victim of one of Saddam's chemical attacks. She survived but members of her family did not. She said it didn't matter to her if he lived or died, and that she was just happy she was able to testify at his trial and that he was found guilty.

I'm sure there are other surviving victims who feel the same way. His execution does not change any of the horrible things he has done, and it doesn't take away the loss and devestation of his victims.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 12:32 PM

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12:21...killing someone who murdered your loved ones would be very, very satisfying on a very deep, basic level.
Delighting in killing someone for the hell of it is just psychopathic. Like Saddam.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 1:57 PM

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i wish the executions in the usa were shown on television. frankly, if i were thinking about murder or found myself in a position to be thinking about it, it would cause me to think twice if i knew that my execution would be televised. and the fact that these criminals are going to be put to death anyway just strengthens my opinion that not much would change as far as outcome for the convicted. perhaps potential murderers would also think twice about killing someone if the knew that they would NOT be housed, fed, clothed, medically cared for, and even paid for the entire time they were "housed" in prison.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 2:07 PM

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When will we move forward?

Just because Saddam was a murderer, doesn't give us the right to be murderers. Get it?

If your child hits, do you turn around and punch him in the face? No (well, judging by your post, I would actually be kind of scared if you were my mom).

But, do you get it? We don't become evil to fight evil. We don't become what we condemn. To become what we condemn is to be no better.

We think we're so advanced as a society, but look around,
we're F***ING animals.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007, 8:39 PM

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8:39, you're pretty far out with your child analogy. After all, a single hanging of a convicted mass murderer is a pretty tame punishment. Scolding a child is meant to make the child learn and you really think Saddam is a candidate for reform? Thanks for the laugh!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 12:05 AM

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So you think we're F***ING animals because we had a hand in Saddam's hanging? I wonder what you think of the half billion radical Islamic or any terrorist group who basically have said out loud that they hate the westerns, the Jews should just be wiped out completely and any other religion or thing that they fear gets in their way. Maybe we should just sit back, pull out our troops in this mess we created over there, never get involved, slowly dismantle our intelligence and army's and let them come onto our soil and do what they really want to do? We all know the real reason we are over there, OIL, but quite frankly we should have done away with Saddam a decade ago for the way he broke every damn sanction and treaty. WAKE UP PEOPLE, the media doesn't report ALL THE FACTS, most of it you won't even hear and believe it or not some things the public never knows about and shouldn't. I think some of the posters were a bit harsh but the liberals are living in a bubble. You just can't have peace, it doesn't happen and it won't ever happen as long as there are men like, Saddam, Hitler and terrorist groups, these sorts of people/groups instill the next generation to think the same. They just breed more hate. Unfortunately we depend on the oil and that is something that will need to change. But think of this, Iraq, Iran and North Korea teaming up together. Scary force? I think so, is it possible that this was a distraction for what might be taking place right now with these 3 forces? Personally I don't consider myself dem or repub and definitely not liberal, I'm a bit of all but I'm not naive enough to ever think that Bush is anything compared to Saddam or has MADE this happen. I for one want to know that we are safe in this country and that means fighting battles some where else. People are entitled to all their opinions and should be allowed to speak their minds. I for one feel that our country has become to lax and unaware of the rest of the world, we worry about what's politically correct, fear hurting anyones feelings, the liberals have gone to far and need a wake up call.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 9:59 AM

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I don't believe that Saddam was a candidate for reform. I don't believe that coming down to the same level as someone who we believe to be such an aweful person makes us any better. It makes us the same as him.

The liberals "bubble" is the only thing keeping this ship a float. If it weren't for liberal minds who knows where we may be. Oh, wait, there would still be slavery, all woman would be at home with the children and wouldn't be allowed to vote, and most gay people would still be in the closet. Thank Alah for the liberal minds who allow this country to explore new ideas and allow this world to progress forward.

I'd also like to add something. I love all the Christians who believe in the death penalty (I'm sure there are many who don't, but, also, many that do). I was taught that God is in favor of forgivness, not retribution. I am a recovering-Catholic, but I still believe in forgivness. It's not our place to judge who should live or die. I do, however, believe in punishment for social order.

I don't think that everyone should believe the same thing, but most of us believe that killing someone is wrong. Many people coming together to kill a "bad man" makes it okay?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 2:01 PM

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in no way do i agree that to execute a serial killer or mass murderer like saddam, for instance, is acting just like him. he tortured and raped and murdered many, many thousands of innocent people for his own causes. killing him was not to further a cause or scare people into abidding by our word. it was punishment. and the fact that it should have been free from tormenting comments by the executioners is absurd. how can we say that to praise such a monster is ok, but to shout adverse opinions is not ok?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 2:43 PM

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2:01 thank Alah for the liberal minds? Do you think the radical Islamic's are liberal thinkers? If you do I feel tormented by this. The liberals are not keeping this country afloat and Lincoln was not a liberal, although back in his day he might have been thought that, certainly not in this day. Even the word liberal has become to extreme. I am sure that most people would never kill or even want to kill a person but think of this: If your parents were murdered in front of you and your sister raped and tortured because they believed in something different then the leader of a country and had the nerve to speak out about it, given the chance when he is captured and handed over to you are you saying you would let him live? I think anyone can say they would never kill someone BUT anger, hurt, rage is a likely motivator and I think many people would be surprised at what they are actual capable of doing in that sort of situation. Or think of this, someone breaks into your home, hurts you and your loved ones just out of a random crime because they can, you have a gun are you telling me you wouldn't shoot that person to protect you and yours? We think we can't but we all have a natural instinctual basic need to survive, in that way we are an animal race, if we didn't have that need none of us would be here now and we certainly wouldn't be on the top of the food chain. We are here to survive and I for one don't think that any person who is human deserves the right to live if they commit heinous crimes like mass genocide, torture, human testing just to name a few of Saddams crimes against the mass population of people he is supposed to be protecting. There are reasons 3rd world countries are just that and it is the people in government. Africa is a very rich country but look at the situation over there, the government is killing its own people to keep themselves in power. Keep mass population scared of you and you remain in power. Many in Iraq want democracy and freedom but are still too scared to speak out in fear they will be killed. I have 2 friends who fled from Iraq after having family members killed in front of them in the middle of the night or imprisoned for the sole reason that they disagreed with their government and were said to be dangerous to the public. I listen to these comments and feel sadden that people in this country still don't see how good we have it, how easy life is to so many of us over here, after all there is a reason so many foreigners want to come here. I speak to people from other countries who now live here and it seems to me they have more respect for this country and the system then American born citizens do. I wish I could blame it on the media but we all have access to unbiased news that really tells the truth but we have so many who jump the gun and believe what they hear. It is truly sad that people feel sorry for the hanging of a truly evil man who victimized a nation for way too long. Your sympathy should lie with those 100,000 + victims of his.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 6:54 PM

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6:54 Amen to that and well said!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 7:12 PM

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It's not sympathy. It's the belief that no one has the right to take another person's life, no matter how terrible that person may be.

Killing for self-defense is another story.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 10:19 PM

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With that thinking, you must find the military and everyone in it morally reprehensible. They're trained to kill and it's not self-defense, it's country/idealism/oilprice defense (WWI - not on our turf, VietNam - not a threat to US life and limb but that didn't stop us, Revolutionary War - taxation without representation, I could go on). It should be entertaining to see how black-or-white thinkers wrap their inflexible minds around that.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007, 11:45 PM

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