Wednesday, November 08, 2006
And another thing that I have resisted commenting on thus far is the death sentence handed out to former Baghdad strongman Saddam Hussein. Though I am, like most civilised people, against the institutional murder of even the worst of humankind, I cannot say that I am going to lose too much sleep for Saddam. Raymond Field, auxiliary bishop of Dublin, and chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Justice Commission, a body that sounds like something out of The Godfather Part III, has chipped in with his two cents worth, saying that the decision is likely to further polarise the various communities in Iraq. Is that possible? It was fairly obvious from the start that the trial was going to be a glorified kangaroo court, lacking the mandate of a majority of people in Iraq, but that is how the Americans and the British wanted it. Summary justice with a slim patina of democratic and judicial process is probably the best that can be expected from the mess that these two promoters of democracy have instigated in Iraq. Still, I'll shed no tears for Saddam; there are many liberals that claim that one's opposition to the death penalty ought to be total, extending even to cases involving monsters such as Saddam, Pinochet, Pol Pot and others. Irresponsible it might sound, but I would be quite willing to miss that meeting and let the mob have their way.