The World wants to see bloodSaturday, December 30, 2006 at 18:48 | Posted in Iraq | 4 Comments
Tags: capital punishment, dictators, saddam
Janne quotes the most popular search arguments of YouTube at this moment. My referer log confirms that the World is interested in Saddam’s death and not only the death as such. People want to see him hang, they want to see video coverage of the actual execution.
What is the matter with all these people? Do they not believe that Saddam has gone unless they see it with their own eyes? Did they suddenly lose confidence in the same news sources they rely on every day?
The sad truth is of course that people want to see blood. They do not only want to see Saddam dead but they also seek the bizarre experience of seeing him humiliated. They want to see a dead man stripped off his dignity and hung up in the gallows.
What Saddam did was terrible. He left hundreds and thousands of dead bodies behind both in gallows and other places. I suppose you could say that if Saddam did not deserve a capital punishment then nobody else would.
I asked this morning how many of Saddam’s victims will be brought back thanks to his execution. If there were even the slightest chance of recovering but one of the lives taken away by Saddam and his regime, I would endorse hanging him without as much as blinking an eye. But I am never going to endorse a punishment motivated by revenge.
As I wrote when the initial death sentence was announced, hanging Saddam and raising children in spirit of enjoying to see him hang is not likely to bring humanity or democracy to the Iraqi society, no matter what the hang man says. I have said on many occasions that a society has a moral right to punish its members only if the society itself holds higher moral standards than the offenders being punished. By killing a murderer, even a murderer of Saddam’s class and magnitude, a society descends to the moral level of a murderer.
In case of Iraq it is not a matter of descending because the Iraqi society has never been above that moral level. This execution shows that there is little, if any, hope to see the Iraqi society raise above the moral level of a murderer.
So the blood thirsty part of the World is googling for hang videos of Saddam. They are obviously many enough to make it the top search argument of the hour. Those statistics do not reflect all of us who are not glad to see Saddam or anybody else in gallows which makes it impossible to conclude what the majority of the World thinks about the hanging.
We can only dream of a World which would not have revenge as a major motive of action. It would hardly be realistic to even dream about a World without need of revenge. Ergo, the human kind will never learn the lesson of giving up the thirst for blood.