Hang Him High (And In High Def)!
A genuine Festivus miracle is poised to transpire within days.
Saddam Hussein could be hanged within days after the rejection of his appeal by Iraq's highest court yesterday.
The death sentence from the first trial must be implemented within 30 days, the chief judge, Aref Shahin, said yesterday, hinting that it could come even sooner: "From tomorrow, any day could be the day of implementation."
Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, a member of the Shia majority persecuted under Saddam's Sunni-minority rule, has already said he wants the execution to take place before the end of the year.
What's more, we may have the opportunity for righteous revelry in the overdue event from the comfort of our living rooms.
One option would be to do it without prior announcement in an attempt to forestall possible protests - though some Shia elements have called for the hanging to be televised. Saddam, 69, is in the custody of US forces, so Washington could also have a say in the timing.
(Timing, incidentally, which we should all proactively question...)
It's beyond the scope of this post to delve into the propriety of capital punishment (which of course is, suffice it to say without the bother of such delving, totally proper for duly convicted capital criminals (not to mention the real baddies like cop killers and terrorists (and sparing even the most glancing consideration history's most heinously genocidal tyrants))), but a mild intellectual treatment of the propriety of its televised broadcast is perhaps somewhat more worthwhile.
It's little more than gratuitous, politically-motivated sating of the basest bloodlust of the masses, opponents will say. A cheap, transparent attempt by the Bush Administration (which is obviously not singly dictating such variables, but, as noted above, with Saddam in U.S. custody, may indeed get a vote) to distract the public from an unpopular war, a disastrous quagmire, a misguided misadventure to settle a family score, to quench an oil addiction, etc., etc., etc.
Nannyism will disquiet others, keen on protecting the innocent eyes of channel- or web-surfing youngsters and imprudent adults alike from images that will corrupt and desensitize their sensibilities and from indulgences that will bankrupt their souls.
To the former, I say, "Deal with it. This is a big and hard-won payoff in this enduring effort, with immense practical and symbolic significance. The implications and conequences of that moment may be inconvenient to your cause, but let those who recognize its significance and momentousness appreciate it." To the latter, I say, "Change the channel, keep an eye on your kids, password-protect the PC, and worry about your own soul. If the Iraqis are willing to visually document this seminal moment in a massive global endeavor, I'm appreciative of the opportunity to avail myself of it. You don't need to want to see it in order for others' desire to see it (or, perhaps more importantly, their desire to be able to see it) to remain valid."
So, in a parlance that went out of vogue earlier in this struggle, bring it on!
Handcrafted by Flip on December 26, 2006 |
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