Sunday, January 07, 2007

Coffee Talk

This past week the government of Iraq carried out the death sentence of Sadaam Hussein. There is very little argument that Hussein was a harsh and brutal leader, and that he had commited numerous civil and moral injustices in his lifetime. However, the type of execution and the timing of the execution of Hussein has left me with a few questions. I never thought that I would ever have a feeling of sympathy or compassion for Hussein, but that is almost what I am feeling. It is a questionable government that can evoke that kind of emotional from a public that has been trained to hate Hussein (to put it lightly). I say the type of execution because it was not injection or gas, but it was by hanging. However, when killing someone, no matter what they have done, can you call upon ethics? Is there an ethical way to kill? I guess you could say humane, but what does that mean? I have always thought that each human being has inherent rights, but are those ever trump by our actions? The timing of the execution is another issue. His execution was moved up to apparently correspond with the intense Muslim holiday Eid-al-Adha. Was this to further insult him because the Muslims that carried out the sentence would not want lessen their own holiday, would they?
So many questions, here is the recap:
1. Is there an ethical way to kill someone?
2. Why was Hussein executed during a religious holiday?
Talk Amongst Yourselves...


Dan said...

Ethics and killing are an oxymoron. There is no such thing. But there is justice and punishment for crimes. Sometimes you need more harsh of consequences for commiting harsh crimes. This goes back to the conversation we had a while ago about society and what laws etc. create the environment we want. If the consequence of stealing was to have your hand cut off, maybe less people would do it vs. just getting probation or a minimum jail sentence. Same goes for murder, rape etc. The goal is to deter, and punish if the law is violated. Saddam violated international law and ethical treatment laws, therefore he gets the sentence of hanging.

Now for the second question, why on a religious holiday...that's very interesting. I'm not sure what's all out there about that, but one thing I did hear on Michael Savage's radio show today was that he was turned over to group of Iraqi's that were a part of a radical group of religious people on the same level as far as cruel and unusual punishment as Saddam was. If that were true, it may be that they wanted to sacrifice him in a religious way. I'd have to look into that more though.

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