Monday, January 1, 2007

Justice and the Pursuit Thereof

Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public.
Edgar Watson Howe
US journalist (1853 - 1937)

Two days after we saw Saddam Hussein swing at the end of the noose of “justice” and we are shocked by the brazen use of violence to bring closer to those tortured at the hands of the man who once inhabited that limp body awaiting funeral, I wonder what has been accomplished.

While it seems trite to discuss this topic again, I am personal upset about the fact that I was interested in seeing the man hang. I am disappointed in myself. Hussein, the demonical tyrant and enemy of the United States, Israel and the people whom he terrorized for decades, is now dead and I watched it on YouTube.

It can be said with all fairness there were thousands of witnesses to the horrors preformed in the name of this man, hundreds of mass graves and probably millions of people without hands or eyes or feet due to him, it can also be said his trial was a sham. It was an exercise in reprisal. So was it just to take his life as punishment?

Regardless of the answer, every major newspaper is reporting headlines that read something to the effect of “Hussein Cold, Civil War still Hot.

I am conflicted on how to feel about this death. If there ever was someone who had it coming, it was Saddam Hussein. But it has changed nothing. Jews for centuries have been the people who were “if ever there were a people who had it coming” folks. Killing lots of Jews or even just the one who had been caught talking to the non-Jew in the town square also didn’t change anything. And it would seem that even in “justifiable” cases of the death penalty – such as with Hussein or Eichmann – nothing is resolved.

I watched this execution with bated breath, knowing full well that the door would open and Hussein would fall and twitch and then be dead. One more person is dead due to the war on Iraq. Iraq is no safer without Hussein, but he is dead and his death was called justice.

So let us pursue justice in the name of death. When does it become apparent that when we have to stop and question the death of such a man that we should stop pursuing death in the name of justice?

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