Over kill
Posted by aogSaturday, 30 December 2006 at 11:47 TrackBack Ping URL

I have to say that I have found the heavy coverage of Saddam Hussein’s execution in the blogosphere somewhat macrabe. It seems to me more like cleaning up a mess than something to obsess about. It’s unpleasent, but you do what you have to because the world is better place for doing it. But I can’t see the point of the endless bulletins, updates, live blogging, etc. (I’m not sure what all, because I tuned it out). In my view, it would be additional deserved punishment to treat it as no more important than cleaning up an industrial spill.

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cjm Saturday, 30 December 2006 at 21:31

agreed. there just isn’t any value in discussing saddam any longer. the news channels were like a fat person at a buffet, rushing to get all the saddam coverage in before they had to rush out and pretend to care about ford passing.

Annoying Old Guy Saturday, 30 December 2006 at 22:54

I don’t mind people discussing the implications of the execution (such as here) — that can be quite interesting. But the breathless step by step coverage like Joan Rivers at the Academy Awards is just a bit over the top.

cjm Saturday, 30 December 2006 at 23:23

maybe it’s just me having a reaction to bush, the last election (here), etc, but i just have no appetite for empty speculation and hollow opinions. when someone has expertise and experience in a given area, that is one thing. or a small community (like your fine site) exchanging thoughts and ideas. but all the generalists out there, like a george will, or a dean esmay, just don’t provide any value for the time it takes to go over their output.

ot: brent skowcroft, the court pimp for bush#41 (wimp’s pimp), wanted saddam spared the death penalty. what an odious toad of a creature he is.

Steven Wood Monday, 01 January 2007 at 02:38

I disagree with the death penalty in general so therefore have to disagree with it, even in this case, being something that in your words “you have to do”. As for it being compared to the cleaning of industrial spillage - get real. The “jubilant” crowds I saw on TV were of course shia’s flaunting images of Ayatollah Khomeini a man so reviled by the US they supported saddams war with him. As you can guess I’m not optimistic for 2007 in Iraq, or for its propsects of it becoming anything approaching a western style democracy. You seem only too aware of the problems regarding muslims and sharia law and representive democracy etc. Anyway - happy 2007!

cjm Monday, 01 January 2007 at 12:41

wood, i know your politics so i know all your opinions already. you really don’t need to post anything here. something must be lacking in all the leftist blogs that you feel the need to post elsewhere. of course if a leftist brain were capable of inference…

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 01 January 2007 at 12:59

cjm;

I think that’s a bit over the top. If you have specific points, then have at him, but I don’t think Mr. Wood is even close to being the kind of troll that deserves such a blanket dismissal.

Mr. Wood;

Ah, but that was my point — I don’t find that sort of jubilance very becoming either. I think there’s at least the germ of a plausible slippery slope argument to be made with regards to when people stop viewing the death penalty as “fun” instead of an unpleasant necessity.

cjm Monday, 01 January 2007 at 14:51

aog: i don’t view wood as a troll, and didn’t refer to him in those terms. a leftist is a leftist is a leftist. by definition, members of a collective don’t have individual opinions or feelings. their world is received. do you really expect to get anything worth reading from a person who thinks mass murdering tyrants shouldn’t be put down ? having said that, i take your point and will refrain from responding to wood in the future.

Jeff Guinn Monday, 01 January 2007 at 19:49

Mr. Wood:

The only drawback to the death penalty is the potential for executing an innocent person.

That, manifestly, does not apply here.

There’s no saying precisely what level of savagery is required to permanently forfeit existence on this planet, but whatever it is, Saddam cleared it by hundreds of thousands.

Corpses, that is.

Steven Wood Tuesday, 02 January 2007 at 06:53

CJM - you need to get a grip, you’re obsessed with the invisible foe (“the lefties”) who represent all that is wrong with the world. It is a common fault of the “right” though, they have to have something to define themselveses in contrast to. Tell me - what exactly qualifies in your tiny mind as a leftie these days ? btw - i’ve never read a sensible word from you on this blog, so being indeed capable of inference, you’ll know what I think that makes you. What did you think of pinochet incidentally - should he have been put to death ?

Mr Guin,

Surely even you are capable of feeling the slightest hint of unease at the scenes of “justice” now doing the rounds on youtube. It looks as much like revenge as justice, and if this is what our troops are getting sent to die in order to deliver to iraq then it should be yet another reason to oppose the invasion. Does it not make you question what sort of people will be leading the “free” Iraq ?

As for this :

There’s no saying precisely what level of savagery is required to permanently forfeit existence on this planet, but whatever it is, Saddam cleared it by hundreds of thousands.

I could easliy point to the number of indo-chinese killed by the US here - over 3,000,000, many as a direct consequence of the use of chemical weapons. The number of iraqis killed by the US in both wars is fairly hefty now too. The poor kurds who saddam massacred - denied their own homeland by Turkey too, and repressed and slaughtered by the turkish government as well. Savagery it seems is something that like terrorism in your dictionary is what other people do. I’ve no problem with seeing men like saddam brought to justice, what I do have a problem with is a) the pretence that this is Iraqi justice in which the US “cannot” interfere - since when was this the case ? and b) Why is everybody not subject to the same standards as saddam ? When the Israelis arrest and hold without charge 10,000 people - you’ve no problem with it and see it as legitimate anti terrorism measures, when anyone not in club US does it, it’s an act of repression and savagery - whats the difference ?

cjm Tuesday, 02 January 2007 at 13:34

thank you for proving my point so completely.

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 02 January 2007 at 15:09

Mr. Wood;

I could easliy point to the number of indo-chinese killed by the US here - over 3,000,000, many as a direct consequence of the use of chemical weapons. The number of iraqis killed by the US in both wars is fairly hefty now too.

What an archetypical example of the dehumanization of non-Westerns — i.e. that no matter who does what, only the USA has the moral agency to be responsible. For example, going directly from your statement, the USA is the morally responsible party for every car bomb set off by its enemies.

You’re also being a bit inconsistent here. You seem to claim that

  1. The USA forced Iraq to execute Saddam Hussein (‘the pretence that this is Iraqi justice in which the US “cannot” interfere’)
  2. The Iraqis are too enthusiastic about the execution.

Which is it? A reluctant Iraqi government bowing to American pressure or domestic pressure (i.e., acting like an independent, representative government)?

As for your final question about the difference, it is liberal democratic accountability and rule of law vs. not. Here’s a good book on precisely that subject.

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