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lucinate
Wow the wicked man-witch of the middle east is dead!!

I can't believe he hasn't been assassinated in all this time. Only one attempt.

It won't change things in Iraq but do you agree with the death sentence?
Paul
Hmmm. I am not totally against the death sentance. But wonder if all this was such a good idea. Seems to have a lot of potential to cause a lot more problems.

Saddam was not a good bloke. Well, he can join many many other world leaders in that department. He wasn't the worst either (in my opinion). Should we go about knocking them all off? And who decides which ones?

Hmmm, I am just not convinced that this whole thing was done correctly and with the best intentions / nor likely end results.

Oh well. Never mind.
z e n t o
Punishing a violent person with more violence is just hypocrisyin my book. I am completely against the death sentence. We are not gods nor even demi-gods to go about deciding who will die and who will live, no matter what wrongs were comitted.

The people that killed Saddam Hussein, be it the man who tied the noose or the men who made the desicion, have become exactly what the punished man was....a killer.

I am furious with the outcome of this. And I can't believe that killing is still the only way people know how to solve things. It's pathetic, archaic, uncivilized, barbaric, and it leaves me with a low sense of hope for the future, and for this world. Shame on them.
dalian
Respectfully, I would argue that those who placed the noose over Saddam’s head were not “killers”, nor was the person who pulled the lever which allowed his body to drop. I would add that the Judge(s) who pronounced his sentence are not killers either.

In each case they are simply applying justice in a lawful manner and in due course.

I do not view this as “punishment”, per se, rather the appropriate and lawful consequence of a particular choice. So, as a parent I establish rules for my children, and if they break them in clear defiance they are disciplined. It is my God-given authority to parent my children; in fact, as the leader of my household it is expected of me.

I view capital punishment in a similar fashion. Although we are not gods or demi-gods, we have the God-given authority to execute judgment, including death, under certain conditions – murder being one of them.

The notion of “killing” people to solving problems does not apply to the execution of Saddam Hussein, nor anyone else for that matter, convicted of a capital offense.

Lastly, I base my position concerning capital punishment and the authority to enforce law and order on the following, which I would encourage you to consider. Ex 21:23-25, Lev 24:17-20, Num 35:16-18, Deut 19:21 and Rom 13:1-6, and lastly concerning revenge, Rom 12:17-21.
mtrmsd
QUOTE(dalian @ Dec 30 2006, 03:59 PM) *

Respectfully, I would argue that those who placed the noose over Saddam’s head were not “killers”, nor was the person who pulled the lever which allowed his body to drop. I would add that the Judge(s) who pronounced his sentence are not killers either.

In each case they are simply applying justice in a lawful manner and in due course.

I do not view this as “punishment”, per se, rather the appropriate and lawful consequence of a particular choice. So, as a parent I establish rules for my children, and if they break them in clear defiance they are disciplined. It is my God-given authority to parent my children; in fact, as the leader of my household it is expected of me.

I view capital punishment in a similar fashion. Although we are not gods or demi-gods, we have the God-given authority to execute judgment, including death, under certain conditions – murder being one of them.


Would you then approve of the "appropriate and lawful" execution of George W. Bush and all other Presidents since FDR? If you are using precedent set by the U.S. at Nuremburg all of these men should be executed for their crimes.

Historically the United States government does not believe in justice if it means U.S. citizens will be held accountable for their actions. The Presidents are the best examples, but then you can look at other war criminals such as Curtis LeMay. You can also look at the present war to see how we refuse to hand soldiers over to other countries for prosecution.

QUOTE(dalian @ Dec 30 2006, 03:59 PM) *
The notion of “killing” people to solving problems does not apply to the execution of Saddam Hussein, nor anyone else for that matter, convicted of a capital offense.

Lastly, I base my position concerning capital punishment and the authority to enforce law and order on the following, which I would encourage you to consider. Ex 21:23-25, Lev 24:17-20, Num 35:16-18, Deut 19:21 and Rom 13:1-6, and lastly concerning revenge, Rom 12:17-21.

Hans and Sophie Scholl were convicted of a capital offense and "justly" executed under the ruling of the People's Court and Roland Freisler. Just because this occured under (Nazi) law doesn't justify it. Again, you can argue, as you said, "they are simply applying justice in a lawful manner," but I don't think you would defend the Nazi judicial system.

I don't believe in the death penalty for many reasons. Those who do believe in the death penalty in the United States tend to believe in it from an American perspective. If our allies and leaders were subject to the same system and prosecution of our enemies, you wouldn't see wars like Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and many of the past.
Paul
Seems a bit wrong quoting a Christian bible to back up killing someone in a Muslim country. What has your religion got to do with the right or wrong or killing some one else????????????
wakingdream
Hmmm, a sensitive topic here. I think I can understand and do believe in arguments from both sides. I agree with Zento in many ways, but then I have to think; what about all of the people who lost their lives b/c of him? How do their families feel? What is justice? Two wrongs do not make a right, no, but what is an appropriate sentence for a person such as Saddam. I cannot in all honesty say that I am sorry he is dead. I just can't. I was relieved to see that at least he was sent back to his family and allowed a proper berial, b/c I believe , no matter what, every human being should have that right, whether their hearts are evil or not. The family deserves that. I think on Paul's thoughts; is this just going to make things worse?
hdh
QUOTE(wakingdream @ Jan 2 2007, 06:19 AM) *

I think on Paul's thoughts; is this just going to make things worse?


It seems to me that the best thing to come out of this is that some people in Iraq are now free to live, and act, without the haunting fear that Saddam will somehow return to power and their actions will come back to haunt them.

The saddest thing is the way it was done. It just demonstrated that "they" are no better than he was.

I'm surprised the family was allowed the body back. Morally, yes absolutely they should have it. Pragmatically, seems like a focus for future resentment to fester around.

Dave
Paul
Will it make things worse? I hope not. But suspect in the short term at least it already has.

The current government of Iraq lacks legitimacy. It does not represent the Sunnis, who refused to take part in the elections; and whilt the enormous US military presence is there, it can only be seen, to some extent at least as a puppet of the US.

The rush to convict and kill Saddam under these circumstances, seems likely therefor to further split the Sunnis and Shi'ites. The way it was done and the film of it has only added to this. Plus it gives further ammo to the extremists.

Surely a more intelligent thing for the govt would have been to leave Saddam quietly rotting in jail, while they got on with building schools, getting power to everyone, stopping the daily violence and getting Sunnis more and more involved with the governing of Iraq.

The conviction and killing of Saddam (if it was necessary at all) would have been much better done at a time when Iraqis feel safe, represented and that there country is progressing forward. it would then be a sign of how things are improving and not going back.

At the moment I think it is a reminder that Iraq is in a civil war and a new group is in power and will exploit the others if they don't do what they are told. It is a reminder that Shi'ite militias have the power to kill people quickly in Iraq
z e n t o
I just read an interesting quote from a Truman Capote book, concerning the death penalty, that reminded me of this thread:

"It is a relic of human barbarism. The law tells us that the taking of a human life is wrong, then goes ahead and sets the example. Which is almost as wicked as the crime it punished. The state has no right to inflict it. It isn't effective. It doesn't deter crime, but merely cheapens the human life and gives rise to more murders."

My thoughts exactly on this subject, but more eloquently written smile.gif
renogamble
I was against the death penalty when I was a bit younger (32 now) but that has changed more so into accepting it as a condition of life. There will be wars, death, peace and such. The death penalty and other punishable crimes are in place because of the desire to preserve a 'sense' of 'law and order.'
z e n t o
I hardly see how the death penalty "preserves" a sense of law and order. It thwarts it. Yes, dying is a part of living as we must all die. But why condemn other murderers for taking lives, when the death penalty, quintessentially, is also taking lives. It is hypocritical.

I believe in a life of punishment in imprisionment and hard labor to really change anything in the system or in a man, and even in human nature. I just hope nothing in this life happnes to me, that I may change my point of view.....like I know so many people have.
wakingdream
See, that's where I get a little iffy on the subject. I hardly think a life of imprisonment and hard labour is punishment enough for a person who has committed horrendous acts against other, innocent people. The punishment does not seem to fit the crime. There are people who are spending life sentences in jail for things such as trafficking drugs and growing marijuana. I question that, but it's a whole other topic.
Though in essence putting someone to death for murder/crimes against humanity can be seen as hyprocritical for sure, the circumstances in which the act is occurring are much different then someone who might choose to go on a murderous rampage and kill innocent people for no reason.
Just a few thoughts there.....
whereshegoes
Someone who commits such horrendous acts is more often than not, quite mentally ill. Moreover, people committing such acts are doing so from a place of hatred, fear and negativity. If they are abiding in such a place, are we not just confirming their self hate (which is where it all stems from) by killing them? I do not believe in the death penalty.

I do not try to force my spiritual beliefs on anyone but honestly, how do we know what happens after death? What if the place they go to is not punishment at all? What if we are ending their time on this earth prematurely and it is disrupting the natural path of what is meant to be?
z e n t o
Gandhi once said: (I'm paraphrasing here) "If you seek to fight, then ask yourself if you are fighting to change things or if you are fighting to punish".

If we are "fighting" against people who do wrong upon humankind, we should proactively do it to change murder/rape/genocide incidents in every nation, not to just punish the sole evildoer.

The death penalty ONLY punishes.
wakingdream
QUOTE
I do not try to force my spiritual beliefs on anyone but honestly, how do we know what happens after death? What if the place they go to is not punishment at all? What if we are ending their time on this earth prematurely and it is disrupting the natural path of what is meant to be?


Yeah, good point there Carm.
rbisset
You see his aides where hanged yesterday and one of them got decapitated by the noose!
whereshegoes
Well I once thought about it like this.

What if, we gave the death penalty to someone who, if not killed, would have been fulfilling their fate by killing 20 year old Adolf Hitler?

That is extreme. But I am just pointing out, that we, in our very small understanding of how things work, may not be able to see the big picture when "deciding" someones fate.
hdh
QUOTE(whereshegoes @ Jan 16 2007, 05:53 AM) *

What if, we gave the death penalty to someone who, if not killed, would have been fulfilling their fate by killing 20 year old Adolf Hitler?


That's an easy one: Its no different than if they weren't going to kill Hitler.

Even if you grant the morality of killing someone for what they've done, it's a pretty big leap to killing someone for what they might be going to do, particularly if they don't already have a history of doing it before. Hitler at that stage hadn't done anything.
whereshegoes
What I am trying to say is that everything has a effect. (ie. butterfly effect) When we tamper with natures course and play god, how do we know we are not affecting the entire fate of the universe? Now, this has gone pretty off topic but you get my point.

I am just saying, that I don't think anyone has the right to take peoples lives based on what they think is right and wrong. Killing is killing.

Homicide:

1. the killing of one human being by another.
2. a person who kills another; murderer.

One of my favorite quotes:

"For it is only by spreading love & joy to others that hate in this world can be changed to understanding & kindness and war and destruction shall end."
stevejames
QUOTE(whereshegoes @ Jan 15 2007, 05:12 PM) *

What I am trying to say is that everything has a effect. (ie. butterfly effect) When we tamper with natures course and play god, how do we know we are not affecting the entire fate of the universe? Now, this has gone pretty off topic but you get my point.

This assumes that nature actually has a "course"... and that such thing as "fate" exists. I don't see any evidence for either of these things to be true.

QUOTE(whereshegoes @ Jan 15 2007, 05:12 PM) *

I am just saying, that I don't think anyone has the right to take peoples lives based on what they think is right and wrong. Killing is killing.

I'm completely with you on that.
whereshegoes
QUOTE(stevejames @ Jan 15 2007, 03:39 PM) *

QUOTE(whereshegoes @ Jan 15 2007, 05:12 PM) *

What I am trying to say is that everything has a effect. (ie. butterfly effect) When we tamper with natures course and play god, how do we know we are not affecting the entire fate of the universe? Now, this has gone pretty off topic but you get my point.

This assumes that nature actually has a "course"... and that such thing as "fate" exists. I don't see any evidence for either of these things to be true.



Perhaps. This does come down to ones personal beliefs. But nature does seem to have a cyclical pattern, no? Circle of life? Well, that's my observation. Fate on the other hand is something we would need to start an entire new thread for.
radsolv
Several points: In different Posts.

My understanding of 'fate' is that it is all predetermined and unalterable; only a drama to be played out according to the fixed script. Therefore, neither man nor god can interfere with it as exemplified in many Greek tragedies. Oedipus Rex, eg.

"killing is killing" seemingly with the implication that it is never justified no matter my personal beliefs. Now one of my personal beliefs happens to be that my life is as precious to me as yours is to you. If it is clearly a case of you kill me if I don't kill you first. for me that's a no brainer. A decision every combat soldier must make every time he faces the enemy. And some ghetto dwellers when facing gun drawn racist police. But sometimes an brandished ID card is no match for 40 slugs from five cops.

Now a Jain would die first before taking the life of a deadly tse-tse fly as would some Buddhists. But the rest of us??
radsolv
A week or so ago I watched a reporter on '60 minutes' get a surprising interview with George W. Bush. He asked some hard questions and got the usual evasive answers.

One of the questions asked of GWB was had he watched the video of the hanging of Sadaam Hussein. Yes he admitted, part of it. "Not where he fell through the trap door?" "No, I did stop watching before that." I find it most interesting. As governor of Texas Bush allowed some 130 capital executions to proceed never commuting or even investigating a single one. But he couldn't summon the stomach to watch this arch villain twist in the wind.

And yet he continues to send thousands to their deaths -- Americans as well as Iraqis.
radsolv
Double Standards.

A few of the above Posters imply that there are some double standards at work, especially as regards the USA. And I agree completely. Double standards have always angered me, ever since an elementary school teacher would decide to make an example of some one ignoring much more serious offenders.

The victors not only write the history but also put the losers on trial, often retroactively applying new laws made to fit the circumstances and the pre determined outcome.

There was, and again, is no death penalty in Israel, but it was instituted for the benefit of Adolph Eichman and John Dumaniak.

Now Sadaam was sentenced to death after being convicted of executing some 130 Iraqis. They had been convicted of participating in an attempted assassination of Sadam. Of course you say that he also killed thousands of others, probably true.

But Madeline Albright, Clinton's Secty of State, did not deny that sanctions caused the deaths of half a million Iraqis. "We feel the price was worth it." But who paid the price.

And Tony Blair when asked how he slept being responsible for the deaths of hundred thousand Iraqis responded: "I think you'll find it was closer to 50,000."

And George W. Bush?? With his Shock and Awe. For how many deaths should we hold him responsible?
Depends on whose stats you believe. But several orders of magnitude more than SH.

My point is GWB should have been in the accused dock along side the Arab Hitler. With judges and jury from Antartica or Mars. Such a trial of course could never happen.

However, some years ago I saw an interesting TV program: [Such things Do exist.] "The Trial of George Washington" It's premise was that the Rebels, and remember that is what our 'Founding Fathers" were, lost the war against Great Britain and GW was put on trial for treason. Funny, I forget how it came out. But think maybe he was convicted and possibly condemned to hang.

So innocence or guilt depends not on abstract immutable moral principles, but whether you won or lost the fight.

I think it would be a most interesting exercise for maybe a talented play write to write a drama in which Stalin, Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt all go on trial at the same time with the same Single Standards applying to all their acts. But above all, the writer must be objective.
radsolv
One final thought on the death penalty. I am not philosophically opposed to it but in practical terms I am pretty much aligned with those who oppose it.

If someone has committed a particularly heinous crime and it can be proved beyond, not a reasonable doubt, but beyond the shadow of a doubt, I'd say go ahead and it could be as cruel and unusual as the crime itself.

Recall that not too long ago insane people were blamed for their own insanity and treated cruelly. Now of course we accept that insanity is a defect in the brain and the insane are treated with compassion in most countries. Even the criminally insane are treated decently though incarcerated, which is logical.

So little is known about the human brain and mind. Defendants can plead insanity but it is often rejected.

The point I want to make is that rather than executing some of these killers, rapists, wouldn't it make sense to do some basic research, with proper safeguards naturally, to try to discover some of the root causes of such behavior? And hopefully some ways to modify it in more benign directions.
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