Sunday, December 31, 2006

So, Farewell Then, Saddam

Television takes things very literally. If there’s a news item “Schools are closing for the summer holidays” they show you a shot of an empty classroom, just to make sure you understand what “summer holidays” and “school closed” means.

If there is a news item “More tourists are visiting the countryside” they show you a shot of firstly a tourist and then some countryside, just to make sure you understand.

And if there is a news item, “Saddam Hussein was hanged today” then blow me, if you just happen to turn on the telly, mid-afternoon, as I did, and there’s Saddam at the gallows, having a noose put round his neck. Good job they showed me, because I’d never have been able to imagine it – and great educational value for all the kids watching too.
“You grow up to be a dictator, little Eddie, and this is what will happen to you, so think on.”
Sadly they didn’t show us Saddam actually plunging to his death – what a shame eh? Otherwise they could have used it in all future dictator-was-hanged-today stories, just so we could know exactly what it means.

I don’t believe in the death penalty. That’s not to say that I don’t think Saddam was an evil tyrant – I do. Matthew Parris (who’s a Conservative, I feel I should point out) wrote in a column in The Times at the time of the Iraq War that (and I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist) going around invading other people’s countries is really never a good idea. You think that Right, and God, are on your side – well, guess what, so do they, and they believe it just as strongly as you do. But, of course, we know we’re right. AND SO DO THEY.

Also, has anybody ever invaded another country out of pure selfless altruism and a desire to help its people? I really don’t think so. There are always other issues involved, invariably to do with money and power.

Enough of that. The death penalty. Saddam and his men showed no mercy so why should we? Hang the bastard. Torture him first, though, just so he knows what it felt like for his victims.

And then, of course, we are no better than him. Oh, ah, yes, well – we’ll miss out the torture bit, just to show we’re superior. We’ll just put a rope round his neck and hang him.

Hmm - - still a bit barbaric, for 2006, nearly 2007, don’t you think?

Ah - - well, we’d better show it’s all legal and decent and not barbaric at all, with some proper Paperwork. “All the necessary paperwork is in place,” we were told a couple of days back. Thank goodness for that!

In the USA they take the paperwork to its logical conclusion: you have to undergo a medical examination to make sure you’re “fit for execution”.
“I’m sorry, Bobby, you’ve got a bit of a cold. No execution for you today, I’m afraid. Here’s some Lemsip, come back on Thursday when you’re feeling better.”

What do I think they should have done with Saddam Hussein? Kept him in a remote jail, treated decently, but never, never let us hear anything about him ever again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

* applause *

2:21 pm  

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