Mr. Richard Dicker, the director of Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program, opines that “…the execution of Saddam, a human rights monster, turned his unspeakable record upside down.” Well, this is an interesting theory of justice, to say the least, and one I’d not heard of before. Mr. Dicker’s statement does raise some interesting questions, though. Am I to assume then that the defendants at the Nuremberg trials are now absolved of their monstrous deeds, are now, in fact, to be considered one with their victims, simply because the Allied powers tried and executed them for crimes against humanity? Are we now to believe that the history books should raise the number of Holocaust victims to 6,000,001 because Israel executed Adolf Eichmann for his role in the other six million deaths? Or that the State of Illinois and John Wayne Gacy are somehow on the same moral and ethical plane since the Illinois Department of Corrections put an end to Mr. Gacy’s somewhat unsettling habit of murdering young men by strapping him down onto an unattractive example of modern American furniture and pumping him full of lethal chemicals? Somehow or other, I don’t think the victims of Saddam, the Nazis, or Mr. Gacy would agree with this grotesque conflation of their loved ones with the men who butchered them. Mr. Dicker’s statement is the sort of high-minded moral tommyrot you can only hear in a Western democracy, where the citizen goes to sleep at night knowing that the state will do its level best to protect him or her against the depredations of men like Saddam Hussein, and who either cannot or will not face the reality that the values of the democratic West mean little or nothing to the rulers of a good many countries on this planet. To say that Saddam’s execution turns his record upside down, that somehow the manner of his death cancels everything that led him to the gallows in the first place, to put that man, his victims, and the men who tried and executed him on the same level, insults the memory of those he and his murderous spawn slaughtered, mocks any concept of justice that I am aware of, and is nothing short of obscene.
Hat tip to The Purple Avenger
: Our Friendly Neighborhood Curmudgeon
has an interesting essay on the death penalty, which touches on, amongst other things, Saddam's enforced shuffle off this mortal coil.