Sitting down with my new 19" flat screen that I got for Christmas, one of the first stops I made was to the Times home page where I watched Saddam being walked to the gallows. Imagine my horror when I found myself watching the man's confused, terrified expression and feeling sympathy for the doomed sadist. Amazing, truly amazing. I mean, I know exactly how blood soaked his coat tails were--if anyone was a candidate for court ordered hanging, it was Saddam.
But watching that video is still emotional. Even with him, a state-sanctioned killing for something other than self-defense is still murder. It's depraved. I mean, either human life is sacred or it isn't, and just because a person has lived as though life is anything but sacred, I don't see how that gives us the right to abandon our principles. And I don't think it is "soft on crime" to think that--it's more a question of having higher, nobler expectations for man.
I'm sure my opinion would be different if I had more of a direct human connection to the suffering Saddam caused in his life, but this is how I felt watching the video. I'm rather relieved the Times site didn't show the actual hanging itself, and I hope I resist the urge to find it on Youtube.