Against the Execution of Saddam Hussein

This blog is mostly about Anglican Communion affiars, but I occasionally post something about the various elements of unending war that the US is in as an imperial power. Today, December 29th is such a day.

The news broadcasts are talking abou the imminent execution of Saddam Hussein. Just for the record, although I know it matters little, I'm against it. I'm against his execution for three reasons: I am against Capital Punishment; I am against turning over a prisoner to a government that makes use of Capital Punishment; I believe our capture of Saddam Hussein, whatever its moral value, was an extension of an illegal war and his imprisonment is our responsibility.

Dead or alive Saddam Hussein is a problem, but alive he is no ones martyr. He remains just an old used dictator, kept under lock and key. Dead he is a rallying cry for all sorts and conditions of people who already know that the imperial hand of America works its will using whoever it can find to do its work.

Today I went to a funeral of a friend. Today I heard the reports of a funeral prayer service for former President Ford. Tomorrow and in the days to come there will be more funeral prayers for President Ford. We commended our friend today to God, we commend President Ford to God and if we are consistant we will need to commend Saddam Hussein to God.

It will be up to God to sort it all out. I have no doubt God will do a better job than we might do, and to a better end. But be assured, God will sort us out as well.

What and odd and strange way to end this odd and strange year.

May the Lord come, and may this age pass away.


  1. Good for you. I whole-heartedly agree with you. Executing Saddam Hussein will be another bad mistake, and haunt Americans in the fragile Middle East. GW, VP Cheney, Rumsfeld and their arrogant fashion-model U.S. Secretary of State have already broken enough china. When will the neocon madness end? After the Baker-Hamilton Report I thought we would have some adult supervision of GW and Condoleezza; but I was sadly mistaken

    John Henry

  2. It's 10:30 PM in New York, and the BBC has breaking news that the execution was carried out.

    Add my endorsement of your comment. I think a dead Saddam will be much more dangerous than a live worn out old tyrant facing the rest of his life accounting for his crimes.


  3. Yes, he's more dangerous dead than alive, although I think this is a very tough call. Yes, it was only the latest error of an already error-sodden, error-drunk regime (ours). Yes, I will admit that I'm relieved to no longer be sharing planet-space with him. but there is no comfort in even that. It was wrong, wrong, wrong.
    Thanks for calling it that way, Mark.
    On another note, specicifally to another commenter: Why is it okay to attack Sec. Rice for her looks? My understanding is that it is fairly unattractive sexism to go after someone on the basis of her gender-specific physical attributes.

  4. Anonymous:

    I didn't intend my remark about the Secretary of State to be sexist. To her peers in the international community, she comes across as arrogant, a symbol of an imperialistic presidency: "The U.S. way or the highway!"

    John Henry

  5. Mark, you said, "I am against turning over a prisoner to a government that makes use of Capital Punishment."

    if we had not turned him over to the Iraqis, would we would not be setting ourselves up as their masters? we're the ones who invaded their soil and indiscriminately killed thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of them. before that, our sanctions may have killed up to half a million kids by malnutrition.

  6. The war was illegal? Call the cops! Hey Mark...when Chimpy asks, what law will we say was broken?


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.