Monday, November 06, 2006

Reactions to Hussein's sentence

Predictably enough, Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death after a trial that can best be described using Amnesty International's phrase, "a shabby affair, marred by serious flaws" (also predictably enough).
I'm no great fan of the guy - he has some serious psychological issues - but I can't help thinking that, given that large sectors of the the world insisted on making him their problem back in 2003, they should have followed through and insisted on an international tribunal to try him, in at least a token attempt at objectivity. Instead, after a dodgy local affair, which that nice Mr. Bush described as "a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law", we will end up with a tawdry, old-style stringing up.
What I found even more surprising, though, was the world reaction to the sentence. Bush's glee was to be expected - the Americans have never quite grown out of their Wild West penchant for capital punishment. Canada's Stephen Harper doesn't seem to have any views on the subject, or hasn't noticed yet (also expected).
But supposedly civilized Britain seems quite happy with the death sentence and most of the other European leaders have fudged the issue, with only Ireland and little Finland having had the guts to come out and denounce it and to remind people that "the EU opposes capital punishment in all cases".
Meanwhile, Hussein will become a martyr to the Sunni cause, and the destabilization of the country and the whole area caused by the US invasion will continue to worsen.
Some solution...

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