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January 03, 2007

Hold the Outrage, Please

People shouldn’t have said mean things to Saddam Hussein as the noose was placed around his neck.  Not high on my indignation list, though.

Another dozen people were found tortured and killed in Bagdad yesterday.  They didn’t get to die with dignity.  They might not all have been good people but unlikely that any were as evil as Saddam.  Where’s the outrage over their deaths?

Another American solder died in an ambush.  Unlike Saddam he deserved to live.  Where’s the outrage over his death?

Italy would like the UN to ban capital punishment.  It’s already banned genocide, one of the crimes Saddam is guilty of.   Is there another appropriate punishment for that?

Of course the UN ban on genocide didn’t stop Hussein nor does it have any effect in Sudan.  Where was the outrage for Saddam’s victims? They didn’t get to die with dignity.  There’s pro forma outrage over Sudan, but no action.

At the International Court of Justice in the Hague, mass murders die of old age before a trial can be completed.  A failure of justice has real consequences: it leads to both further crime and vigilante action.  Where’s the outrage over that failure of justice?

Sure, at a political level it’s frightening to see the omni-presence of the supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr (whose father was probably killed by Saddam).  It’s quite possible that both the taunts and the video were meant to further sectarian tensions.  This is something to be concerned with, not outraged over.

TV coverage implies that Sunni unhappiness post the execution was due to the taunting.  Are we supposed to believe that otherwise they would have been quite happy about it?  People who already fear and hate each other as much as many of the Shia and Sunnis do can’t really hate each other any more.

The world is full of things to be outraged over.  Someone shouting the name of a son of one of his victims at a sadistic mass murderer before he is hanged is not one of them.

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