Thursday, September 08, 2005

More Iraqi Justice

The President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, has informed us all that Saddam Hussein confessed to crimes whilst in custody. According to the Beeb, he says there are 100 reasons to sentence Saddam to death.

I continue to be horrified by the fact that Saddam is going to be executed, regardless of what evidence is presented at his trial. The Iraqis have a President who stomps around in public, scoring political points by saying Saddam deserves to die (ostensibly because Saddam tried to assassinate him) but WILL NOT SIGN THE DEATH WARRANT HIMSELF.

Why not? There can only be two reasons, in my reckoning. Firstly, he is attempting to distance himself from the execution because of its potential political impact in the future. If things go wrong, he can assert that he did not sign the warrant himself and is therefore somehow not responsible for the execution. I can't believe he would seriously argue this, the death warrant requires his authorisation, even if the VP signs.

The second reason would be that his conscience does not allow him to sign the warrant. Again, I don't believe this for a second. If Talabani is as anti-capital punishment as he announces in public, why is he bothering to bleat about how Saddam deserves to be executed? Surely a decent statesman would try to make a break with the bloodshed of the past and uphold his own convictions. Surely, if he is so anti-execution he could at least make some effort to oppose a death penalty.

There is so much hatred in Iraq that there is no stopping this retribution. Saddam is going to die, human rights, fair trial, production of proper evidence, independent judiciary, and probable martyrdom be damned.

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