Thursday, July 24, 2003

Good Riddence? There seems to be a lot of gloating now that Saddam's wicked sons are no longer among the living. Now, it doesn't have to be said that these two were evil and deserved their fate, but I do wonder if this should have been their fate. I don't know about you, but I'm doubtful that the Bushies are really interested in capturing Saddam. They want him as dead as his two sons. And that bothers me. Is Saddam a criminal? Yes. Is he guilty of crimes against humanity? Most definitely. Does he deserve death? Yes. But with that all said, should democracies solve their problems by rubbing people out? Will that really help Iraq establish democracy? I have to say no. Democracies are based on the rule of law, not a version of vigilante justice. At the end of the Second World War, the Allies did not hunt down the leaders of Japan and Germany, but placed them on trial. The people of those nations learned that the victors would operate under the law and not vengance.

The killing of Saddam may reassure Iraqis that his dreaded regime will not come back, but it will do little to help plant a democracy. In many ways, I think we have succumbed to the law of that part of the world: An eye for an eye. We have also started a dangerous precedent. Iraqis will start seeking former Baath Party officials, and executing their own street justice. It's already happening now, but this will give it the imprimatur of the US government. This is not the way to start a democracy. It would have been wise for the US had we set a combimation Nuremberg/ South African-style Truth Commission that would give Iraqis a chance to tell people what happened under the regime and try and punish those who were gulity. This would have been a great founding for a democracy. But we did not do that.

The killing of Saddam's sons maybe give Iraqis some relief, but it will not help them build a democracy. Street justice never does.


Post a Comment

<< Home

!-- End .box -->