Sunday, December 31, 2006


My goose is cooked! Saddam Hussein is dead. Judge Parker huzzahed. Jesus wept.

A fine, fine repast it was last night. Judging from the goose-grease horror stories I've heard the past few days, I think cooking such a fowl on the grill must be the way to go. Hardly any fuss, and with a drip pan, no muss.

Speaking of cooked gooses, um, geese:

We in the ER household, being news junkies, got sucked into the Saddam Death Watch "news" "coverage" of the past couple of days.

I made the to-be-expected cracks about how Hangin' Judge Isaac C. Parker was saying "Yeah!" from the Other Side.

I griped about CNN's faux civility, demonstrated by showing Saddam being led to the gallows and the noose being put in place, but then ending the video before the actual hanging.

I reminded myself and the the family that I am against capital punishment (although I anguish), but that *if* he was to be executed, the whole world should see it.

Inside, I scoffed at the human rights groups' complaints that the process was unfair -- scoffed because if they've let their complaints devolve to issues of fairness and equity concerning capital punishment, then human rights groups aren't what they used to be.

I joked that what they should have done was, after he was convicted, turn Saddam loose in a Shia or Kurdish neighborhood, naked.

And today, I remember that while He wept at the murders of all of Saddam Hussein's opponents, Jesus also wept at the judicial murder of Saddam Hussein.

Jesus wept.

And I hope we are willing to weep over the fact that, as the preacher put it this morning, some 3,000 American soldiers have died, and untold Iraqis and others, to create another country that executes people.

Aren't we proud.

We should be ashamed.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

-- Colossians 3:12-17

Christian, rejoicing over Saddam's hanging? Repent.


I'm conflicted, ER. Saddam Hussein ordered the murder of millions, and I believe he should receive just punishment for doing so.

But I wasn't under his torment, so I'm not sure I should call for what is just. Truth is, execution as punishment has been handed down for centuries, as Jesus can tell us in His own words.

Jesus died on the cross for teaching the Word of His Father. His punishment was not just. Saddam Hussein ordered the deaths of so many because they didn't share his beliefs.

So while I believe that death as punishment doesn't deter others from killing, I wonder what would be the proper punishment for Hussein and other dictators like him.

So I'm conflicted. I consider myself Christian, and I've wept for those who have died as a result of the tyranical rule. I've wept for soldiers.

I have yet, though, to weep for Saddam Hussein.

So I'm conflicted.
Being conflicted is good. It's those who have no compunction whatsoever who scare me.

And hey, I shed no tears for the man. Such would be beyond all but the most holy.
The hanging of Saddam Hussein and the street dancing that it provoked in Iraq and America is symptomatic of the culture and religion that spawned him. His hanging is a true Islamic punishment and represents the triump of vengence over justice. Justice was not served because his one death can not compensate for the thousands (rather millions when you count the Iraq/Iran war) killed by his orders. Justice would have forced him to rot in jail while having to confront and be tried for every death he inspired ad on infinitum until at 101 years he heard one last conviction while in court in his wheel chair swilling oxygen and on life support. Then and only then they should have hung the bastard.
His death and that which surrounded it should also focus our attention on the strange way of thinking fostered in the Arab Nations. Honor is more important than life. Everyone in the middle-east thought nothing of watching Saddam's hanging even letting their children watch as well. (several news photos actually show that) However, when he was captured the hue and cry was that the Americans were "dishonoring" him by showing him dirty and disheveled and having his teeth examined. Having one's neck broken on TV is OK, but being checked for lice is not.
And then there are his final words, "Death to America,,,,and the Persians." Boy aren't we smart. So we let this guy fuel the Civil War with his death statement because we are just too stupid to know what it ment.
The "Persians" are the Shia, the non-Sunni (Saddam type)Muslems. At the very last the old boy slipped one in on the opposition.

And then I have to wonder about the difference between Hussein and Bush. Is there a qualitive difference? Four U.S. presidents used Saddam to keep Iran in check, even though they were fully aware of what he was and what he was doing. Does that not at least qualfy all of them for being an accessory? But this last guy, Bush, he wanted Saddam dead because he did what we paid him to do, how would Bush fare in the doc at the World Court? Oh, yes, Saddam tried to kill his daddy, but wasn't W's vengence just a tad overblown, especially for a Methodist?
I saw the unedited video and was unimpressed... with it's quality. I can't say I agree that the whole world should see the video. I didn't feel anything other than sorrow after watching it...

Strangely, though, I still can't bring myself to watch Zarqawi sawing off Nick Berg's head. It's impossible to un-see something like that, and that is an image I can live without running through my brain for the remainder of my days. With some things, it's enough to simply "know".

Happy New Year to All!
Happy new year, ER.
Thank you for your comments, including quoting St. Paul from Colossians. I, too, found nothing to celebrate in the execution, and I agree with your insight that HR groups are sliding if they are nitpicking details (although Glenn Greenwald notes the devil may very well exist in the details). An imposed death is never, under any circumstances, to be a cause for celebration. Jesus weeps, indeed.
Well, ER, I bet you'll be surprised to find that I don't believe Saddam should have been executed for his crimes against humanity.

I am not against the death penalty, in fact, I believe it should be instituted much more often, but for saddam I don't believe he should have been executed.

I believe he should have been imprisoned for the rest of his life, with no contact with, or knowledge of the outside world at all, like they did to Rudolph Hess in Spandau prison. That way he could not be a martyr nor could he have any influence in future actions against the Jews or America, etc.

Saddam once said in an interview that as long as he is still alive he considers it a victory. I believe even he would have to acknowledge that he has lost if he was cut off from the rest of the world for the rest of his life, and he would have the rest of his life to reflect on the decisions he made along the way that led to where he wound up. That, to me, is a more fitting punishment for him.
"I aim to kill you Ned, or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convienence. Which will it be?" ~ John Wayne, as Rooster Cogburn in "True Grit"
Right on, Drlobo.

Mark, not surprised at all in yer thoughts, or that you'd be selective in yer position on capital punishment in general.
My memory is terrible: who was it (not Niemoeller...? I'm thinking British...) that upon visiting Adolf Hitler, was asked what he was like - to which this person replied something to the effect of: When I saw him, I saw Christ, because he was created through Christ, in God's image just like all men have been.
(Sorry if I'm completely off)

Jesus wept.
Thanks for droppin' by, Karen. Come back anytime.
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