Saturday, December 30, 2006
Is This What Democracy Looks Like?
Today all that can be considered is the execution of Saddam Hussein. This man, who enslaved a country through ideology, subsequently keeping hold through force, is now dead. This is the re-birth of Iraq - through the execution of the old leader the new Iraq can take shape. Well, that would be the tale if the spinmiesters are to be believed. Instead there is something more questionable going on here. Earlier on in Dec a news story was circulated about Prince Charles raising the issue of a Brit of death row in Pakistan (see here. It appeared the UK was up in arms that a UK Citizen could be executed somewhere else in the world and this time pressure was exerted to ensure his sentence be commuted. Whilst diplomatic eyebrows were raised about this possible interference in another legal system it was resolved with the man not being executed. The bottom line was, wherever in the world you are the death sentence is not a solution. Therefore it is a rum state of affairs where the “allies” had Saddam Hussein over to the Iraqi state in full knowledge of his execution, even though the UK Government has stated (before and after) that it doesn’t support the idea of a death penalty. Yet it is willing (as both those links demonstrate) to allow "Iraqi Justice" to take place. Therefore posing the question, has the UK government acted in a morally questionable way? If the UK is in control of sections of Iraq, albeit prior to handing full control back to the Iraqis then I think it should be upholding its laws on human rights etc within that area as well. Instead we are seeing a double-edged sword being wielded. On the one hand the US/UK going into the war to liberate the people from a system of terror and death that the governments wished to see changed, indeed they saw the whole system as corrupt therefore brought down not just the leaders but the state apparatus to ensure real rebuilding. Yet the moment something of questionable nature, i.e. the sentencing to death, is to be committed a blind eye is turned claiming that it is time for the Iraqi system to take course. Almost as though we’ll turn our backs for some negative aspects to continue – how much nation building is really going on? Therefore I shall end by referring you to the picture at the top of this entry. The picture currently sits on the front page of the BBC News website. It rather summed up the situation for me, it reminded me of the IRA or Unionist kidnapping and murder tapes from the 1990s. Papers have later been released illustrating that throughout the “troubles” in Northern Ireland the UK Government (this statement doesn’t cover the 1990s as no papers are out from there yet) has had some knowledge of gang warfare and what could be about to happen(a few examples of this are contained within this report about the murder of defense lawyers). Yet some claim that the government (of whatever political colour) didn’t do enough to stop them because it was politically expedient. Ultimately – all governments sometimes place other values above the cost of a human life and I just wonder if that is the right way round. Take Care Y'All John