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Revenge does not mean justice
Iraqi Shias took their first major step NOT toward a future of tolerance or justice, but toward vengeance and brutality


January 8, 2007

The execution of Saddam was one pf the most disturbing videos I had ever seen in my life. It was so disturbing I felt almost like losing my balance and vomiting. Maybe I am just a more sensitive type of person, but that was how I felt. I had the experience of one or two other videos in which men were subject to some unimaginable brutality and I had learnt that I wasn't fit to watch anything like this, so I always avoided seeing images or videos of sadistic and barbaric behaviour toward other people. The reason I thought I had to see this video of Saddam taunted while being hanged was for its historic significance (I couldn't have thought this article through if I hadn't seen the video).

In the video Saddam has his eyes open. He was not blindfolded, and he could see all those joyful Shia spectators smiling and throwing insulting words at him. Saddam started to say his Islamic prays and his tormentors did not let him finish his prays, going ahead with the hanging. And in probably about a second or two he was dead. His neck broken, videotaped, so the whole world could see the new Iraq.

Is this the justice the Iraqi people longed for while Saddam was in power? As far as I know they didn't need to get rid of his regime to have this sort of justice. The only thing that seems to have changed is that Sunni justice has turned Shia justice. Saddam's regime used to have executions just like the one Saddam himself suffered. Did he deserve it? This execution was not about what Saddam, the man, deserved. I think death was what Saddam was praying for, just second to a miracle to escape.

Saddam would have suffered far more if he had stayed in prison for life. Afterall unless there was hell waiting for Saddam in afterlife there was hell lived by Saddam in life. And if there is no hell in afterlife, or there is no afterlife, then the conclusion is that Saddam actually evaded a living hell. He just got away.

Saddam's execution was more about moving on for Iraq and removing the shadow of a man who had benighted his country for more than three decades. At least this was supposed to be the only positive effect of Saddam's execution. However the way in which the Shias conducted this execution will have terrible moral consequences for the Iraqi society. Revenge does not mean justice. Saddam was worse than a criminal.

Saddam was a monster who deserved the worst possible fate. But societies move on the right direction only when they take positive actions. Revenge cannot be considered a positive action. Shah's regime was an unjust and brutal regime and Khomeini sought revenge, instead of undoing the injustice. The rest is about 28 years of history in which the Iranian people have suffered the consequences.

The Iraqi Shias got their revenge, as they think they got, though what they did was wasting the legacy of so many hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shias who had been slaughtered by Saddam. By repeating what Saddam used to do himself, the Iraqi Shias took their first major step in their national march in history not toward a future of tolerance or justice, but toward vengeance and brutality.

Saddam should have been executed (or not) blindfolded and without spectators, in a solemn and dignified atmosphere worth the God who created that soul, which got lost in his lust for power. I am not a religious person at all but sometimes God has his own place in making words sound more intimate. Saddam himself was not worth either the filming, nor the execution, but as long as he was the leader he was, no-one can deny the consequences of his actions or his existence.

Now that mistakes have been made right steps need to be taken by Iraqi Shia leaders in order to bring to justice those who acted like monsters and made a mockery of civility or justice! Comment


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Ben Madadi



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