This morning (2006 December 30) 6PM local time in Iraq (8.30 IST or 11PM EST, 2006 December 29) the imminent execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was carried out. It is reported (all the news channels were busy covering this news) that, a few Iraqis witnessed the execution inside a building at an Iraqi compound known by the Americans as Camp Justice, a secure facility in the northern Baghdad suburb of Khadimiya. Perhaps for the first time in the history, this celebrated execution went deferred live on air, which is baffling. Some would say that, this video taping and subsequent release of the footage to the world over is necessitated by “seeing is believing” policy promulgated by some. It is ironic that this execution was chosen, perhaps deliberately on the first date of Muslim festival. Footage of him being led to the gallows was later shown on Iraqi state TV and subsequently by the likes of CNN, BBC etc.

I strongly believe that, Death penalty is no solution and certainly no choice as justice, under any circumstances. It becomes doubly brutal, when it comes to well advertised executions in public. It is an open murder in some way. Killing a human being is the greatest crime so does to seek revenge on another heinous crimes by taking their life, and that too in celebrated manner. This is as much a crime against humanity as the unquestionable crimes of a murderer. No one in the world disputes for the fact that Saddam Hussein is directly or indirectly responsible for many atrocities in Iraq and Iran. But we also know that Saddam Hussein is not the only kind of specimen who lived on this planet. How about the atrocities carried out on Nelson Mandela and the blacks in South Africa. Did Nelson Mandela killed any of those responsible? No! To me, Nelson Mandela showed the world how one can amicably resolve an issue without taking revenge. He made the world know, who the actual culprit is and that itself is the justice. The whole world knows that the invasion on Iraq was meant for something else. But then, that is a different story in itself.

This case is all the more worrying because, the judicial process was briskly setup by the American led coalition forces, which itself shamelessly committed a heinous crime by attacking a sovereign nation without provocation. The very truth that, the coalition force’s illegal invasion and eventual occupation resulted in the killing of a whopping 550000 (more than half a million!) human beings, didn’t help to open the conscience of the coalition leaders. Some reports even suggests that this number is far below than the actuals. (A study in The Lancet estimates 654,965 Iraqi deaths (with a range of 392,979 to 942,636) from March 2003 to July 2006, based on national surveys of mortality [1][2][3])It is sad indeed. United Nations! what the heck is that for? It is proven again and again that UN is not respected by the supreme powers, most notably by the United States. Less privileged folks in the Africa gets easily commanded by the UN, whereas the formers repeated pleading goes unattenuated through the rich countries ears. What a pity!

Saddam Hussein without doubt has made thousands of people to suffer. Many of his actions where brutal and callous, but then the sufferings poured by the coalition forces are equally, if not more evil. End of the day, the one who suffers are the poor people, including women and children. For them, the complications of the diplomacy and the economics of oil are rocket science. Being at the last end of the economy chain, they have to pay the price in the form of their life.

We should learn a great deal from Nelson Mandela’s gesture. He has been the symbol of suffering, and a living legend. Apartheid was the worst thing which could happen to the black people in South Africa. When he came to power, he didn’t order the Apartheid white leader’s execution. That is the greatness of the man. He never let anger and enmity to come in the way of peace. That indeed should be the way. Enmity and blood for blood policy have no place in civilized society. We would love to see the supreme nations and its leaders to be little more sensible. If that happens, then the world would be a better place to live. On the other hand, if we continue to have the tit-for-tat policy, bloodshed will only continue. What is even more worrying is the fact that terrorists and fundamentalists may take this as an opportunity to carry out more attacks on civilians. Eventually yet sadly the innocent people around the globe suffers for no fault of theirs. Either way their calls are unheard by both parties.

“Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional cluster sample survey”PDF. By Gilbert Burnham, Riyadh Lafta, Shannon Doocy, and Les Roberts. The Lancet, October 11, 2006
[3] “The Human Cost of the War in Iraq: A Mortality Study, 2002-2006”PDF. By Gilbert Burnham, Shannon Doocy, Elizabeth Dzeng, Riyadh Lafta, and Les Roberts. A supplement to the second Lancet study.