December 31, 2006

Saddam's Execution as a Media Event

... and predictably, there are videos of his execution all over the Internet already.

Is it right to show them?

It is a fact that capital punishment has a brutalising effect on society.

I think, however, that in this case capital punishment was inevitable for purely practical/feasibility reasons, similar to the Nazi war criminals at Nürnberg. To be precise: Would it be supportable to imprison him and let innocent people die for a, without doubt highly ethical, ideal when his supporters would try to free him, as they would have been bound to do?

That said, I do not see what good could ever come from showing such a clip, even for practical reasons.

Will it deter people from becoming a nasty dictator? You must be joking.

No, I remain principally opposed to capital punishment. "Thou shalt not kill." And what is forbidden for humans is surely forbidden for the state as well, which is, after all, just an organisational tool -- a THING -- to serve people, and not a higher being.

This may be a day to feel relieved, but certainly not a day to revel.

Shame on all who show it and watch it. Brutalising, cynical, perverted, disgusting!