There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Saddam Hussein was a monster. He seemed to care little who died, it did not matter if it was his own people, or those that he wanted to conquer. It is not hard for me to come up with the word ‘monster’ when I think of Saddam. How could anyone perpetrate the kind of crimes that he was found guilty of?

I vacillate about the death penalty; part of me says no, we are too sophisticated a world to take someone’s life. Another part of me says, if you do the crime, you deserve the consequence.

The US uses the ‘death by lethal injection’ method. CNN and all of the other media organizations have brought the executions of the bad guys into our homes. It is more a theatrical event than a punishment, there is an audience, and behind the window is someone strapped to a gurney in an antiseptic room.

The executioner hits a button, and the deadly cocktail of drugs slowly enters the persons body and they ‘shuffle off this mortal coil’.

When I woke up yesterday and heard that Saddam had been executed I remarked to my wife “so how long before the video is on YouTube”?
The answer was not long in coming!

The thing that caught my attention was the squalor of the whole event. No antiseptic room, no dignity, no hope.

It looked like a dirty little room, a place of horror, this was reinforced by the images of his executioners wearing black hoods.

Do not get me wrong here, Saddam was a monster, he was responsible for atrocities that most of us can not even comprehend. Maybe it is fitting that he met his maker in a squalid room surrounded by hooded executioners. Maybe that is a fitting end to a man that caused so much pain and suffering.

It still bothers me! We call ourselves civilized, yet we do brutal things to each other. I do not have a solution, I only have the problem. What should we do?

Simon Barrett

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