Alright. I'm jumping in.
Some of you know (and others have probably assumed) that I'm anti-death penalty. Yes, I understand that to some it seems hypocritical to be pro-choice and anti-death penalty (and pro-assisted suicide, for the record). Just as it seems hypocritical to me that others are pro-life and pro-death penalty.
My argument: shouldn't the "culture of life" apply to everyone?
Their argument: if you think women can decide if their *innocent* fetus lives, shouldn't judges have the right to decide if *guilty* prisoners die?
My answer to their argument: No! Prisoners are PEOPLE. Fetuses are not. Ah, yes. That is the ultimate hurtle - they believe fetuses are human, I do not. That's the most basic level of these arguments, and it is unresolvable.
(Begin blog here)
So Saddam died. And everyone saw. And I have a problem with that.
The video is disgusting (the pundits on the Slate Political Gabfest called it a snuff film). There is no reason we should see a man about to die. Yes, he did some terrible things (which we enabled him to do - but that's a different blog). Yes, he caused many people to suffer (so did Bush...no, I'm not calling Bush Saddam, don't freak out). But does he deserve billions of people across the world watching a noose surround his neck? Do people need that? Really?!
But according to the Gabfest, people aren't responding in the way I'd expect. They are questioning our voyeuristic nature. They are wondering what right we have to bastardize this man's last moments. And this is a good thing in my book.I think this lack of blood lust has something to do with the method of execution. A hanging looks far more brutal than a lethal injection. True, hangings went on into the 20th century and were largely a spectator sport, but executions in America are now largely private. Though we *sometimes* read about them in the news, executions are viewed by only a small, select number of people. And I think this video proves things will stay this way.
I don't think life is sacred, but I think the choice to live or die lies in the private sphere. (This, of course, does not apply to a fetus in my book because I don't believe a fetus is a person.) No one can make the decision to kill another human unless that human decides for themselves (in a sound state of mind) that it's time to go.
So the Saddam video proved that we are not desensitized to death and the thought of vengeance doesn't entirely obscure our humanity. It also, I just read, proves that children are influenced at times by what they see on television (read the article here). But that's yet another blog.