Executing dignity…and reason…

The latest botched execution in Iraq, of two of Saddam Hussein’s aids – one of whom was ‘accidentally beheaded’ when he was hanged – is drawing expressions of concern from among the international community, according to the BBC News website.

Speaking on a visit to Egypt, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said while the executions were an Iraqi process, “we were disappointed there was not greater dignity given to the accused under these circumstances”.

The very notion of giving dignity to someone you are about to kill, is surely an oxymoron in itself, isn’t it? Stranger still though, there you had two of Saddam Hussein’s closest and brutal aids, Barzan Ibrahim – Saddam’s half-brother – and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, convicted for their part in mass murder, and they were still unrepentant. Yet the US Secretary of State is disappointed that they weren’t given more dignity! She would’ve liked them to have been shown a little respect…(?!) Let them bow out with honour – with a feeling of being on top!

Essentially we have the US Secretary of State telling off the Iraqi Government for not showing enough respect to the very people her own government has spent the last years trying to bomb from up high – a practice which has resulted in thousands and thousands of innocent people having been killed in that most disrespectful of manners.
Her audacity is mindboggling!


It’s worth noting too that the Iraqis are not alone in messing up their executions.
Angel Nieves Diaz for example was executed in Jacksonville, USA, just before Christmas 2006. Convicted of the murder of a Miami topless bar manager, he spent over 25 years on death row before finally being killed by lethal injection. Only, the lethal injection didn’t quite do the job the first time around, so they had to get him some more… 34 min of slow, painful dying – in front of spectators. Dignified is not a word that easily springs to mind.

The American system might be different to the Iraqi one, but an execution is an executions no matter how it is performed. There simply is no such thing as dignified murder.


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