Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No Noose

I have been ruminating on Saddam Hussein's execution, and read in Slate that Christopher Hitchens is opposed to the death sentence for the deposed dictator: http://www.slate.com/id/2156776/. Hitchens is a gung-ho proponent of the continuing war (read: fiasco) in Iraq, so I was surprised that he and I are of one mind on this issue, if not on the morality and efficacy of the war itself:
"The disgusting video of Saddam Hussein's last moments on the planet is more than a reminder of the inescapable barbarity of capital punishment and of the intelligible and conventional reasons why it should always be opposed...We (Americans) have helped to officiate at a human sacrifice. For shame."
Also on Iraq, there are two excellent pieces in the New York Review of Books; Christian Caryl's What About the Iraqis?, looking at the war (for once) from the viewpoint of ordinary Iraqis instead of the occupation forces or the elite (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/19793); and Mark Danner's Iraq: The War of the Imagination, dissecting the Bush Administration's errors in managing the occupation, particularly the disastrous decision to disband the Iraqi military and the Baathist civil service, creating an instant Sunni insurgency (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/19720). Recommended reading.

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