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Commentary Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

By Joseph M. Cachia
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 4, 2007, 00:32

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No thanks to �Maltarightnow� for sending me, on the Internet on Sunday, December 31, New Year�s Eve, the filming of the hanging of Saddam Hussein, which I found disgusting and nauseating. The shallowness of these people was further exposed by sending this video as �Flash News� and their blaring of �Exclusive� service.

My goodness, to what depths of depravity have we fallen!!

Maybe the promoters of �Maltarightnow� thought that, as the filming and photos, uncensored, unauthorized and pirated, were being shown worldwide, this was a very good excuse for getting along with the mainstream. But why then do we pride ourselves that we shun the use of the death penalty?

The execution�s cruel theatre and the condemned, surrounded by hooded guards, was more than enough to shame the many self-proclaimed �civilized� people. Saddam Hussein was hanged until the spark of life drained from his flailing limbs. I am not sympathetic to tyranny, oppression or brutality, yet I felt only shame in observing the morbid dance of death surrounding his execution.

Why then, do we have the cheek to deplore the showing of recordings of public beheadings? It probably seems appalling to us living in non-Muslim countries to think that children would gather round to watch an animal being slaughtered during Eid el Adha, while the brutal hanging of a human being is condoned. Didn't the killing of a man, regardless of the criminal acts he is charged with and the semblance of a normal and respectable judgment, produce any sense of conscience in us? Such manifestations do nothing but tend to deprive and corrupt anyone who sees or hears of them. The pictures of Saddam with a noose round his neck are nothing less than voyeurism in its worst form and should never have been shown.

Judicial killings have still done a lot of damage, not only to the feelings and the conscience of those who do it, but also to the different cultures of participants and viewers. This has turned the televised spectacle into a barbarian act. It seemed that there is a pervading sickness in the delight in death and destruction, and, in the present case in the gallows, going through our media. Aren't we capable of curbing our savage instincts and promoting a civilized response?

I never rejoice at the death of someone, because I love life. I don't have any respect for a justice(?) system which uses the death penalty. Killing is always barbaric, whether it takes place in Iraq, in the USA or in any other place.

'So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private citizens will occasionally kill theirs.' --Elbert Hubbard

Are we really in 2007??

Joseph M. Cachia resides in Vittoriosa, Malta. Contact him at

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