Today morning on YouTube — 18 of the 20 most viewed videos were
about of the hanging of Saddam Hussain.
My stance on this is still a work-in-progress.
However I do have a couple of thoughts.
It is a poor-poor defence when Americans say, “It was their (incumbent Iraqis’) decision to hang him. We had nothing to do with it.” Yeah sure buddy, we believe you as much now as when you told the world that Iraq was sitting on a tranche-load of Weapons of Mass Destructions! And if going against the grain of incredulity, I were to believe you on WMDs — idiots you killed the only man who could have told you where they were hidden!!
This is the third such political execution I have seen.
The first was that of former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed by a shooting squad after a hasty trial in 1989. That was the Christmas on 1989. BBC says:
Two days after the death of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, video pictures of their summary trial and execution were shown on television in Romania and around the world.
The images of their dead bodies, riddled with bullets, were broadcast and much of the unrest which continued after their deaths subsided.
The second was that of former Afghanistan President Dr. Najibullah who was publicly hanged by the Taliban in 1996 and whose body was left hanging in the open for a few days. The newspaper pictures of those hanging bodies are graphically imprinted on my mind. Especially since in India we were used to seeing him as guest of the State. In fact the rest of his family had taken shelter in India after the Taliban captured power in Afghanistan in 1996.
Somehow this time around I feel a sense of apathy seeing the visuals. Perhaps the earlier pictures where a fugitive Saddam was shown being pulled out of his hideout, had somehow prepared me for the things to come.
This gruesome link on BBC throws some light on this issue:
Releasing the normally gruesome pictures of dead leaders is a powerful gesture. It has often been used in the past to mark the end of an era.