Jewish World Review Dec. 16, 2003 / 21 Kislev, 5764
Eye for an eye is inadequate for Saddam
When gangsters such as Saddam Hussein are captured, the question of
justice is raised as high as it can ever be. I began thinking about this
when Pol Pot was arrested in his homeland of Cambodia.
Looking at that little man, I began to wonder what should be done with
someone who had ordered the murder of millions.
Faced with the immeasurable pain and grief such butchers bring into
the world, the ancient rule of an eye for an eye seems inadequate. That
concept of justice was developed in a time when the numbers of people
that we, with our modern weapons of destruction, can slaughter was
unimaginable. It also was believed back then that if death was not
enough, the evil person would burn forever in hell and the victims' pain
balanced out by eternal suffering.
Ours is a time in which, for all the religious talk by world leaders of one
belief or another, there's a preference for justice in human terms. That's
where Saddam puts us in a bind. Would execution be enough? Or
torture? I think not. No civilized death by injection or the slow
butchering of such a gangster would do the job. Too easy.
A humiliating sentence of life without power would be best. A small
cell, solitary confinement. Oh, and the cell should contain a little
window with a view of one of his former palaces.
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JWR contributor and cultural icon Stanley Crouch is a columnist for The New York Daily News. He is the author of, among others, The All-American Skin Game, Or, the Decoy
of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994, Always in Pursuit: Fresh American
Perspectives, and Don't the Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel in Blues and Swing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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