Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam Sentenced to Hang

News came out today that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will face the gallows, along with 2 of his subordinates. After a 9 month trial, one in which 3 defense attourneys and 1 witness was murdered, some manner of justice is finally served, and Saddam will hang. Seems appropriate (doesn't it?) a country so far behind in the political and social worlds would resort to one of the oldest styles of execution to forever down this director of evil.There is now an appeals process, which could take awhile. But, if the death sentences are upheld, they must be carried out in 30 days. So, in a little over a month, Saddam may be no more. By Christmas, this world may be short 1 evil dictator.

The question I am pondering is “What do I think about this?” I am about 80/20 against the death penalty (a recent change) and am still wrestling with that reality. The reason is because I believe that God can change even the evilest of hearts…and since escape is never an issue, why execute? However, if there has ever been a time to utilize the death penalty, I would suspect this is it. So, I go back to “What do I think about this?” I ask myself what many of the feelings of the Shiites and Kurds might be. I suspect relief. Relief to know that the man who slaughtered countless numbers of their brothers and sisters will not longer be able to do so. Relief to know that, despite the apparant power that still seems to exist, no escape will be possible after Saddam is dead. Relief to know that it is possible for justice, or some sense of it, to be served in their homeland. As our President said, "Today, the victims of this regime have received a measure of the justice which many thought would never come." In addition, though, I suspect their is some uneasiness as well. What waits around the corner? War? Death? Peace? Who knows? The future remains very uncertain. However, I have to think that with such a powerful and evil person about to be dead, things have improved.

So, as I continue to suspend judgment on this issue, I am tempted to waive my position on the death penalty, and think that this is probably the right thing. May we continue to lift up and support our fellow humans in this war torn land. May God show his face in a land that is still so dark.

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