Politics & Policy

The courtesies of execution, &c.

What is the difference between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Iraq today, distressed as the country is? Well, ponder the execution of Taha Yassin Ramadan, who was Saddam’s vice president. He was convicted in the deaths of some 150 people. As reported in this AP story, an Iraqi official said “precautions were taken to prevent a repeat of what happened to Saddam’s half brother and co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim, who was inadvertently decapitated on the gallows during his January execution.” Ramadan “was weighed before the hanging and the rope was chosen accordingly.”

Saddam Hussein’s government was never so delicate as to choose ropes. Then again, that government was never so delicate as to conduct (legitimate) trials.

‐Finally, a word about anti-Americanism. In Monday’s Impromptus, I said something about the phenomenon in Western Europe, and this provoked a response from Jack Jolis, a savvy, bold American long resident in those lands. Here’s what he said: 

I distinctly remember as a short-trousered grade-schooler in Paris during the first half of the 1950s passing “US = SS!” and “Yankee Go Home!” (my fondest wish!) signs, and absorbing anti-American insults and threats (“A mort les ’ricains!” — “Death to the Americans!”) and receiving the occasional missile from nearby French construction workers on my way into the American School of Paris, which was then located in the Communist-controlled suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. This was at a time when the so-reviled George W. Bush was naught but a similar grade-school scamp, albeit in Texas, and occurred a scant dozen years after we’d liberated the swine, and lost a half million of our best and bravest in the process. It only served to puff me up with pugnacious patriotic pride then, and it still does.

I can’t possibly improve on that, or even follow it, so I’ll say — see ya.


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