Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Low-tech lynching

The harsh light, the hooded executioners, the taunting do you watch the death of Saddam Hussein and not think of the good ol' days, and the good ol' boys who enforced American apartheid for nearly a century? Is this what the freedom-loving people of Iraq have learned from us? Prescott Bush's German business partners were treated with more dignity at Nuremberg.

Time for a new lesson: How to commit state killing. The appearance of dispassion is crucial. You're just doing a job, just enforcing the laws of the land, the decision of the court, the will of the people. Silently tell the condemned, This will hurt me more than it hurts you. Of course it's bullshit, but say it anyway. It will keep you from displaying your bloodlust, which is considered in poor taste. Don't worry, you'll get it. It just takes practice. We've been at it for 230 years, adoring ourselves as the light of the world while gassing, hanging, poisoning, and occasionally setting fire to our criminals. Most of them were actually guilty, like Saddam Hussein. Dignity, always dignity. And you might want to check for camera phones. If movie theatres can keep people from bringing them in, the Iraqi police, though incompetent to the point of slapstick, should be able to prevent it, too.

Next: When to pass the buck to The Hague. (Hint: are you currently engaged in a civil war?)


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