quarta-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2007

Saddam Hussein: should he be executed?

Há cerca de dois meses atrás, tivemos que escrever um texto respondendo a essa questão, colocada pelo professor de Inglês, Mr. Kelly. Apesar de ser tarde demais - Saddam já foi enforcado, como sabemos - as conseqüências de seu assassinato, causado mais por seus méritos - insubmissão aos interesses americanos e capacidade de união nacional - do que por seus crimes - dos quais temos amplo conhecimento -, comprovam o argumento central do texto. Apresento aqui o que respondi:

Despite the fact that the war against Iraq was a mistake from the beginning, motivated by ideology and geopolitics rather than by facts and international justice, there are philosophical as well as political and pragmatic reasons as to why Saddam Hussein should no be executed.

First of all, the death penalty is outright wrong. It is inhumane and prone to unfair rulings which, once carried out, cannot be reversed. Suffice to say that the United States is the only developed country where such a brutal penalty is legally permitted: the others are ruthless dictatorships, such as China, Saudi Arabia and Cuba. That information speaks for itself.

Furthermore, there is no empirical evidence that the death penalty really inhibits people from committing crimes. The US, despite the death penalty, has the world's largest, in proportion to its total population, number of prisoners. And it should go without saying that killing is wrong and should not be encouraged, much less by a the State.

To make matters more complicated, we are dealing with the iconic Saddam Hussein, who represents radically different meanings to the opposing groups in Iraq, in a context that all but the American Government consider to be a civil war. Saddam raises diametrically contradictory feelings. In a society in shambles, where a puppet government bears very little authority and in which violence is widespread, the killing of Saddam will not help in creating a much-needed atmosphere of compromise and cooperation. Besides, it passes - to an already fractured society - a message of hatred and of legitimation of violence. Not to mention the lack of independence that the Court has shown throughout the entire process.

The situation in Iraq is chaotic. The geopolitical consequences of Iraq's uncertainties are just now being felt. The coming together of Syria, Iran and Iraq creates a threat to the long-term development of political opening in the Middle East. The American-led war has thus far achieved the contrary of what it intended to in the first place. The killing of the former leader of Iraq, ousted by an illegimate war, tried in an illegitimate Court, can only add more confusion to what already is a mess.

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