Subject Areas


Islamist Terrorists

Don't feel humanely toward the inhumane

Saddam execution made us less human?

A letter to the editors of a local newspaper expressed the sentiment (paraphrased) that regardles of the evils that Saddam Hussein caused, it didn't "justify executing him, because we hold ourselves to a higher moral standard and should show mercy. The letter also asserted that "the death penalty itself has not, and does not, deter tyrants and mass murderers" such as Hitler and Stalin.

Our response was:
Mercy due to those who deserve it; Saddam didn't qualify

The writer takes a high moral position in his objection to the execution of Saddam Hussein. Unfortunately, his understanding of human nature is not based on reality. Mass murderers are not swayed by moral reasoning. When we allow such “humans” to continue their atrocities, we become complicit in their inhumanities.

Has the writer considered the costs in lives to bring such people to justice? Hitler, Stalin and now Saddam were deterred only by their own deaths. Had they died sooner, millions of lives would have been saved. In World War II, we killed hundreds of thousands of German soldiers, most of whom were not Nazis. We also killed large numbers of mostly innocent civilians; some even in our own allies’ countries. In that war, which was probably our last publicly supported war, we also suffered vast casualty lists of our own people. All these deaths were caused by one man; Hitler. Stalin, at least as bloodthirsty as Hitler, continued killing until he died of old age.

The writer would punish mass murderers with prison. Prisons are not humane places and they tend to degrade those who must associate with them. Our prisons are training ground for criminals and soon will be for terrorists. While Hitler was imprisoned, he developed his plan for world domination. When we try to isolate terrorist, as in Guantanamo, the world whines for their freedom.  Despite the writer brushing it aside, Saddam alive in prison would inevitably be a cause of additional killings.

Executions are somber events that should not be botched or celebrated, but there are cases where they are the only appropriate remedy. Perhaps we would feel better if Saddam had been killed while “resisting capture” and left buried in his rat hole?  The result would be the same, but would the writer'sanguish over his death be the same? In either case, Saddam would be dead and no longer be the leading murderer of our time.

Mercy is due only to those who deserve it. Forgiveness is due only for those who “know not what they do.”  I do not feel lessened by Saddam Hussein’s death.

We can't afford to shed tears for mass murderers