Thursday, January 04, 2007

On regrets.

The Iraqi governments arrest of a guard suspected of being the one who recorded and publicised Saddam Hussein's execution, reminds me of the time George W. Bush called a New York Times reporter "a major league asshole". Bush never appologised for the remark, only for it being heard.

The Iraqi government is missing the point. Its not the filming that has exposed them as barbaric. Its the execution itself and the behaviour of those present. If the government wants to arrest someone, they should go after the ones jeering and taunting the condemned man.

The person filming the event should be applauded, as he has given the world the opportunity to see what hangings really are like and shown that executions are simply acts of revenge.

Just like Bush, the Iraqi government is not regretting the event, only that it was seen and heard.


At 04 January, 2007 11:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said!

At 04 January, 2007 14:13, Anonymous Charles said...

Hey Torsten,

I agree with part of your comments. The execution of Saddam was nothing but revenge. You can never play down death by numbers, but I was appalled that this hanging was for the deaths of a 138 (or there abouts) Shiites. Again, no death, not even 1 person is insignificant. What about the thousands and thousands of Kurds? Where was their justice? Ironically, the President of Iraq (a Kurd), not the Prime Minister (a Shiite), refused to sign the death decree. He felt enough blood had been shed. There is a just and noble politician!

Anyhow, Saddam was a madman that was afforded a much more courteous death than those he brutally tortured, raped and murdered in his reign. Yet, ironically, the barbarism was just as present at his execution in the attitudes and intentions of the executioners.

I will say this in defense of America. We (ambassadors on the ground in Iraq and military commanders there) did try to stop the execution, or should I say at least delay it. Eventually, it was the Americans that treated the body with respect and flew it by Black Hawk Helicopter to the town of Saddam's birth so that he could have a proper burial. Otherwise, the body would still be rotting in the back of a pickup truck where the American's found it.

In the final analysis, Iraq is no better for Saddam's death. It will only prompt more death and destruction.

At 05 January, 2007 00:09, Blogger Perez said...

I would like to talk about the barbarism...You both might think it was wrong or whatever, but I side with the people who acted so 'barbaric'....I don't know how it feels to have most of my family members killed by one 'leader', but I would be upset and I might get carried away at his death...These 'barbarins' may have gotten carried away and that is no dout but just think of how they feel with a little justic...

And for the cell phone recording that was twisted so bad...In my eyes it is good he was arrested because he wasn't to do that anyways, but didn't anyone see him recording? I mean you can't hind a cell phone recording that well...

I just think it went well all around....They killed the guy who would have set off a fire storm in Iran and helped creat the Islamic Nation and do the little Hitler thing of world domination...But that is my view...

Take Care-perez

At 06 January, 2007 00:56, Anonymous Charles said...


Rejoice for Somalia!!!!

Just wondering your thoughts on this little exceptional article.


Saw it first on the BBC this morning. Finally some world news. You would think that all American news outfits cared about was that weirdo Pelosi taking the leadership in the House, or that crazy American that was rescued whilst attempting to sale around the world by himself.

Have a great weekend! Three cheers from us on the other side of the Big Pond!

At 06 January, 2007 01:04, Anonymous Charles said...

Oops, I put this in the wrong blog. Oh well, why not twice...

Oh, and your thoughts on this:

I am not "baiting" you, but just curious as to your point of view on something very close to home (Denmark).


At 06 January, 2007 01:10, Anonymous Charles said...

Torsten, you gotta read this link!

This almost goes parallel to your comments.

Saddam's trial and execution was a farce, but this journalist nails it.


Sorry for all the links....I get news crazy sometimes! :-)

At 06 January, 2007 08:47, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

I concede, Perez, that I probably shouldn't have used the word 'barbaric' to describe e the actions of the Iraqi government. I find the death penalty repugnant, however, and this particular executions was just another act of violence and hate in a country that needs peace and reconcilation.

Charles, thanks for your comments. I'll get back to your concerning the links etc. :-)

At 07 January, 2007 01:48, Blogger Perez said...

You are right about that fact it is just another act of violence...I thought you were a little hard on them, but I just wish the media wouldn't twist a good thing and a step forward in Iraq-Well Take Care and have a wonderful weekend-perez

At 08 January, 2007 15:54, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Charles, a few comments on the links you've provided:

Re Somalia, I don't know very much about the situation there. However, the article's analysis is too simplistic. For example, it was the George H. Bush who, as a lame-duck president, sent US troops into Somalia in 1992. The Clinton administration withdraw the troops, after pictures of a dead American soldier being dragged throught the streets in front of cheering crouds, concluding that an interventionist military force must be supported by the local population to succeed. This the US forces did not have in 1992-1993.

Only time will tell if the Ethiopian backed Somalian government will achieve popular support to impose a stable government. Remember, the Islamic Courts regime only lasted 6 months and was generally credited with creating law and order after years of chaos. To make a link between the Somalia islamist and islamic terrorism is perhaps also premature. See this for example this BBC article:

Re Ilana Mercer article concerning Sadams trial and execution is pretty much spot on.

Re appeasing islamic fanaticism (Danish cartoons, Pope etc.) The violent protest against the Danish cartoons and the Popes statement are testament to a serious lack of respect for freedom of speech in large sections of islamic society.

I disagree, however, with Hal Lindsey's argument that the West has chosen appeasement as a response to the protests. Neither Jylland-Posten (the Danish newspaper who published the cartoons), the Danish government or the Pope retreated from their position, in spite of violent protests. In general the protest significantly damaged the image of islam in Europe and gave weight to the argument that democracy and islam is incompatible. This lead, for example, to more European leaders coming out against EU membership for Turkey.

Neither do I accept that the "mainstream media have by and large already capitulated to Islamic dhimmitude." By being careful not to make generalizations and choosing words carefully is good journalism, not capitulation.

Finally, linking recommendations for changed US policy towards Israel by the Iraq Study Group with muslim protest in 2006 is, in my opinion, absurd.

p.s. I really didn't now whether to laugh or cry over the burning of Danish flags in 2006. I personally don't take offence by burning of flags, whether it is the Danish, American or Swiss (as some protesters mistakenly did) flag, but the anger the protesters so willingly displayed was quite disturbing.

At 08 January, 2007 17:10, Anonymous Charles said...

Hey Torsten

Enjoyed your insight! Thanks. Since some of your blogs are pretty active, you may have missed my comments on the Israel/Palestinian debate.

Just wondered what your thoughts were on my ramblings.

Second, did you ever read this?,2933,240001,00.html

Wanted your thoughts in regards to an earlier blog on Kerry / Military intelligence.


At 08 January, 2007 22:14, Blogger Torsten Pedersen said...

Hi Charles, I've read your comments on Israel and will get back on to you on that one.

I've now replied to your Kerry/Military comment.

Say hello to Kiersten for me.

At 09 January, 2007 03:18, Anonymous Charles said...


Thanks for the response on Kerry. By the way, the anonymous reply to that blog from November was not me.

Just an FYI on that.

Kiersten says hi back at you and Becky. God bless!



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