the execution of a dictator, the death of a human being

well, i know i might be expected to write a title like that for a post like this, but in the frenzy of bloodlust that has accompanied the execution it actually seems inadequate to recall that vengeance serves no purpose of peace. this brutal man deserved to be made responsible for his actions; his victims had reason to expect justice; and if the waste of the war is to have any redemption, something needed to be done to show that those who would oppress other human beings as saddam did will not get away with it. but the manner in which saddam was tried and his life ended, and the way that the u.s. and u.k. administrations have responded evokes memories of pre-democratic mob rule. and for the u.k. foreign secretary to welcome the death penalty by saying that 'saddam has been held to account' is about as far from liberal values as this government has fallen. justice is not served by more killing. and the last time i looked, i thought the u.k. was opposed to capital punishment.

the vatican has reacted thus:

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi

"A capital punishment is always tragic news, a reason for sadness, even if it deals with a person who was guilty of grave crimes. The position of the Church has been restated often. The killing of the guilty party is not the way to reconstruct justice and reconcile society. On the contrary there is a risk that it will feed a spirit of vendetta and sow new violence. In these dark times for the Iraqi people one can only hope that all responsible parties truly make every effort so that glimmers of reconciliation and peace can be found in such a dramatic situation."