"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day



A few years ago, I went with a friend to see the Montel Williams Show. At the beginning of the show, Montel comes out and takes questions from the audience. Not "So, what company do you use for all the paternity tests?" but "what do you think of these current events?" This was right after the capture of Saddam Hussein, and someone (who was apparently a regular at the show) asked him what he thought about Saddam's capture. He said that if he had been the person to find Saddam in his bunker he would have just shot him in the back of the head before he even had a chance to turn around. Montel then went on to say that he believed that since the U.S. had paid for the liberation, we should get all of the profits from the oil. Needless to say, I did not comply with the smile-and-applaud-everything-Montel-says rule, and they moved me back about five rows so the TV audience could not see my disapproving scowl. My friend and I were hoping for psychics, but what we got instead was imperialism and dog attacks.

Last week I learned of Saddam Hussein's execution through a forward exalting the executioners. And I felt just so uneasy, but kept it to myself, as I was sure I was the only person to be troubled by the death of this man who had done so many terrible things. But as time has passed friends and newspapers have expressed the same distress that I was feeling. The taunting guards and selling of photographs, the swiftness from trial to execution, all make this seem hasty and vengeful, broadening the divide between factions in this country. Even the U.S. government has expressed dissatisfaction with the way the execution was carried out. Apparently capital punishment is only acceptable if it requires 20 years of appeals to complete.

I cannot say what I would have done differently. I don't believe that the death penalty is right under any circumstances, and it only serves to stoke the anger of victims and the families of victims, or in this case the already embattled factions of a country. And the fact that this occurred in a country that is occupied by the U.S. makes the U.S. look ever more incompetent, and ever more barbaric thus further alienating the U.S from the world community.

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