The new Iraqi government has decided to reinstate the death penalty, suspended during the U.S. occupation. That move will be met with U.S. approval but would again put the United States at odds with Europe, which adamantly opposes capital punishment.
*gasp* You don't say!!? And we care... because?
The 25-member European Union intends to let Iraq know its opposition to the death penalty in all cases - even those involving allegations of genocide or crimes against humanity.
Of course not. Hell, most of the EU didn't have a problem with Saddam committing genocide or crimes against humanity in the first place!
Still, there are signs that Europe - eager to be engaged in Iraq's reconstruction - would ultimately look the other way.
The death penalty "would not in any way impede us from seeking to normalize our political relations with Iraq,'' said Emma Udwin, external relations spokeswoman for the European Commission.
Of course not. Cause like lard-ass points out, it's all about the oil!
Oh, wait, that's why the U.S. wants relations with Iraq. The EU would only want relations with Iraq since it's the nice thing to do.
The EU, which opposes the death penalty in principle,
As opposed to... opposing it for the fun of it?
could also argue that executing Saddam will only inflame passions in a nation already torn apart by violence. But analysts said they would be surprised if putting Saddam to death caused the trans-Atlantic rift over Iraq to deepen.
So... what was the point of that paragraph, other than reminding people that there's a bunch of asshats in Europe?
"I think the protestations of Europeans will be reasonably mild if Saddam Hussein is put to death. I mean - the man has killed thousands of people,'' said Guillaume Parmentier, an analyst with the French Institute for International Relations.
``I don't think that's going to be a big issue between the U.S. and Europe.''
And why should it?
Seriously, though. If, a year or two from now - because this isn't going to be a speedy process, nor should it - Saddam is put to death, why would the oness be on the U.S.? We're not in charge over there, remember? And even if you believe that the Iraqi Pres and PM are only puppets of the Bush Admin (*chortle*), free elections will be held in a matter of months. If that government decides to put Saddam to death, what does the U.S. have to do with it?
Besides the fact that the coalition is the reason he's not running the show, of course.
Washington says Saddam's government killed at least 300,000 Iraqis.
And how many Iranians? How many Kuwaitiis? How many more?
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush's main international ally in the Iraq war, said Britain opposes capital punishment and refuses to extradite suspects to countries where it could be enforced.
Yeah, and Mexico does the same thing, and we have a lot more criminals running to hide in Mexico than in the UK.
"We have made clear to the interim government our position on the death penalty. However, Iraq does have a sovereign government and we have to respect that,'' the spokesman said on condition of anonymity. He welcomed the commitment given by Iraqi ministers that the trial would be fair and open.
*has a small heart attack, but quickly recovers since it's the UK and not France or somethin'.
The crimes against humanity for which Saddam is expected to be tried include the 1988 chemical weapons massacre of Kurds in Halabja, the slaughter of Shiites during a 1991 uprising in southern Iraq, the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
The Paris-based International Human Rights Federation said it would like to see the United Nations, which opposes the death penalty, work with the new Iraqi government to make sure Saddam gets a fair trial.
Well why don't we just let the UN defend Saddam? After all, it's what they've been doing for the last couple decades. Of course, if the UN did this, it would in effect be saying that the Iraqis are incapable of administering a fair trial period, which sounds like something they would say.
A majority of Iraqis take a much harder view. According to a nationwide poll in Iraq taken in May, 61 percent of Iraqis said Saddam should be put to death if found guilty of murdering Iraqis. One in five said he should face a life sentence.
The Gallup Poll of 3,444 Iraqi adults was conducted by the Pan Arab Research Center of Dubai in late March and early April and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
But what's the point of caring what Iraqis think? They're almost as stupid and backwards as those damn Americans!