The BBC are reporting that Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he is “against the death penalty, whether it is Saddam or anybody else”.
I can understand the emotions of wanting someone dead, and I can understand the satisfaction of hearing about the death of someone despised. What I cannot accept is the sheer joy and jubilation at the prospect of someone, no matter who they are, being killed. Killing, state sanctioned or otherwise, is a terrible act. I’m not a pacifist, I have no objections to state-sanctioned killing in an uncontrollable environment – i.e. war. But the idea of the termination of life as punishment is abhorrent to me. I think it says more about the people mandating and carrying out such a sentence than those sentenced to it.
Let’s accept that in certain countries the death penalty is simply going to happen anyway, there’s not much that can be done about that – yet. However I lose all respect for those that are able to celebrate the death of another. It makes them little better than the murderer whose death sentence they are cheering. It is the nature of man to be animalistic, our advantage that we are able to rise above it, and our curse that we (at times) cannot escape it. It disgusts me that British lives are being sacrificed trying to bring freedom to savages. If they embrace murdering each other so happily, we should leave them to it.
That said, I guess it would actually be better working with them, and trying to bring some sort of moral understanding to them. When wanting to give them freedom to choose their own future, you can’t then object too much to the way they decide to use their freedoms. It is inevitable that a fledgling democracy is not going to start out at the same point as more established ones. Democracies are forged from bloodshed, let’s just hope it develops more rapidly than others – such as those that still favour such barbarity as the death penalty.