Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Celebrating Muslim charity the Bush way

If anyone who ever reads this blog questions the truly disastrous nature of the Saddam execution as an event, please bring that doubt to my attention and I'll be more than happy to echo the plethora of opinion from all sides. To do that now would simply be overkill.

Let me rather focus on the Presidents proclamations given on Dec. 29. You can see the two I wish to focus on here (President Bush's Statement on Execution of Saddam Hussein) and here (Presidential Message on Eid al-Adha). Please note the date of issue on both of those statements and you can verify that both were issued on the same day.

The simpleminded President we are having to suffer under issued a statement glorifying the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, on the same day he issued a statement lauding the execution of Saddam Hussein. The fesitval of Eid al-Adha is the Muslim celebration of Abrahams willingness to sacrifice his son. It is a celebration that focuses heavily upon charity. The notion that the White house would in any way associate themselves with the execution of Saddam on the same day they issue a proclamation recognizing Eid al-Adha is offensive in the extreme.

Let me as a solitary, but very squeaky American announce for all to hear that I decry the treatment experienced by our enemy Saddam, on the day set aside to celebrate sacrifice and charity. Let my voice combine with those of like mind to raise the cry of horror at what is wrought in our name, not just on Dec. 29, but all the other days that America holds innocent people incommunicado and tortures them under color of law, or kills innocent people in Iraq and so on and on and on.

It must be very difficult for the world, especially the Arab street to understand that we are not all uncouth and bellicose in our demeanor to them when we have this horrid example being set by our President. Somehow President Bush even managed to turn the execution of the man he loathed since before being selected to office, the man hated by the entire world, much less the nation he ruled to death, into another black eye for America. Nicely done Mr. President. You have officially managed to screw up what no one could have without being supremely idiotic in conducting the affair. This is just the latest example in a long and uninterupted series of decisions that was wrongly conceived and executed to the detriment of Americas interests around the world. Why does anyone still pay any attention to what Bush wants anymore. The truly wise course, simply using history as our guide, is to hear the counsel of this man, and then proceed in the exact opposite way he wants.

The Shiite faction, who start their celebration of this day a day later than the Sunni faction of Islam, executed Saddam on the day in question as a particular snub to the Sunni's. And it would appear from the White house proclamations that this President can very well be held complicit in that devisive approach.

Of course the President doesn't quite get the juxtaposition of the two events. And that too me is a true cause for alarm. He is making it up as he goes along, and he is just wrong headed in nearly all issues before him. He does not wish to be informed, and it is coming back to haunt us every day.

"If anyone who ever reads this blog questions the truly disastrous nature of the Saddam execution as an event..."

I don't understand. Are you saying that the execution was a disaster? I am glad Saddam is dead.
I'm saying the event itself was a disaster. Have you seen the video? Seriously... whether you're glad the thug is dead or not, the manner of his passing is simply a disaster to our cause. You can't have jeering militia men from the other side of a sectarian civil war than Saddam ruining that moment. That has made Saddam a martyr.

I'm hardly out there for saying this either. It's not like partisanship has clouded my judgement on this. When the President loses Christopher Hitchens over this one, you have to know it's bad...
No, I haven't seen the video. But I did a quick search and didn't find anyone who agrees with you about the event being a disaster. Even Hitchens didn't use that term, although he is opposed to the death penalty in general.

Can you give me a pointer to a reputable source (not a blog) who shares your view?
Jeff... the verbiage I use is mine alone. I never claimed that everyone or anyone else used the term "disaster". My contention is that the hanging itself, as it was conducted and viewed by the world was a disastrous event.

To say that Hitchens does not hold my point of view because he does not use my exact verbiage is just ludicrous. Heres Hitchins own words: "How could it have come to this?" "To watch this abysmal spectacle as a neutral would be bad enough. To know that the U. S. government had even a silent, shamefaced part in it is to feel something well beyond embarrassment." Well I suppose since he did not use the word "disaster", that means I was wrong...

Links to respectable people who also think the execution was...erm... well I'll include the persons own verbiage in the link so as not to set off any recriminations... John Prescott, Englands Deputy Prime Minister under Tony Blair: deplorable Major General William Caldwell: U.S. "would have done it differently" The Vatican Newspaper: "making a spectacle" of the hanging had turned it into "an expression of political hubris" (I know the Vatican by default is against the Death Penalty but this criticism is not based upon that policy, but upon the actual execution itself)

Heres an opinion that uses the term disaster. Hisham Melhem,(links to a brief biography) the pro American spokesman from Al-Arabiya called the execution a "total disaster"

I could find another set of respected punditry who think the execution was botched (again, my verbiage for the overall sentiment), but this reply is already book length...
Thank you. Now I can better see where you are coming from.

One arab calls it a disaster, another calls it divine justice. Those opposed to the death penalty found it deplorable. Most westerners agreed that the hanging didn't have proper solemnity. Saddam supporters were outraged.

I'm personally relieved that he's dead and consider the hanging a success. If he weren't dead, that would be a disaster.
Actually Jeff, I am very happy you replied as you did. It is highly instructive of what has made this execution so very disastrous.

It is not your or my mind that we need to win over in the war on terror. I'm on board. So are you. We both acknowlege and wish to protect our nation from the threat of militant Islam.

It is the perception of the execution by Arabs and those we need to sway to our side that makes this a disaster.

You may want to denigrate their opinion based upon their nationalities and so on, but those are the people we are trying to influence... Their opinions are important.
Heres the big enchilada to put this entire debate to bed. President Bush to reporters, briefed immediately before his surge speech: Video of the execution of Saddam ranks just below Abu Ghraib in terms of damage. There is no better description than that... and I must admit this is one of the rare times I find myself in agreement with the President.
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