Saw this story being aired on a prominent news channel at the airport, while waiting for a flight. Needless to say, it was a ‘postmortem’ of the Saddam Hussein execution, which is all over the news waves these past couple of days. This was the first glimpse I had of this video. I happened to watch it at the moment when the ‘guards’ were wrapping a cloth around Saddam’s neck, while explaining to him what the procedure was for his execution. Kind of like handing a sugar-coated, very bitter pill to someone. Very very bitter, in this case. The prisoner, hair neatly combed, beard smartly trimmed, was suited and booted, as though dressed for a party thrown for him. The irony being that, you could actually call it a party thrown for him.

This video will undoubtedly be aired countless times. People will see it many many times over, until they remember to a fault each action, every gesture, every movement and every word in this gruesome video.

Why ‘gruesome’? Because I think it’s gruesome to blatantly put on show someone’s final moments in this way. Of course, there are those who will argue that he behaved far worse during his lifetime, and that he was only getting his just desserts. That I shouldn’t be saying this about someone who reduced the lives of an entire nation’s peoples to nothing more than a handful of misery.

I do not disallow these arguments, and I also know that this is probably not the first (and certainly not the last) time such is being shown. And yet, I can’t help but feel a pang of pity, you could say, on the ultimate denigration and mockery of a man’s life and eventually, his death.

And the story airing just after the above was ‘Developing story – Hunt for Bin Laden’. Any guesses what will happen next?

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