Friday, July 02, 2004


And it only took two days since I asked the question.
Baghdad's decision to re-establish the death penalty ahead of the war-crimes trial of Saddam Hussein evoked a mixed reaction in Europe, recalling the split across the continent over the war that toppled the Iraqi leader.

Germany and France, two of the most vocal anti-war opponents, strongly stated their opposition - without exception - to the death penalty and called on Iraqi authorities to ensure Saddam a fair trial.

In Berlin, the government's top human-rights official, Claudia Roth, criticized Baghdad's move to reinstate capital punishment, which was suspended during the U.S. occupation.

"To start out this way does not send a good signal," Roth told The Associated Press. "I think it would have been a signal of democratic strength had they not reinstated the death penalty in Iraq."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Hello Tim,

You may recall this email message I sent you a month or so ago. Hope you don't mind me posting it for others since it provides another perspective.


John, Father of 1AD Soldier

Hi Tim,

I request that you take a moment to read through this article and reflect a bit BEFORE reading my observations.

You may recall I am Chinese by blood and Japanese by birth with a good understanding of both cultures:


1. The claim by many liberals and pacifists that US is just about the only well-established democracy with the death sentence is totally FALSE!

2. A Japanese higher court over-turning a lower court and imposing the more severe and the ultimate punishment is not only unheard of but probably cannot happen in the US Judicial System (unfortunately in my opinion).

3. It not only the actual "killers" but the founder of the cult and the mastermind being held totally accountable. This is par with the Japanese mentality of the top person being held accountable (from Prime Ministers and CEO's resigning to head of a feudal clan/family committing harakiri).

4. While taking a somewhat exceedingly pacifist (in my opinion) position on global war on terror, as evidenced by the number of troops and their mission in Iraq, the Japanese are nevertheless extremely tough on what happens at home. They take any attack on its own people, especially by its own citizens within its own border EXTREMELY harshly and personally.

In essence and summary, the punishment for severe crime in Japan is more than likely to be drastic, severe, uncompromising, and unforgiving (none of the rehabilitation and redemption crap). For a crime that captures public's attention and sentiment, individual liberty and human rights will take a second seat to public opinion.

It is a "different brand of democracy" and at least for fighting terrorism and for terrorists, I think the Japanese way is better, efficient, more productive, and worthy of emulation.