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No more dictators executions in the holiday season, please! March 19, 2008

Posted by oblia in Peregrinatio 1.
Tags: , , ,

25 December 1989, Bucharest, Romania. In the evening they showed us on national TV the (recorded) execution of Elena and Nicolae Ceausescu. The two had been the Absolute Masters of the country up until 3 days before Christmas that year. Now they were lying down on the cemented patio of a command post, the he-Dictator’s legs bent like a broken puppet’s, his hair ruffled, his black comrade overcoat dishevelled, the she-Dictator’s coiffure a real mess extending into a wide streak of blood (the platoon had targeted her head, they said, because they hated her more). God, what a relief it was to us, the grey, fear-haunted shadows that they had turned us into! They fully deserved it. And yet those mouth-watering meat-and-cabbage rolls (sarmale) with cream and the so popular sweet bread with ground nut and raisin filling (cozonac) that we traditionally eat at Christmas weren’t going down so well… But it’s ok. We’ve survived and thrived. As of January 1, we’re a full-time member state of the European Union. And that’s great, because that’s what we wanted and deserved – after all these 50-odd years.

30 December 2006, Bucharest, Romania. In the morning they showed us on TV the (recorded) execution of Saddam Hussein. Black overcoat again, hands tied behind his back, the professional helpfulness of one of the executioners, “Would you like a mask on your face, sir?”, the Dictator’s desperately dignified expression, “What? No, that should be all right”, the careful explanation of the procedure to follow, the Dictator’s nodding, as if he was listening to some routine military report, the humanistic touch by the same executioner “Shall we put a scarf around your neck, then? That should alleviate the shock”, “What? Yes, that would be nice”, the clumsy shuffling of the Dictator on tied legs to the scaffold, the minute fitting of the hitch around the scarf around the neck, and then, pop, off you go, accompanied by the witnesses’ fiery curses.

Well, as a European citizen by blood, intellect and aspiration, I do not want to see, ever again in my life on this planet, recordings of dictators executions. I hate freedom deprivation, and violence inflicted by anyone on any of their fellow creatures, be it bullying, bashing or genocide, simply paralyses me. But no human, no matter how evil they have been, how sub-human they have become through their crimes, deserves to be executed. They should be granted a basic human chance: the chance to (eventually) be sorry. Would life prison have done the trick, in Saddam’s case? Would he have ever felt sorry, or at least felt the need to be forgiven? We’ll never have a chance to know, now.

P.S.: was it just me, or did you see it, too? I rewound, paused and watched again and again the CNN recording of the execution on the Internet just to see several times a sequence of maximum 2 seconds. As with all grand historical events, Fate (or whoever) sneaks in a small detail that is hugely GAUCHE, in the solemnity of the moment: just before Saddam stepped on the scaffold, a tiny little something hurriedly crossed the wooden platform! It could’ve only been a mouse. The carrier/courier of our ridicule.



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