CNN Europe reports that Italians are shocked–shocked!–by the cell phone video of Saddam Hussein’s execution, and are calling for a United Nations ban on all capital punishment:
Italy will campaign at the United Nations for a global ban on the death penalty, Prime Minister Romano Prodi said on Tuesday, after graphic images of Saddam Hussein’s hanging shocked people around the world.
Italian politicians of all political parties expressed disgust at Hussein’s execution, with even former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi calling it a “political and historic error.”
Pressured by a week-long hunger strike by a 76-year-old campaigner against Hussein’s execution and the death penalty in general, Prodi said Italy would push the U.N. for a “universal moratorium” on capital punishment.
Iraq’s government made the obvious rejoinder:
The Iraqi government has hit back at Italy for its criticism of Hussein’s execution, accusing it of hypocrisy, especially after World War Two dictator Benito Mussolini was killed by partisans and hanged upside down in a Milan square in 1945.
“They have no right interfering in the affairs of another country,” government official, Yaseen Majeed, was quoted as saying in La Repubblica daily. “Mussolini’s trial only lasted one minute.”
Mussolini’s execution–murder, in fact–was crueler, too.
Remember when photos surfaced of Saddam in captivity, wearing underwear? That was a shocking infringement of his civil liberties, too. I suspect that the only images of Saddam that would be acceptable to the critics would be of him restored to power and lounging in his palaces.
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