Friday, December 29, 2006

Buckley's bloody 'pleasure'

William F. Buckley Jr. rhapsodizes about the "undeniable" pleasure he will receive upon "the death of Saddam by rope's end."

Give me a break.

Saddam's reign of terror ended over three years ago. His execution is a postscript to volumes of tragedy. While one may appreciate the fact that justice is served and imagine hopefully that the world's remaining despots are on notice, there is really no cause for the jubilant "pleasure" Buckley describes.

I'm willing to believe that Saddam's execution is one of those "cases of absolute necessity" that John Paul the Great admits in Evangelium Vitae, "when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society." But the idea that the execution is anything better than the tragically necessary killing of a man who caused immeasurable violence and repression is repugnant and unworthy of conservatism's elder statesman.