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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 

Scum-watch: They're asking for it.

I'm not one to normally defend the Dear Leader, but the Sun have again ascribed views to him which he clearly does not hold. They last did this before Christmas, claiming that he had voiced support for their campaign against "killjoys", when he did nothing of the sort, instead questioning whether the stories were based in fact. Today they're claiming that Blair said Saddam "deserved to die", when he instead went off on a tangent, trying not to be too hard on the botched execution:

TONY Blair said last night that the way Saddam Hussein was executed was wrong — but that the tyrant deserved to die.

The Prime Minister reminded the world the former Iraqi dictator was a mass murderer responsible for millions of deaths.

He condemned the chaotic scenes around Saddam’s hanging — but urged everyone to remember he was to blame for his own downfall.

He said: “The manner of the execution of Saddam was completely wrong. But that should not blind us to the crimes he committed against his own people. That includes the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

“One million casualties of the Iran-Iraq war and the use of chemical weapons against his own people, wiping out entire villages.

“The crimes Saddam committed do not excuse the manner of his execution, but that does not excuse the crimes. We should bear in mind while saying ‘it’s wrong’ that we should not lurch into a position in forgetting the victims of Saddam.

“Of course any sensible, moderate person makes these points about the scenes we have seen.

“But it should not be then translated into some sort of excuse for the crimes he committed against his own people.”

What the Sun has done is edited together two separate answers to separate questions, and even then he still doesn't say anything that even comes close to supporting the death penalty or the execution, simply repeating the true enough but age old justification for the war which has now been taken up since the WMD excuse fell apart. Here are the two answers he gave in full, from the 10 Downing Street website:

In relation to the death penalty let me just say this. As you know the practice is different in the UK and Japan, but I don't think that is really the issue here. As has been very obvious from the comments of other Ministers and indeed from my own official spokesman, the manner of the execution of Saddam was completely wrong, but that should not blind us to the crimes he committed against his own people, including the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, one million casualties in the Iran-Iraq war, and the use of chemical weapons against his own people, wiping out entire villages of people. So the crimes that Saddam committed does not excuse the manner of his execution, and the manner of his execution does not excuse the crimes. Now I think that is a perfectly sensible position that most people would reasonably accept.

Well I can't add a great deal to what I said earlier. The fact is that as everybody saw, the manner of the execution is unacceptable and it is wrong, but we should bear in mind and not allow that, while saying it is wrong, then to lurch into a position of forgetting the victims of Saddam, the people that he killed deliberately as an act of policy, hundreds of thousands of them in Iraq, the villages and towns that were wiped out by the use of chemical weapons deliberately as an act of government policy. So of course any sensible moderate person makes those points about the scenes that we have seen about the execution, but it should not be then translated into some sort of excuse for the crimes that he committed against his own people, of which you have heard testimony again today.

Blair's bringing up of Saddam's crimes is of course not the point at all; the first images which were broadcast of Saddam's execution were of a dignified, low-key affair, which although brutal and with the hallmarks of a general lack of humanity, did not give the impression of victor's justice, or the sectarianism that emerged once the unofficial mobile phone videos were presented on the web. Even the most brutal of men, if condemned to death, deserve to be treated with something approaching respect as their life is taken from them. That Saddam was not says much about the contemporary Iraq that the US/UK invasion has helped to create.

Elsewhere, the Sun really is asking for it:

Send us web's sickest sites

THE Sun today launches a crackdown on the web's most disturbing websites - and you can help!

From today, if you're shocked by a site and reckon it should be shut down contact us.

Email talkback@the-sun.co.uk with the details and our web team will get on the case.

We want you to shop sites that are doing anything illegal, just like the body parts website exposed in The Sun this week.

Our investigators revealed how Brits were selling organs over the net via a twisted site.

The story told how crime gangs and crooked doctors were among those cashing in on the organs black market.

And with your tips, we can track down and expose more horrifying sites just like that.

So if you want us to investigate a web page email talkback@the-sun.co.uk Your email will be treated in strictest confidence.

I've since sent the following email:

I've been shocked by the horrifying exploitation of young women by one site in particular. Ladies as young as 18 are encouraged to send in photographs of themselves semi-naked, all for the puny prize of £5,000, while an elderly, leering gentleman profits from their ignorance, and a flame-haired woman fills the pages of her newspaper with their frontal lobes, without having to pay them for the privilege.

Can you possibly help close down http://www.page3.com/page3idol/ (warning: nudity)?


I await their reply.

Related posts:
Scum-watch: Various bits and bobs.

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