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Monday, January 15, 2007 

The sixth sense sicko.

One of the earliest jokes used by Steve Bell against George Bush, questioned about some of the indiscriminate bombing inflicted on Afghanistan, was that he, unlike the kid in the Sixth Sense, couldn't see dead people. As so often happens, satire appears to have become reality:

He also admitted that the execution of Saddam Hussein had been mishandled, describing the event as "discouraging", according to excerpts of the TV show 60 Minutes. He said he had only watched part of the execution on the internet, because he had not wanted to watch Saddam fall through the trap door.

Perhaps we really shouldn't be all that surprised at Bush's apparent queasiness regarding watching the death of the tyrant he overthrew. Bush's own desire to avoid seeing death could not be further exemplified than by his attempts to avoid serving in Vietnam, controversy over exactly how he avoided going or not.

Yet you can't help feeling that maybe his avoiding watching the eventual logical conclusion of his decision to invade Iraq says a lot about his entire political career. As governor of Texas he sent 152 condemned men to their deaths. As president he's directly responsible for the deaths of over 3,000 US servicemen, not to mention the innumerable Iraqis who have perished. It may be down to my own staunch opposition to the death penalty, but all those who do support it, especially if they are ultimately responsible for administering it, should be made to watch at least once what it actually entails. Bush seems capable of ordering it, but when it comes to Saddam Hussein at least, he couldn't stomach the direct consequences of his own actions. Like a dog having its face rubbed in it, Bush should have been subject to the Ludovico technique.

Showing him the death of Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti could be even more punishing to his health. How the Iraqi government have now not once but twice managed to monumentally mess up executions would be a good question to put to Albert Pierrepoint, if he were still alive. Their decision also to put them in orange jumpsuits, beloved not only by the US authorities at Guantanamo (the Grauniad suggests they were red jumpsuits, not orange, as the BBC reported, the red being in line with what US death row prisoners wear), but also by al-Zarqawi et al, is similarly bewildering. The only reasonable conclusion that can be reached is that this genuinely is Shia revenge, even if Tikriti's decapitation was unintended. Why else would you so publicly humiliate men who surely in death deserved at least some respect? While we're at it, we can also start the countdown until the footage appears on LiveLeak.

Elsewhere on blogs today, Osama Saeed laughs at Richard Littlejohn's stupidity, Ministry of Truth ridicules Johann Hari's belief in the government's general competence and innocence in wanting to create another huge cross-department database, and Pickled Politics rightly attacks the vile boyfriend of Jade Goody for racially abusing Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother, and Channel 4 for bleeping it out.

Update: Channel 4 has denied that Jack Tweed called Shetty a "Paki", instead apparently calling her a "cunt", and as the very last thing I do is actually watch the programme, I can't comment further, as the YouTube video linked to on PP has also been "removed by the user". Either way, the apparent abuse which Shetty has received shouldn't have been bleeped out in the first place. As ever on reality tv, you only see what they want you to see, and nothing else.


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