Tag Archives: usa

Death and Execution

As I type this post, Troy Davis, a man convicted of killing a policeman twenty years ago awaits death. He will be executed by lethal injection in a matter of a few hours, two at most.

I post paragraphs from one of my favourite essays ‘A Hanging’ by George Orwell, about death, killing and what it means to execute a person.

“It was about forty yards to the gallows. I watched the bare brown back of the prisoner marching in front of me. He walked clumsily with his bound arms, but quite steadily, with that bobbing gait of the Indian who never
straightens his knees. At each step his muscles slid neatly into place, the lock of hair on his scalp danced up and down, his feet printed themselves on the wet gravel. And once, in spite of the men who gripped him by each shoulder, he stepped slightly aside to avoid a puddle on the path.”

“It is curious, but till that moment I had never realized what it means to destroy a healthy, conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle, I saw the mystery, the unspeakable wrongness, of cutting a life short when it is in full tide. This man was not dying, he was alive just as we were alive. All the organs of his body were working –bowels digesting food, skin renewing itself, nails growing, tissues forming–all toiling away in solemn foolery. His nails would still be growing when he stood on the drop, when he was falling through the air with a tenth of a second to live. His eyes saw the yellow gravel and the grey walls, and his brain still remembered, foresaw, reasoned–reasoned even about puddles. He and we were a party of men walking together, seeing, hearing, feeling, understanding the same world; and in two
minutes, with a sudden snap, one of us would be gone–one mind less, one world less. ”

If by some rare chance, Troy Davis isn’t dead when you read this, please sign this petition here.

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Osama : Whose bin is really Laden.

The other day President Obama in a midnight conference told the world that Osama bin Laden is dead. However, the body apparently was buried in the sea.

Before I go on, I must say this lest any of my readers judge me. I am not ‘pro-Osama’, I do not subscribe to his take on ideological issues, I am not related to him and I am neither a fan or supporter of him or his works. Period.

But here is the issue, they claim Osama is dead but thus far there is no living evidence to support this.

Again, I am not saying he is alive, I am not saying he is dead – I am indifferent to the matter, I do not care if he is dead or alive.

The war on terror started with the sole intention of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. Then they went to Iraq. Saddam Hussein was captured, they made such a show of it. We all remember a bearded and dishevelled Saddam having a doctor inspect his teeth when he was captured. They telecast all his trials, they made every possible step to ensure that the world was convinced that Saddam, that great prize has indeed been captured.

Osama is a bigger target isn’t he ? surprising that no evidence is shown or they aren’t making a big victorious display of him like they did of Saddam.

However, one thing is certain, this is going to do wonders to Obama’s re-election bid. Something that was hitting stormy waters these past few weeks.

Another question that arises. How right are extra judicial killings ? Moral scholars and theologians and even governments in instances condemn publicly the concept of extra judicial killings. The BBC now says here “Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was unarmed when he was killed by US troops on Sunday after resisting capture, the White House has said”</span>. So he was unarmed ? Could they not have trialled him in a suitable judiciary procedure ? Sentence him to death by if the court orders that.

There is no legal or moral justification whatsoever for a state to kill an unarmed man, and at point blank range according to most.

How different are we as a people if we cannot morally and righteously differentiate ourselves from the very devils we aim to fight ?

As Chris Hedges says here

“And empire finally, as Thucydides understood, is a disease. As Thucydides wrote, the tyranny that the Athenian empire imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. The disease of empire, according to Thucydides, would finally kill Athenian democracy. And the disease of empire, the disease of nationalism … these of course are mirrored in the anarchic violence of these groups, but one that locks us in a kind of frightening death spiral. So while I certainly fear al-Qaida, I know its intentions. I know how it works. I spent months of my life reconstructing every step Mohamed Atta took. While I don’t in any way minimize their danger, I despair. I despair that we as a country, as Nietzsche understood, have become the monster that we are attempting to fight.”

For those of you who celebrated his death publicly, let me tell you this – as Jeremy F. Walton, professor of Religious Studies at NYU, wrote on his blog today  –

“I do not mean to denigrate the persistent grief of the families of 9/11 victims, or, for that matter, the pain that countless Americans continue to experience when they recall or witness the indelible images of that infamous Tuesday morning. But make no mistake: last night’s celebrators, and all those whom they represent, have no comprehension of the political history, quotidian violence, and post-colonial frustration over increasing global inequities—to gesture to but a few factors—that made Osama bin Laden and his network possible. Political theorist Mahmood Mamdani, for one, has vigorously argued that a reckoning of the American role in the creation of jihadist violence during the Cold War is indispensable to understanding al-Qaeda itself. Acknowledgement of this neglected political history is even more crucial in the wake of bin Laden’s death.”

The US and its allies went to Afghanistan and then Iraq with the motive of capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, and not for oil. Right ? So will they leave those lands ? we may all know the answer to that.

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