Letters
Spare Saddam Hussein
By J. H. Peterson

To the Iraqi High Court: In the Name of Allah, a most merciful and just God, we ask you to commute the death sentence of Saddam Hussein.

It is not so much that this prisoner deserves life, but that the people of Iraq deserve something better than his execution. One cannot but think that the shedding of his blood will bring further bloodshed to a land where it has lately flowed far too freely. Perhaps the act of sparing his life will be a start to break the endless cycle of violence, and that all Iraqis -- Sunni, Shiite and Kurd -- may begin to live peaceably together.

It is a far more fitting punishment for Mr. Hussein to spend the rest of his days inside a jail cell, where he may contemplate the enormity of his deeds. It is better he be given a chance to reflect upon and record his legacy to the citizens of Iraq. The words in his recent letter, "I call on you not to hate...it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking", suggest even he is capable to amend his ways. Far better is that he be judged by History.

Sparing Mr. Hussein's life would be an opportunity to show to the world that Iraqis are not extremists filled with hatred and revenge that they so often have been portrayed. Indeed, this is a most important time in the history of Iraq for the forces of wisdom and moderation to prevail.

Mr. Hussein will meet his maker soon enough, but it should be at a time of Allah's, not his enemies, choosing.


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