I haven't commented on Saddam Hussein's execution. I don't know what other more important people are saying, or the Iraqis themselves, but I don't think the US really wanted him executed at this particular moment. ie. I don't think they orchestrated this. I think it was Iraqis who insisted on it.
Saddam. Bad guy. Murderer. Despot. Treacherous sonofabitch. Former friend and ally of the US.
He probably deserved to die. But I am Buddhist person, you know? Just because he deserved it doesn't mean somebody should go ahead and kill him. Not good karma. This is precisely the sort of action that keeps the cycle cycling. And this ain't no six-day bicycle race, if you know what I mean.
What someone deserves and what someone gets have no rational connection anyway. Others may deserve execution too, but what they get is adulation or deference or respect or free lunch. Who knows?
The reason for this is karma. Past action affecting present reality. Present action affecting future reality.
I refuse to be accused of so-called moral relativism here. I stand to be corrected, but I think Buddhists are relativists by definition. We are taught, and we espouse the doctrine of Dependendent Origination, fer chrissake! Nothing stands on its own. Nothing exists inherently. Everything requires the appropriate causes and conditions in order to manifest. A match is fire. But only when there is a hand to strike it.
Executioners depend on Saddam. Saddam depends on Murricans. Label him friend or enemy. Butcher of Baghdad. But Baghdad has many butchers now.
One killing does not justify or make right all the others. Any killing is unskilfull, unless you can see the bigger picture. And this you cannot do while you are ruled by the three poisons...hatred, attachment and ignorance. It seems to me, all the butchers of Baghdad are suffering from one or more of these poisons.
So...the executioners, the Iraqis, the Murricans, all of us, affected by the ritual killing of one poor miserable, mean sonofabitch. And the hangmen taunted him, too, as they were stringing him up. Karmically speaking, that's just piling on...