Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saddam hospitalized, fed with tube

That's the actual Strib headline currently gracing the front page (though not front and center) of the dot-com.

There's a certain irony about giving Hussein the 'ol Fristy McDoctor Schiavo treatment. Because of his hunger strike, he's too weak to go through the trial that will ultimately lead to his hanging. So he gets put on a feeding tube to give him strength back. So we can kill him.

The fact that we can't allow him to starve himself to death is an insight into the way the community perceives justice. If he were to starve himself, it would mean that he had the agency and the power to do so. The courts and the justice system were powerless to stop his agency. Yet, because we want justice--or some form of closure, perhaps--we are forced to go through the farce of saving him so we can kill him.


xtrachromosomeconservative said...

This sounds like a great paper topic. "Feeding Tubes and Society: From Terri to Sadaam"

Ilya said...

I see the irony in sustaining life only in order to snuff it out. But I don't think "we," the community, simply see justice as revenge, and so want to have our revenge on Saddam by killing him ourselves.

To be sure, justice is in many instances little more than revenge. And it is curious as to why we actively prevent Saddam from committing suicide. All I wish to add here is that it appears that Saddam is being treated no different than other prisoners who are suicidal. And other than the employment of a feeding tube, it's not clear to me what Schiavo and Saddam share in common.

archduke f. f. said...

Not much, but neither of them, if you believe Michael Schiavo, want a feeding tube. They're both being fed according to the belief that the government knows what's right for them rather than allowing them to make a decision for themselves.

I'm not sure where you were going with the "I don't think we see justice as revenge" part that led to "justice is...little more than revenge".

And you're right that Saddam is being treated no different. But I find irony that the humanitarian impulse for saving quadrant is directly adjacent to the justice/revenge/closure/whatever hexagon. Just odd, that's all.