All the newspapers have one story today - unsurprisingly it is the hanging of Saddam Hussein. On the News 24 paper review last night I had a disagreement with my fellow studio guest Kate Bevan (from the FT) who clearly thought the media shouldn't have shown the pictures. My view is that it is important to show them, particualrly in Iraq, where some people won't actually believe he is dead until they see physical evidence of it. Remember the Ceaucescus? Their execution was filmed for one reason - to convince Romanians that he had gone.
We also had a debate about whether it was right for him to be given the death penalty. Kate naturally thought it was barbaric. My view is that it frankly hasn't got anything to do with us. He was sentenced to death under the Iraqi legal system without, so far as anyone can tell, outside interference. My only slight discomfort at the fact that he has been hanged came when I was listening to a Radio 5 Live discussion. They had a Kurdish lady on, who said that she and her people felt cheated. While he had been hanged for his role in killing 182 people following a failed assassination attempt, he had not yet been put on trial for his role in killing hundreds of thousands of Kurds. Now he never would be. I must admit that she has a very good point. The end result would have been the same, but the Kurdish people would have felt that their own case had been heard properly. Now, it may never be.
COMING LATER: My predictions for 2007.