Friday, December 29, 2006

Tonight No Sleep

The hour here on the east coast of the US is 10:30 pm. Ahmed is usually asleep by now. Tonight he is on the phone with his parents, who are up at an unusually early hour in their home in the UK. His mother and father are gathered with his brother, sister, and the rest of the family to say a prayer of thanks for the death of Saddam Hussein and justice for thousands of Kurds. The Bath party executed Ahmed's grandparents many years ago. He saw them die. He was just a boy.

Tonight this good, kind, loving family celebrates the death of a monster. Hussein did not kill the loved ones of my darling Ahmed personally. He was, at that time, an assassin of particular note: one climbing the political social ladder surely and swiftly. Hussein was responsible, many years later, for the deaths of others in the family, and many who were counted as extended family for the dearness of their friendships. Some perished in the Anfal campaigns in 87 and 88.

Tonight Ahmed speaks long distance to his parents, his brother, his sister. Their voices bring him comfort. He speaks to me casually, assuring me he is not troubled by memories. I know he is not telling me the truth; but I also know he believes he is.

Tonight he will remember. He and his family rejoice that Hussein is dead. I do, as well. I oppose the death penalty in principle on the grounds that innocent people will inevitably die in a flawed legal system. If we could be certain only the guilty died, I would favor it.

Tonight a guilty man died. I hope he suffered. I offer no prayers for his soul, for I believe he had none. I offer no apologies for my hatred, as I think it is just. I am glad he is dead and I hope he was terrified. I hope he felt pain. I rest peacefully, when I do eventually rest, knowing he is in a dark corner of hell listening to the cries of children he slaughtered, their mothers, all of the innocents he destroyed.

Ahmed will not sleep well tonight, though he is glad to see him dead, as well. I am certain that tonight, as so often happens when he watches television from Iraq, when he sees the faces of the slain on the screen, he will remember his grandparents and how they loved him. Tonight he will remember the horror of watching them shot.

Tomorrow he will wake weary and drained, but I think he will wake relieved, vindicated, and glad. For me, there will be no sleep until his comes.

2 comments ]:[ Add your comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought of Ahmed when I was reading at work on Saturday (the execution headlines).

The world is better without him. It's proof that "what goes around comes around." His own people performed the execution. This weekend "it came around" for him.

I just wish they'd have picked an execution method that was much more painful and slow in effectiveness.

Chrissy said...

Smooch Donut!

Post a Comment