Thursday, July 12, 2007

Death Penalty

The Ethiopian court sentenced Mengistu H/Mariam, who's currently enjoying luxurious life in exile in Zimbabwe, to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty because it's 'unethical' to kill an aging man. Death penalty at this age would not be 'fair but a vendetta', they reasoned. As opposed to if he was younger where it would be like what, redemption??

Yet somehow seeking death penalty is so ethical for CUD leaders , hmm? Granted they've not been sentenced but it makes me sick to the stomach that they're tried in the same court and in the same manner as a man like Mengistu Hailemariam.

The moral of the story: if you want to be a politician in Ethiopia, make sure you seem like you're old & dying. And befriend Mugabe.

I have been reading People's History of The United States bit by bit. It's supposed to be the history of America you wont read in school text books. It's depressing. It details how native American populations were exterminated, how the will and culture of black people in America was systematically broken down unpon their arrival to the United States to beat them into submission. One thing I found 'amusing' is that most of the non-wealthy Europeans who originally came to the US apparently came indentured as house servants. They paid for their fare across the Atlantic through the promise of labor to masters who could sell and exchange them as property, much like slaves, except Europeans could eventually win their freedom. This is reminiscent of slavery systems in most of Africa. Fast forward to the present - I always find it amusing when I hear 'real' Americans (i.e. white americans) complain nowadays about there being too many immigrants (i.e. people of questionable color) since these Americans are clearly children of immigrants themselves. Now I'll add to my amusement by thinking of the many indentured European 'pioneers'. At least the Mexicans came as free people - should that count for something? (Me? No. I'm no immigrant. I'm a tourist :-) But I digress ...

So in People's History the manner in which parts of society that didn't own property were literally tortured into submission made it seem like I was reading about most of today's Africa. It's a chronicle of death, violence and betrayal that lead entire communities into seemingly resigned states of political existence.

The real moral of the whole story : the death penalty of any form was moronic, is moronic, will always be moronic.

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