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Monday, January 01, 2007

Saddam, Birdwatcher

For whatever else he was, according to this story, Saddam Hussein also apparently fed and cared for birds. I think its important to see Saddam Hussein as more than a monster. In many ways, he is us, and we are him. While he may have ruled with incredibly harsh violence, he apparently also had another side. When he was hung this weekend, both sides were killed. Rather then celebrate the death of a thug, which is all to easy, perhaps we should mourn the passing of a man who for whatever reasons, chose to follow a violent path, rather than remain in his garden feeding birds. The United States paid an enormous price to remove him from power. Now that he's dead, will we take a moment to reflect on how we may be more like our enemies than we might care to admit...both in our weaknesses, and in our more graceful moments feeding birds in our gardens. Saddam, I'm sure you will reap your eternal reward, but I for one am saddened by your passing...saddened for the Saddam who might have been, and for how we might all have been different as well. For a world where we could be sharing backyard birds in Iraqi gardens, rather than fighting each other there. Peace.


Anonymous said...

Your blog is one of the few places I have seen any attempt at balance in reaction to the execution of Saddam Hussein. Thank you for that. It is important for us to remember that our enemies are also human beings and to honor that, lest we become what we abhor in them. I cannot rejoice at the death of any human being, regardless of the evil acts they may have committed. One can hope and work for a world in which we can finally concentrate on our common humanity which unites us. Perhaps then potential Saddams will find fulfillment in spending time in their garden with the birds, rather than choosing the path of the former Iraqi dictator.

Anonymous said...

Saddam may have cared for individual birds, but his systematic destruction of the southern marshes endangered countless critters. Not that that's a hanging offense...

birdchaser said...

Good point Mike, and maybe that's another interesting angle on this. How much is Saddam different from an average American who feeds birds and may care about individual birds, but who otherwise lives a lifestyle and supports an political and economic system that systematically destroys bird habitats in their own city or county or state, let alone around the world?

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