Sunday, December 31, 2006

awld lang zeyen

The title is the phonetic rendering of the traditional Scottish song, Auld Lang Syne, which means “Time Long Past”. Well, 2006 is not yet time long past - not until about 2 and a half hours later in Singapore, that is. Some parts of the world, though, have already crossed the midnight hour into 2007.

On the penultimate days of 2006, the news have been filled with the deaths of two former Presidents. The first is the of the 38th President of the US, Mr Gerald Ford, and the second, the death of Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq. The first will be honoured with a state burial, the second has been convicted for crimes against humanity and has duly been executed by hanging.

If you asked everyone on earth, as CNN and the BBC did, what they felt about the execution of Saddam, you are bound to get many different and diverse views and emotions - from those who celebrate the event to those who condemn the execution.

For a Singaporean Chinese who has lived all his life in South-east Asia, Saddam's death does not, and cannot, evoke the strong feelings that was witnessed amongs the Iraqis. However, when I watched scenes of his hanging on TV, I cannot feel a bit sad that a life will soon end, as it surely did. Many question whether that occasion should be taped and televised at all. Unfortunate as it is, I can understand why it has to be. Iraq must demonstrate, without any shadow of a doubt, that Saddam was indeed executed. Leaving scenes of the execution to the imagination will, in time, just throw up conspiracy theories about how he is still alive and directing the struggle against the American invaders - just like in the case of Osama Bin Laden.

Osama Bin Laden's body has never been found. He has not appeared in person in public for 5 years now, so the world cannot but assume that he is still alive. There is just no conclusive proof that he is dead.

I personally think that he has met his maker and is keeping company with the devil in hell - for a very very very long time - like the words from Auld Lang Syne. I cannot imagine what his fellow terrorists who are sharing his hell hole are doing to him for misleading them. One thing is certain though. They are all burning in hell. Amen.

Goodbye 2006.

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