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Lusosphere Debate Over Saddam's Last Scene

Saddam CardDespite the dreadful subject, Saddam's execution has become the very symbol of an year that has definitely changed the media as we knew it. The empowered delivery of citizen content through web 2.0 services and news sites is providing a totally new environment for news distribution, and the effects of such global revolution over specific issues is now fueling some interesting threads in the Lusosphere. The debate this time deals with death penalty, and it is ironic that it has taken the sentencing of an overthrown tyrant to raise the howls of complaint over capital punishment. It is indeed amazing to observe the power of transparency over public opinion, and how the current media environment is capable of renewing old debates.

O vídeo ainda vai dar muito o que falar, porque a partir dele se pode levantar alguns questionamentos, tais como as conseqüências do uso massificado da tecnologia, a espetacularização da guerra civil no Iraque e a ocupação do país pelos Estados Unidos e a exposição do ódio religioso e da vingança. É possível que essa discussão (e eu espero que ela efetivamente ocorra) tragam de volta a civilização para os valores do século 21.
Video traz para o presente o seculo 18Paulopes Weblog

The video piece will surely feed many conversations, as there are many issues that can be rehashed from it: effects of the massive use of technology, the spectacularization of the civil war and US occupation in Iraq, and the broad exposure of religious hate and revenge. It is possible that this debate (and I hope that it really happens) brings civilization back to 21st century values.
Video traz para o presente o seculo 18Paulopes Weblog

O que nos difere das sociedades primitivas que sacrificavam vidas em troca de proteção divina? Qual nossa efetiva contribuição para transformar a sociedade? Com que olhar nos enxerga ou enxergará a história? Saddam Hussein foi assassinado. A que propósito serve sua execução? Curdos e Xiitas festejam! George Bush saboreia sua Petro-vitória. Enquanto isso, o número de soldados Yankes mortos no Iraque ultrapassa o de vítimas do WTC. Enquanto isso, o Iraque e o Oriente Médio continuam em chamas. Enquanto isso um novo mártir se insere na cartilha da guerra! Saddam deveria ser armazenado, ter seus crimes apurados sob as lentes atentas das TVs do mundo todo, deveria cumprir sua pena perpétua sob os holofotes e sob as imagens constantes da destruição por ele causada. Pois enquanto estivesse vivo, serviria de modelo ao que deve ser combatido.
A Morte de SaddamArrasta a Rede

What makes us different from the primitive societies which sacrificed lives for divine protection? What is our effective contribution to transform society? How history will behold what is happening now? Saddam Hussein was murdered. What were the intentions behind his execution? Kurds and Shiites are celebrating! George Bush is enjoying his petro-victory. Meanwhile, the number of Yankee soldiers killed in Iraq surpasses WTC's victims, Iraq and Middle East flames continue to burn, and now a new martyr is included in the war's script! Saddan should have been kept alive, his crimes scrutinized by meticulous TV lenses around the world, so that his life in prison could always be portrayed with images of the destruction caused by him. While alive, he would be seen as a model of what needs to be combated.
A Morte de SaddamArrasta a Rede

Podem enumerar-me todas as torturas e brutalidades que ficaram asfixiadas conjuntamente com as glândulas e cartilagens do antigo ditador de Bagdade. Não importa. A incrível violência do enforcamento daquele homem, num ambiente de semi-clandestinidade e vergonhas dispersas, tem necessariamente de chocar com a linha de civilização que acreditamos jamais ser possível cruzar. Um acto bárbaro é um acto bárbaro, sem mais.
Saddam HusseinKontratempos

We can enumerate all tortures and brutalities that were asphyxiated along with Bagdad's old tyrant's glands and cartilages. It doesn't matter. The incredible violence exposed on the hanging of that man, occurred in a semi-clandestine ambiance filled with diffuse defaming, is totally against the notion of civilization we used to consider as established. A barbarian act is a barbarian act, period.
Saddam HusseinKontratempos

“O enforcamento de Saddam Hussein, nas imagens não-editadas, tem a aparência de um linchamento. Para quem possa achar que um linchamento se explique, ou até se justifique, por emoções violentas, o de Saddam parece ter sido praticado a frio por um bando de criminosos sabendo que têm de agir com pressa. Os executores xingam o condenado, fazem provocações políticas e o mandam para o inferno enquanto ele faz a última prece. Ele -o ditador sanguinário- é quem surge digno e altivo”.
VingançaURLs Sinistras

“Saddam Hussein's hanging, according to the non-edited images, resemble a lynching. To those who tend to think that a lynching can be justified by the presence of violent emotions, we could say that Saddam's execution seemed to be done by a gang of cold criminals convinced that they should act hastily. The executors cursed the condemned, made political incitements and sent him to hell while he was doing his last prayer. Saddam, the bloodstained dictator, is the one who acts with dignity”.
VingançaURLs Sinistras

‘Não há testemunho mais eloquente contra a pena de morte do que as imagens de uma execução, seja qual for o seu género. Mas o enforcamento de Saddam teve requintes de sordidez que deveriam fazer pensar não apenas aqueles que insistem em defender a lei de talião como um instrumento legítimo do Estado de direito, mas sobretudo os que ainda pretendem que o déspota de Bagdad foi julgado e executado segundo as regras da legalidade democrática trazida para o Iraque pelas tropas invasoras. Que distingue, no fundo, os invisíveis assassínios políticos no tempo de Saddam destas imagens de visão precária num ambiente lúgubre, captadas à socapa em estilo de reportagem “clandestina”? Que diferencia, afinal, a face da barbárie destas máscaras da civilização e da democracia?’, por Vicente Jorge Silva.
O fantasma de SaddamMacroscopio

‘There is no wittiest testimony against the death penalty than the images of an execution, of any kind. But Saddam's hanging displayed atrocious details that should evoke reflections not only from those who insist on supporting the talion law as a legitimate governance tool, but also from those who still think that the Bagdad's tyrant was judged and executed according to legal democratic rules brought to Iraq by American troops. What is the difference, in essence, between the invisible political murders occurred during Saddam's rule and these rugged images of a gloomy environment, secretly captured in a clandestine mode report? Finally, what differs barbarity from these masks of civilization and democracy?’, by Vicente Jorge Silva
O fantasma de SaddamMacroscopio


The current debate on the blogosphere was triggered
by the apearence of the non-official video of the execution — which can now be called the most viewed video clip in history — and it is valid to affirm that it would not happen in case the piece was not released. As a result, many bloggers focus on the possibilities of web 2.0 media and its effects over social narratives as the key shift to be interpreted.

Assim como as imagens de vigilância em Caché parecem ter sido concebidas espontaneamente, sem que houvesse de fato alguém a registrá-las e enviá-las ao personagem de Daniel Auteuil, também estas imagens da execução de Saddam possuem esse caráter etéreo, como se a tecnologia em si (uma imagem registrada pelo celular, distribuída e visualizada por milhões através da Internet e, posteriormente, reproduzidas por TVs de todo o mundo) fosse capaz de criar e difundir essas imagens. Não mais um Big Brother, um grande olho que a tudo vê, mas uma espécie de consciência coletiva, onde instantaneamente todos têm acesso a qualquer coisa que esteja ocorrendo a qualquer instante, em qualquer lugar. Encerrando este que foi considerado o ano do fenômeno You Tube (a ponto da revista Time eleger como personalidade do ano eu, você e todos nós que produzimos e consumimos nossos próprios conteúdos através da web), o último grande evento audiovisual de 2006 corroborou o surgimento de um quinto poder – descentralizado, capilar, anárquico – capaz de uma virtual onipresença e de uma velocidade de distribuição que revoluciona não apenas a imprensa e os meios de comunicação e entretenimento, mas, principalmente, nossa própria percepção da realidade.
Execuçao privada, exposiçao publicaEnquadramento

Just like the watchful images in Caché [Michael Haneke's film] seems to be spontaneously generated, with actually no one there to file it and send to Daniel Auteuil's character, Saddam's execution images also resemble this ethereal aspect, as if technology itself [an image captured by a cell phone, published and watched by millions through the Internet, and later broadcasted by TVs all over the world] would be capable of creating and divulging the images. It is not like Big Brother anymore — a big eye that watches everything — it is, instead, a kind of collective awareness which allows anyone to have instantaneous access to anything happening at any time, anywhere. As a perfect closure to this year considered to be YouTube's year [resulting in Time magazine's ‘Person of the Year’ choice falling over me, you, and all of us who produce and consume our own content through the web], 2006's last great audiovisual event confirmed the emergence of a fifth power — decentralized, far-reaching, anarchical — capable of a virtual omnipresence and a delivering velocity which tranform not only media and entertainment but, mainly, our own perception of reality.
Execuçao privada, exposiçao publicaEnquadramento

Hoje fui acordado não pela luz do sol a driblar a cortina da minha janela, e sim por um telefonema de um amigo. “Bicho, visse o vídeio?” Falava a voz embargada do outro lado da linha. … “Que vídeo porra?” Demonstrando todo meu amor pelo meu amigo, bem como toda delicadeza que me é peculiar. “Saddam morrendo, tá no youtube, baixa pra tu animal! Dá pra ver o pescoço quebrando e a cabeça dele envergando pra cima assim ó…” A princípio acho que ele pensava que de alguma maneira através do telefone pudesse ver os movimentos, muito provavelmente pouco estéticos, de sua cabeça a simular a do amigo Saddam na forca. “Desliga o pc e vai ler um livro”. Ou melhor, “desliga o pc e vai ler um livro, porra!” Sim, foi isso que falei. … O fascínio pela violência é entristecedor, mas está mais próximo do que podemos imaginar. Não falo em viver alienado sem saber do que cerca a morte do agora amigo Saddam, mas até mesmo a curiosidade de assistir uma execução já é por si só algo entristecedor… se ao menos uma única pessoa desistir de baixar a porcaria desse vídeo, já terá valido a pena. Boa semana a todos.
Campanha: “Nao baixe o video e va ler um livro”Luiz's Site

Today I was awakened not by the sunlight managing its way through my bedroom's curtain, but by the phone call from a friend. “Pal, have you seen the video?”. His voice was seized on the other side of the line… “What f… video?” I said, showing all my appreciation to my friend, and also my peculiar kindness. “Saddam dying, it's on Youtube, download it you animal! It's possible to see his twisted head like this, look…” Maybe he thought it would be possible for me to see his movements through the phone, simulating those of Saddam hanged. “Turn off the pc and go read a book”. Or better, “turn off the pc and go read a book, damn it”. Yes, that's what I told him. … Violence's allure is saddening, but it is closer than we can imagine. I do not promote the idea of an allienated life, avoiding to know about Saddam's [our new friend] death, but even the curiosity over watching an execution is by itself saddening… if only one single person gives up downloading this crap video… Have a nice week.
Campanha: “Nao baixe o video e va ler um livro”Luiz's Site

Será que ninguém aprendeu ainda que a privacidade acabou? E não é um Big Brother espreitando por aí, é algo muito, muito pior: é o olhar do povo! Aquele mesmo que, segundo a canção, “… fala… fala mesmo!”. A tecnologia nos deu a capacidade de exibir o que há de melhor e de pior em nós. Comunidades no Orkut espalham o racismo e a intolerância, acobertadas por pseudônimos e cadastros falsos. Por outro lado, lá também é possível achar amigos de infância e desconhecidos dispostos a ajudar num problema de computação… Eu sempre ouvi dizer que não é o mundo que está piorando, mas a cobertura da imprensa que melhora. Adaptando a idéia, acho que não é a humanidade que está piorando, mas a tecnologia que amplifica constantemente suas múltiplas facetas.
Preso suposto autor do vídeo do enforcamento de SaddamMeioBit

Has anybody learned that privacy is over? And it is not a Big Brother watching all around, it is something much worse: it is the crowd's eyes!…. Technology has handed us the possibility of displaying the best and the worst in us. Orkut communities spread racism and intolerance, covered by pseudonyms and fake profiles. On the other hand, it is also possible to find childhood friends and unknown people ready to help on computing problems… I have always heard that the world is not getting worse, but it is the press coverage which is getting better. Adapting the idea to our present case, it seems that it is not humanity which is getting worse, but technology which is constantly amplifying its multiple faces.
Preso suposto autor do vídeo do enforcamento de SaddamMeioBit


Portuguese bloggers are dealing
with the issue influenced by another current event, as an abortion referendum is scheduled to be voted next month in the country. The main argument made in the media is that every other European country allows abortion, so Portugal must fall in line with the rest of Europe. But it seems that the new perspectives on the death penalty debate brought by Saddam's execution are somehow empowering pro-life reasoning.

Ouvi agora nas notícias, uma declaração do Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros e Ministro de Estado, Luís Amado. Dizia o sr. Ministro a propósito da condenação de Saddam Hussein que “Portugal é contra a pena de Morte”…. Muito bem Sr. Ministro! Os meus Parabéns! Mas, muito me surpreende Sr. Ministro….. E o aborto é o Quê???? Não é condenar uma vida à morte prematuramente????
Pena de MorteAlentejo pelo Nao

I have just heard on the news a remark by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Minister, Luis Amado. The Minister was talking about the Saddam Hussein's condemnation, affirming that ‘Portugal is against death penalty'… Very good, Mr. Minister! Congratulations! But I am surprised Mr. Minister… What is abortion???? Isn't it prematurely sentencing a new life to death????
Pena de MorteAlentejo pelo Nao

2 mortes!!! Se Saddam Hussein era assassíno por ter morto tanta gente, então quem o matou, também não é assassino? Algo que toda a gente devia pensar antes de festejar a morte do antigo ditador. Que ele fez muito mal, isso fez, mas a morte nunca é solução, aliás, penso que o terror só agora vai começar. Sou contra a pena capital, aliás sou contra qualquer tipo de morte, inclusive de pessoas que ainda não nasceram para se poder defender. Estou a falar claro, do aborto. Por vezes, penso que quem quer abortar (assassinos, porque matam alguém) é que nunca devia ter nascido.
Tenham vergonha e digam não ao aborto. Não á Morte!!
Aborto e Sadam Husseinblacknaja

2 killings!!! If Saddam Hussein can be called a murderer for killing so many people, can't we also call murderers the ones who killed him? This is something that everyone should think about before celebrating the old tyrant's death. He has done lots of evil things, but death is not a solution. In fact, I believe that the terror is just about to begin. I am against the capital punishment, indeed I am against any kind of death, including that of the ones who were not yet born to defend themselves. I am obviously talking about abortion. Sometimes I think that those who want to perform abortions (murderers, as they kill someone) should never been born. Be ashamed and say no to abortion. Say No to Death!!
Aborto e Sadam Husseinblacknaja


At least three children
, in the US, Pakistan and India, are now dead after watching Saddam's execution video. While two cases appears to be accidents involving kids trying to mimic what they saw on TV, at least one was a purposeful suicide. Meanwhile, the former dictator has already been turned into an action figure available for kids, complete with a hangman's noose tight around his neck. Bloggers keep trying to understand what's going on.

O capitalismo americano não perde nenhuma oportunidade de negócio, nem a mais macabra. A Herobuilders colocou à venda um boneco do Saddam “Pendurado em uma Corda” (foto), conforme se lê em inglês da camiseta do boneco. A empresa é fabricante de figuras de plástico de personagens populares. Horas antes de o ex-ditador do Iraque ser enforcado, na madrugada de sábado (horário de Brasília), o boneco de 30 centímetros já estava anunciado no site da empresa, segundo a agência EFE. A Herobuilders tem outras versões de Saddam. Na sua coleção, há também personagens como o presidente venezuelano Hugo Chávez e Osama bin Laden. A EFE não informa que tipo de gente compra esses bonecos.
Empresa vende boneco de Saddam na cordaPaulopes Weblog

American capitalism is always ready to find business opportunities, even the most dreadful ones. Herobuilders has launched an action figure resembling Saddam “dope on a rope”, as we can read on the dool's shirt. The company makes action figures of popular characters. Hours before the Iraq's dictator was hanged, the 30 centimeters doll was already appearing on the company's website, according to EFE agency. Herobuilders has also other versions on Saddam. In its collection, there is also other characters as the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Osama Bin Laden. The EFE does not inform what kind of people buy these dolls.
Empresa vende boneco de Saddam na cordaPaulopes Weblog

Doidera. No Freedom 4um, via Keld Bach:
Enforcamento de Saddam leva a onda de suicídios de crianças imitadoras
Animot

5 comments

  • badger

    I, like you and all these bloggers, am appalled by this abuse of Saddam’s human rights and by the morbid spectacle it created. But sorry, I just cannot believe that there is no one in the Portuguese-Brazilian blogosphere who disagrees with our opinions or has anything different to say on the subject. This blog digest reads like a tribune for one person’s opinions – in future perhaps try to get some opposing viewpoints.

  • Hello Badger,
    Thank you for the comment. When I made the research for the post, I just couldn’t find ANY lusophone blogger with a different opinion. I’ve got to say that I always look for diverse stances when I post to GVO, so the fact that the post does not present any dissonant voice is not a sign that it’s non-existent, but it sure means that the issue acquired a high level of agreement in the lusosphere.

  • […] Nearby on GV, Jose Murilo Junior (or perhaps his auntie) provides a fascinating run-through of Portuguese-language bloggers’ reactions – ranging from condemnation of the execution to a fearful evocation of “the emergence of a fifth power — decentralized, far-reaching, anarchical” (that’s us and our cameraphones, in case you hadn’t realised). […]

  • […] 在全球之声上,Jose Murilo Junior(是他的阿姨)提供了一篇很棒的概述,谈及了葡萄牙语系的博客反应-从指责死刑的处决到”唤起第五权的恐惧-去中心化,影响深远的,无政府的”(假如你还没发觉到的话,那就是我们博客以及我们的摄影手机)。 […]

  • Pingback: The WITNESS Blog

    […] on GV, Jose Murilo Junior (or perhaps his auntie) provides a fascinating run-through of Portuguese-language bloggers’ reactions – ranging from condemnation of the execution to a fearful evocation of “the emergence […]

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