Hussein hanged with the Web as the village square

Saddam Hussein's hanging wasn't done in a public square, but the way video and photos of the before and after are quickly spreading throughout the Internet, it sort feels that way, at least according to some bloggers.

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The former president of Iraq was hanged at dawn on Saturday for crimes against humanity. He was shown on state television (and the Web) before his death, calmly allowing a noose to be placed around his neck. And footage was also shown of Hussein's body after the execution. The entire execution was filmed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's official videographer. The tape was immediately handed over to the leader, and officials were unsure whether it would be released, according to Newsweek.

The hanging immediately ignited online communities, with related items quickly becoming most-popular posts on video sites like YouTube and blog aggregators like Technorati.

In addition to those who are offering fiery opinions both for and against the hanging, some are trying to weigh the news in terms of its relevancy in their own life. Others are contemplating the extent to which footage should be made public and the related effects on society at large.

Blog community response:

"So how do we gauge the relative importance of a war criminal's extinction and a Web site's birth? What, in short, matters most: the world of geopolitics, wars and globalization, or the far more peaceful, equally globalized world of the Internet?"
--We Make the Life Easier!

"While I am certain that the world is a better place without Hussein, I am not certain that it is a better place for us having reached this particular macabre milestone. A return to public hangings, using the whole Internet as the village square, does not seem to me a step forward for humanity."
--Kathryn Cramer

"Another interesting possibility that I've heard tossed up is that the video may be shown on Iraqi TV and then leaked on the Internet. In the age of YouTube footage like that would spread like wildfire. Honestly I'm not sure if I'd want to see it or not."
--Left Of Ohio

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