Reading the Philippine press is an enjoyable task, especially if you appreciate competitiveness as a driving force for quality journalism. There was a time when New York City enjoyed the services of about 10 daily newspapers. This has been reduced to one major daily, a few tabloids and a fledgling product of ideogogues. So to be confronted with five or six quality dailies to choose from is a rather pleasant experience. Couple that with the fact that these publications feature quality columnists and excerpts or reprints from The New York Times columnists and commentary, and it is easy to see how a New Yorker who harkens back to the days when journalism was still alive in that city can really appreciate Manila as a place where the free press flourishes.

One of these columnists, Conrado de Quiros, writing for The Philippine Daily Inquirer, made some very compelling remarks about the justice of the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and two of his government's officials (1/17/2007).

"There is no doubt that the condemned were bastards, but there is no doubt as well their condemners are bigger bastards. There is no doubt that the Iraqi goverment is a puppet government put up by an occupation force. There is no doubt that the occupation is completely illegitimate, backed up neither by the approval of the United Nations nor by the consience of the world."

Fair enough. It would be hard to argue with the above statements. I in fact totally agree with them. Then comes the kicker:

"There is no justice in hanging Saddam Hussein, Barzan Hussein and Awad Hamad al-Bandar in their prison unless you also hang George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld from the nearest telephone pole, with or without their  royal jewels intact."

I believe Mr. de Quiros is actually implying in his statement that Bush and Cheney ought to be castrated before being executed in a timely manner in order for justice to be done. Of course there are many nuances to his statement. All the same, these are interesting thoughts, and I feel quite certain that they are shared by a good many Americans these days. It is just so difficult for Americans to say such things without feeling intimidated by the flood of legislation that has been passed that deems practically anybody a terrorist, and thus vulnerable to punishment by any number of statutes.

The pre-castration and the use of the words "nearest telephone pole" demonstrates a kind of rage that exists over the policies of the current adminstration. No wonder the Bushites feel a need to continually press for legislation that can be used against their political opponents in the name of terrorism. Let's hope that this rage is converted to some real political action that can uproot this administration (such as immediate impeachment by the nearest Congress).