Today Gerard Henderson in his SMH column gives a quick survey of world leader responses and comes to the conclusion that the death sentence on Saddam Hussein has general support. I've previously made my views known, and nothing in Henderson's column changes them.
Henderson notes that Saddam could not be imprisoned for life in Iraq and in response to suggestions he be imprisoned in exile in the same manner as Napoleon suggests this is not viable in the era of terrorists. Perhaps Henderson hasn't noticed the extent to which terrorism has changed from the days of plane hijackings to hold hostages for the release of Palestinians, but it is hard to understand or believe a claim that holding Saddam a prisoner could create any more terrorism than invading their country.
While he is at it Henderson also has a go at the ABC for interviewing Geoffrey Robertson who equates the death penalty to a revenge killing. The complaint is that Robertson's views were presented without any alternative view and the interviewer just accepting his claims. This criticism confuses balance as needing to occur within all programs as opposed to across the whole schedule. As Henderson himself effectively notes the only other sound grabs broadcast in news bulletins were of approving world leaders, and in that sense the short interview with Robertson was creating balance in the ABC's coverage.