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Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milošević, Augusto Pinochet, Shamil Basayev, al-Zarqawi – these are some of the worst mass murderers ever witnessed by mankind, and all died in the past year.  2006 is a Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar, but I think it is an insult to the poor canines to be compared to these despicable beings I have listed above, I rename it to a Year of the Monsters.  Sting, a famous British musician (to whom I used to listen a lot), had a song about Pinochet and his government – he sung:

One day we’ll dance on their graves
One day we’ll sing our freedom
One day we’ll laugh in our joy

Well, these people are dead now, and while for some this is a cause for celebration, it does not change the harsh reality.  Personally I am indifferent.  Their deaths do not bring freedom, nor restore peace and prosperity.  If they have been deposed, their deaths have no effect, and in the case of the ones who were still in power, their organisations have new leaders.  The people they’ve murdered are gone, the lives that they have destroyed are not repaired, and not a single one of them had been brought through a complete fair trial. And the followers of Hussein, Basayev and al-Zarqawi keep killing. Many more mass murderers will never go to trial, will never be hunted down and continue to kill right this instant.

Hundreds of thousands of people dead in Iraq alone and the death toll only keeps climbing – the deadly mess of the “liberation”.

Chechnya is still in ruins, and there are regular armed clashes – though this does not make the news any more. Israel, Palestine and Lebanon is still as tense as ever.

North Korea and Iran playing with nukes. There is war in Somalia (not that it’s new) and a major crisis in Sudan.

Will 2007 be a Happy New Year for our planet? I hope so, but I think not.