Saddam's execution a lesson for tyrants

Ralph Peters:

SADDAM Hussein is dead. The mighty dictator met a criminal's end on the gallows. The murderer responsible for 1 1/2 million corpses is just a bag of bones.

For decades, the world pandered to his fantasies, overlooking his brutality in return for strategic advantages or naked profit. Diplomats, including our own, courted him, while the world's democracies and their competitors vied to sell him arms.

Saddam always bluffed - even, fatally, about weapons of mass destruction - but the world declined to call him on his excesses. Massacres went unpunished. His invasions of neighboring states failed to draw serious punishment. He never faced personal consequences until our troops reached Baghdad (a dozen years late).

As long as Saddam paid sufficient bribes and granted the right concessions to the well-connected, the world shut its eyes to his cavalcade of atrocities. Even when his soldiers raped Kuwait, the United Nations barely summoned the will to expel his military - and the alliance led by the United States declined to liberate Iraq itself from a tyrant with a sea of blood on his hands.

Everything changed in 2003. For all of its later errors in Iraq, the Bush administration altered the course of history for the better.


Bush revealed the bankruptcy of the European-designed system of international relations. An unspoken code agreed between kings and czars, emperors and kaisers, had protected rulers - however monstrous - for centuries, while ignoring the suffering of the masses. The result was that any Third World thug who seized a presidential palace could ravage his country as long as his crimes remained within his "sovereign" borders.

Supported by other English-speaking democracies, Bush acted. Breaking Europe's cynical rules, our forces invaded a dictatorship to liberate its population.

And suddenly, the world was no longer safe for tyrants.


Tonight, none of those other oppressors will sleep well. They may try to console themselves that America is failing in Iraq, that we've learned our lessons. But no matter what they tell themselves, they'll never feel safe again.

Those who lamented his overthrow are now lamenting the overthrow of the Islamist in Somalia and predicting new quagmires. While there is still resistance to the change of culture in the Middle East, there is a tide of democracy that is still struggling to the top and it is creating fear in places like Syria and Iran. The pretend democracy of Iran cannot hide the longing of the people for a real say in their government. The recent diplomatic efforts of Syria are also driven by a fear of the Assad government meeting the same fate.

The Belmont Club says Saddam's death is also alesson for those who choses to fight the lethan US military.

... Just a few years ago the man bestrode a country. Now he and his are gone. The life expectancy of anyone the United States seriously fights is very low. Zarqawi in Iraq and Janjalani in Sulu are just two examples of men who, despite their determination have simply died. In terms of kinetic warfare, the US Armed Forces are horrifyingly lethal. The Sunni insurgents who are now out to wreak revenge upon America -- the America that through some irony of history were Saddam's last defenders against men who would tear him to pieces -- will relearn to their cost that it is one thing to revile America and another to trade blows with it.... The ability to build civil institutions and spread constructive ideas has lagged behind the capacity to destroy....
The US needs to get better at defeating an enemy using a raiding strategy. If we do not, we will be having many more wars.

Scrappleface says "WMD found hanging from rope in Iraq."


  1. SADDAM Hussein is dead. The mighty dictator met a criminal's end on the gallows. The murderer responsible for 1 1/2 million corpses is just a bag of bones.

    Well, since George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are responsible for 605,000 Iraqi civilian dead and 3,0000 brave US troops, justice will require that following impeachment, removal, indictment and conviction these two war criminals follow Hussein to the gallows.

  2. One of the problems with the anti war left is its failure to comprehend the difference between an denocidal despot and an act of liberation. Most of the deaths in Iraq can be attributed to the followers of Saddam and al Qaeda who have committed serial war crimes by targeting non combatants. It takes a pretty distorted view of reality to blame the acts of the enemy on an American President. The Sunni followers of Saddam were committing these crimes on a daily basis, before the war, but at that time no one was able to shoot back. Now there is a chance for justice, but if we followed the policies of the anti war left there would again be no such chance.


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