What would it take?
Let's see... What do we know for sure about this guy Saddam? His
first, entry-level job was assassin. His work was satisfactory and he
advanced steadily in his Ba'th party. After a decade of violent
swings (including exile and imprisonment for Saddam), the party took
over Iraq and Saddam became Vice President. Under President Bakr (who
was elected), Iraq experienced a decade of rising standards of living,
improved health care and improved infrastructure. When his boss
resigned in 1979, Saddam took over Iraq. Six days later he set the
tone for his administration by having 20 party members executed for
Soon afterward, he invaded Iran. The conflict was long and
bloody and millions (including many thousands of civilians) died.
Saddam even used weapons of mass destruction during the conflict.
The unsuccessful war bankrupted the country and poverty soared. In
1990, he invaded and raped Kuwait; again killing thousands of
civilians in the process. Foreigners in Kuwait, including Americans,
were rounded up, beaten, imprisoned and killed. The country was
bashed and looted. When the US forced him out, Saddam set the oil
wells on fire and flooded the sea with oil; doing massive harm to the
environment. He used is own people as human shields and he used
humanitarian facilities (such as hospitals) as military
At the end of the first Gulf War, Saddam signed a cease fire that
allowed him to stay in power, but only if he disarmed and then proved
his disarmament to UN inspectors (the burden of proof was always on
him, not the inspectors). Various populations of his people tried to
rise up against him, and he put down the revolts with all means at his
disposal, including chemical weapons. More than a hundred thousand
more civilians were killed.
His regime stays in power by the daily use of murder and
torture. Under the "oil for food" program of the UN, Iraq was
allowed to sell oil to buy food, but not weapons. Saddam diverted
much of the money, however, to military uses and to build dozens of
fabulous palaces for himself and his supporters. Despite these
billions of dollars of oil money coming into the country each year,
about 60,000 Iraqis, mostly children and the elderly, die of
deprivation. That's sixty thousand, every year.
It's interesting to note that this UPI story didn't get much play:
From the story:
A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to
Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border
today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi
government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor
with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked
me back to reality."
Evidently, the Iraqi's told the human shields a thing or two that
caused them to rethink their positions
. Some of the Iraqi's told them
that they would commit suicide if the bombing didn't start soon. They
were "willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from
Saddam's bloody tyranny". They told stories of "slow torture and
killing" that made the young pastor physically ill. This isn't coming
from slanted media reports
or government propaganda
, this is from
human shield volunteers who found reality
After all of this, George Bush is the one condemned when he
labels Saddam "evil".
You have to wonder then, what would it take for the
peace-lovers in America to think Saddam was evil? It's not like those
who condemn Bush for the war aren't capable of labeling things evil.
Despite the modern trend toward moral relativism, moral condemnation
is actually thriving. These are the same people, by and large, who
will call a corporate CEO - who hasn't even killed anyone - evil at
the drop of a hat. They will call a politician who disagrees with
their environmental stance evil every day of the week and twice on
Sunday. Just not Saddam. If George Bush just destroyed one massive
wetlands area (as Saddam has done) they would call for the death
penalty. They're perfectly willing to use the "evil" label, just not
on Saddam, not seriously.
I think for most of them the problem is that, if they're willing to
concede that Saddam is truly evil (and all that such a label entails),
then the war has justification. If you admit he's as evil as he
obviously is, then removing him from power is the duty of every
good-minded world citizen. These people hate George Bush, however,
with such passion that they don't really care how bad Saddam is for
the Iraqi people. They will oppose anything Bush tries to do with
intense fervor, regardless of its morality. Even peace is
completely secondary to their hatred of Bush. If you're one of these
people, ask yourself, "what do I hate more, war or George Bush?" The
answer will tell you if you're in the group I'm talking about.
I'm willing to forgive the peace-niks of most other nations.
Many of them don't have access to good information. A state-run
Egyptian newspaper, for example, told its readers that the US was
deliberately dropping tainted, genetically modified food on the Afghan
people, so that they would get sick and die when they ate it. When
that's the information you have to go on, you've got to hate the US
with a passion. All we can do is work toward opening up their
societies; doing good works won't help if they never hear about
Americans, however, have no such excuse. They have access to the
truth, even if they have to do some work to sort it out of the many
different biases. To be confronted with such evil and desire to
appease, delay, "inspect" or simply do nothing is to shirk your duty
as a world citizen. None of these actions help the Iraqi people.
I don't really care about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction or
his designs on neighboring countries. These are bad things, but
nothing compared to his abuse of his own people. Even the 3,000
deaths at the World Trade Center pale by comparison. I care that
the Iraqi people get their basic human rights and the freedom to
choose a life of their own. I would risk my life to get that for
myself, I have to think that they would do the same.
Clearly, Saddam isn't just mainstream evil. He's one of the Evil
All Stars, he's going to get a place in the Evil Hall of Fame. His
picture will be just down the isle from Hitler and Stalin, across
from Pol Pot. People reading this as history many years from now
will see him in the same light that we now see the other Evil All
Stars: they'll be amazed that he was allowed to go so long
What would it take for most American war protesters to admit
that Saddam is evil enough to be forcibly removed from power?
Evidently, it would take each of them being sent to Iraq to hear it
from the source. It's sad that their hatred of the President has
pushed them to that extreme.
Once we're done with Saddam, let's go after the next most evil
dictator, until we run out of them.