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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sykes Watch: The Death of Saddam

by Bert

Wasn’t Charlie Sykes sort of inconsistent once again on Tuesday morning’s WTMJ radio show? On the one hand, Charlie thought the Iraqi “government” made itself look bad by the tawdry way it executed Saddam Hussein Saturday. This is the quote from Charlie that I latched on to: “It’s not enough to say he [Saddam Hussein] had it coming.” In other words, even though Hussein deserved to die, there were better ways to get the same result.

I agree with Charlie on both the particular point that the way Saddam was executed makes the Iraqi “government” look bush league, and I agree on his more general point, which is that ends do not justify the means.

Now, let’s rewind the tape a bit. Just prior to complaining about the lynching-like execution of Saddam, Sykes said he agreed completely with a Wall Street Journal editorial that ran Tuesday. The editorial argued that the death of Saddam Hussein made the war in Iraq worthwhile:

“The 3,000 Americans who have given their lives . . . have done so in a just
cause that rids the world of a man who might have killed hundreds of thousands

Never mind the many more U.S. soldiers who will keep dying in Iraq now that we are rid of Saddam. Never mind other damage wreaked by this war: the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, the half trillion dollars spent, the worsening of terror threats against the U.S., the installation of an Iraqi government that also tortures and kills its citizens. At least in the case of the 3,000 soldiers already lost to their families, communities, and country, their deaths are a good value in exchange for Hussein’s death, according to the editorial, and therefore to Charlie.

The obvious reply is: There are probably better ways than this war to accomplish the neutralizing of Saddam Hussein. It’s not enough to say Saddam Hussein had it coming.

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