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Thursday, March 06, 2003

Comparing Saddam and Stalin
The Jerusalem Post's Editors raise an interesting question. Can Iraq be disarmed with Saddam still in power?

It is now known that Stalin murdered on the order of 20 million of his own people. He did this with weapons as simple as bullets. Similarly, Cambodia's Pol Pot killed some 2 million of his people, again with the simplest of weapons. Most recently, the genocide in Rwanda was carried out largely with machetes. The weapon employed by the September 11 terrorists was the box cutter...
Saddam is a danger with whatever weapons he has at his disposal. The world is kidding itself and ignoring the tragedy in Iraq. The tragedy the Iraqi public endures is emblematic of the tragedy in most of the Arab world, where the wealth of the states has been siphoned for the benefit of a very few, while millions languish in hopelessness and poverty. Saddam, and the other Arab Kings and Princes are pleased to sit back and let the blame fall on the US, successfully deflecting their own responsibility in wasting billions of dollars in oil revenue over the last 40 years. They are pleased the debate has been reduced to whether Saddam has weapons of mass destruction.
The Bush Administration has been extremely ineffective at getting the message out that Saddam The Man is the real danger, not the tools he uses for killing.
The more the debate is focused on disarming Saddam, the more obvious it is that focusing on Saddam's weapons is a way of avoiding discussion of the threat from the man himself. We understand why, for tactical reasons, the United States chose the course of seeking legitimacy for its actions through the UN, which in turn produced the current focus on weapons rather than character. But even if Saddam is ousted in any case, a huge misunderstanding of the nature of the threat has been created. Perhaps after Saddam is gone, the US will do a better job of explaining, and it will become more obvious, why it was the character of the man himself that necessitated concerted international action.


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