‘Ding, Dong the witch is nabbed’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 17, 2003

So it turns out Saddam is a dirty, little coward. Who knew? You’d think that somebody who forcefully took over his country, murderously consolidated power by having his critics executed, and started a three decade reign of terror would have had the gumption to at least blow his own brains out. Or he could have gone down fighting like his two demonic sons did when U.S. troops found them.

Even though I’m already tired of the discussion about how to try him for his crimes – who’s going to do it and what his sentence should be – it’s for the best that the filthy former tyrant was found hiding at the bottom of hole and that he surrendered without a fight. It gave us a chance to see military doctors checking him for lice and looking for weapons of mass destruction in his mouth. It was a humiliating spectacle that I thoroughly enjoyed. &uot;The Butcher of Baghdad&uot; reduced to the Scum of the Earth. A great Christmas gift.

I hope the interrogation won’t last long, the trial will be swift, and the execution televised live for the Iraqi people. Let’s wipe the dust from our hands and be shunt of this minor problem.

Yes, I said minor problem. I heard a popular conservative commentator on MSNBC remark that Saddam Hussein is the most hated man in history. Is that to be the party line leading up to the 2004 elections – President Bush’s &uot;decisive&uot; victory in Iraq ridded the world of the most evil human being in history?

Golly, who’d’ve thunk Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Idi Amin, and a host of other 20th Century mass-murdering tyrants were of such lesser importance. Saddam the most hated man in history? I guess that means Hitler, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, and almost all the early Caesars were just two-bit murderers compared to Saddam.

Give me a break. Saddam failed to beat Iran in a war the United States helped him wage. His only success outside of Iraq was his invasion of tiny little Kuwait, which would have gone unnoticed by the rest of the world – certainly by the United States – if it didn’t have loads of oil and access to much more.

Let’s not make Saddam any more than he actually was: A petty, murderous thug. Yes, he is responsible for the deaths of many thousands of Iraqis, but he’s no worse than a score of other dictators that the U.S. has no intention of removing from power.

Saddam is every bit as bad as President Bush has said he was, but he was never a player on the world stage and he never posed a threat to the security of the United States or the safety of Americans outside of Iraq.

It’s good for the Iraqi people that Saddam is gone, but Americans are not any safer today than they were before Sept. 11, 2001. I’m sorry to rain on everybody’s parade, but Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, had nothing to do with al Quada, had no usable weapons of mass destruction, and had only nominal ties to any sort of terrorism outside that which he unleashed in Iraq and, for a brief time, Kuwait. That tie, by the way, was that he paid money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who killed Israelis – the same thing the Saudi Arabian ruling family was doing. (Oh, I almost forgot, Saddam did try to have Bush’s daddy killed.)

Our enemy in the War on Terror was, and still is, Ossama bin Laden. Ossama might well be next, but he’s not going to be as easy to get as Saddam. He’s holed up in uncharted, mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or one of the other neighboring countries. He is surrounded by a population that adores him and has a military force that worships him as a prophet.

We could have gotten him after we invaded Afghanistan if President Bush had put the same level of military power and personnel in that nation that he later put into Iraq. But he didn’t. Our invasion force was tiny by comparison and once the Taliban crumbled we took most of our military forces out of Afghanistan because Bush and his cronies were determined to spread the War on Terror into Iraq, regardless of the truth that Iraq had far less to do with international terrorism than Iran, Syria, Yemen, and several other Arab countries, including, I believe, Saudi Arabia.

Many of those who supported the Iraq invasion don’t understand why I’ve been bashing Bush since the summer of 2002 when he made it clear that the next step in his foreign policy agenda was to conquer Iraq, with or without the help of any other nations. Well, one of the biggest reasons is that the Iraq war took personnel, equipment, intelligence, and know-how away from the real War on Terror being waged in Afghanistan.

The result of the Bush administration’s obsession with Iraq? Simple, really, al Quada has had time to reorganize in relative safety in the mountains and the Taliban has also become better organized. Many of the terrorist bombings, in Turkey and elsewhere, have now been directly linked to Ossama because we allowed him to slip through our fingers.

Had we put appropriate military force in Afghanistan, we still might not have Ossama in custody, but he would not have been able to organize his terrorist fighters and the Taliban would not have made a resurgence.

Bushites would say that’s all right because now that we’ve finished in Iraq we can go after Ossama. Once again, they would be wrong. It’s going to take every troop now deployed to keep Iraq from dissolving into utter chaos that could ignite a Middle Eastern conflagration. Our troops are trapped there unless we completely abrogate our responsibilities – as put forth by Bush – to help Iraq get back on its feet.

With military strategists wondering where the troops to fulfill Bush’s obligations in Iraq will come from – we’re bleeding the Guard units dry already – it’s just not likely that we’re going to deploy sufficient numbers of ground forces in Afghanistan to get the job done.

Maybe we’ll get lucky. Maybe that perfect piece of intelligence will reveal Ossama’s location and we’ll be able to bomb him or send a quick-strike force in to take him out. Maybe that will happen before Ossama can figure out a way to strike directly at the United States the way he did on 9/11/’01. Maybe.

Meanwhile, our troops in Iraq are in harm’s way and serving as a giant magnet for every crazed or half-crazed suicidal Muslim in the Middle East. I know the Bushites are celebrating our victory in Iraq and Saddam’s capture, but I’m still concerned about the troops being killed over there and the deadly threat Ossama poses.

So let’s just hand Saddam over to the Kurds and let them mete out a quick death to this petty coward so we can move forward – getting our troops home or to Afghanistan to finish off once and for all our real enemies.