Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam Swings

Saddam Hussein was hanged. (The right word is hanged. Hung is something else entirely, something good for porn stars.) He deserved to die. Justice was served -- but was it delayed?

To me the most interesting questions are: Is it necessary and proper to have a courtroom trial of a dictator whose country we invade? Was the rule of law strengthened in Iraq by a Iraqi trial of their former dictator? Did America buy goodwill and respect from muslims by allowing Iraq to try Saddam or did we look weak and lose respect? Would America be better off establishing the principle that we will summarily execute any dictator who initiates force against us?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I would be interested in reading the opinions of experts in international law, war and foreign policy.

Josh Trevino rounds up the reaction on the left side of the blogosphere to Saddam’s execution. One might regret their moral equivalence, but I think their reactions are mostly colored by their hatred of Bush. Bush’s Middle East policy must lead to nothing good in their minds, not even the death of a sadistic monster like Saddam Hussein. If a Democrat were President, all but the most recalcitrant anti-American leftists would be cheering. America would be better off if Democrat and Republican partisans could think a little more deeply than my gang vs. your gang.

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