December 30, 2006

A vicious dictator meets his end at a gallows

If you've been under a rock for the last 18 hours and this is the first you're reading, which is unlikely, please be aware: we no longer live in a world in which we can blame our ills on Saddam Hussein. The perennial bogeyman was hanged at around 10:00PM US East Coast, just before sunrise in Iraq.

That's one bogeyman down and countless intangible terrorists to go.

And that Bin Laden guy with his dialysis machine.

Cicero at Donklephant has this to say:

On the way to his execution, Saddam Hussein said, “Iraq without me is nothing.”

I am glad the Saddam era is over. But I wouldn’t say I am relieved. I wonder if his last words are prescient. The nation called Iraq is slipping into civil war. Indeed, is Iraq a nation? Is its national continuity impossible without the bindings of a brutal autocrat? Much relies on the answer to this question.

Link to the page.

That is a deep question to ask at this juncture and it's a question that should have been asked at the outset of this wild goose chase called the "Iraq War" and not nearly four years into the mess. It certainly something that I have literally spend hours considering: can the amalgamation of Iraq be a viable political entity without a strongman? I hope so, in addition to being a big-D Democrat, I am also a little-D democrat: I believe people as a whole group can come to rational decisions. People should pick up Rousseau and reread The Social Contract. Maybe it's my sadly optimistic view of human nature that people can come to their common senses if they are educated objectively and resolve their differences without having to come to blows. We must bear in mind that most of Iraq isn't fighting, but it is rather active members of sects and factions.

I heard some jackass on FNC (Fox News Channel) yesterday declare that compromise was a "uniquely American principle". What?

That's just not true, now is it? Treaties are compromises, deals that are brokered to end fighting instead of aiming for full capitulation. Treaties have been made throughout the ages, well before the establishment of the United States.

Well, there you have it. One bogeyman is gone.


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