Saddam Our Best Hope in IraqWhen American troops found the gopher hole where Saddam Hussein was hiding, the first thing the disheveled dictator said was, "I am the President of Iraq and I will negotiate."
We should've taken him up on the offer.
We'd have been much better off to fire that combat boot wearing nitwit Paul Bremmer and install Saddam in the offices of the Coalition Provisional Authority instead. Saddam may be a ruthless thug, but he would've whipped Iraq into shape and our troops would be home by now. We could be spending our time debating real issues, like flag-burning amendments or which televangelist will be the next one found with a hooker. If we had just hired him instead of Haliburton and Blackwater to clean up the crap typhoon the neocompoops unleashed by invading Iraq, the cost overruns would be over by now and you can bet that with Saddam at the wheel there would be no insurgency.
You see, Saddam knows something that the Crapweasel-in-Chief should've known before invading the cesspool that is Iraq. Iraq is one of those unfortunate parts of the world where the populace has been at each other's throats for centuries. Saddam knows the only way to keep them from killing each other is to put on his best pair of jackboots and apply them liberally to their necks. The moment you lift the boot, they'll leap up and suicide-bomb the nearest person of a different tribe or sect. Once they start, you'll have your hands full - just as the US has discovered to its chagrin - just keeping out of their cross fire.
Bush may have been a C-student at Yale, but how he missed the historical lesson of dictatorships in the Third World is beyond me. Dictators are ruthless, evil bastards who make life a living hell for those on the wrong side of them. They squash individuals and visit all sorts of injustices on their people, but they do keep the lights on and food in the stores. And best of all, they don't tolerate free-fire zones. They squash snipers and bombers like bugs and before you know it, people can actually go outside without fear of being hit by random gunfire. Maybe that's not as good as going to the Macy's sale on Veteran's Day, but it's not bad given the sorry state of most of the world.
Democracy-dwellers that we are, you or I might say the tradeoff between running water and life with "liberty" is worth it. Accustomed as we are to being able to say or do just about anything we want, we have the luxury to engage in an academic debate over the niceties of a democratic society where the water nearly always runs.
But if you're a resident of a hellish place embroiled in wars and massacre since that uppity Eve ate the apple, that academic debate doesn't seem quite as important. You know how thirsty you can get when the water doesn't run and being able to play with the kids in the front yard while sipping a cool glass and not being attacked for the color of your Koran is pretty nice tradeoff.
Maybe even nicer than the fuzzy concept of liberty in a place that has never known any.
Just ask the ex-Yugoslavians whether they preferred the dictatorship of Tito to the tumultuous ethnic cleansing that followed his death. Or ask the former Soviets, many of whom now live in constant danger where the semantic argument about Civil Wars don't apply, but "run like hell, the're shooting at us again," does.
Of course dictatorships aren't paradises. They are harsh, repressive places and some dictators are no better at running things than democratic leaders. Look at exhibits A and B, Kim Jong Il and George Bush, who are both incompetent boobs who couldn't find their asses with help of Mapquest and a GPS receiver. However, some dictatorships have worked after a fashion and Iraq, before we meddled it to pieces, was one that worked.
I hope the Iraq Study Group looked seriously at springing Saddam from jail renditioning him to the Presidential Palace. It might not help, but at this stage, it can't be any worse.
I'm willing to give it a try.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, December 04, 2006