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Friday, December 19, 2003

Justice and Saddam Hussein

by Jeff Jacoby
. . . justice will not be done. Not in any courtroom in Iraq, not in any courtroom on earth. How could it be? The very worst outcome Saddam is likely to face is a hanging or execution by firing squad. For a killer with the blood of one or two or 10 innocents on his hands, such a punishment might reasonably be said to fit the crime. But what punishment could possibly fit the crimes of a monster like Saddam, who is responsible for the murder and torture of hundreds of thousands of human beings?

"This is a regime" -- I am quoting *The Threatening Storm* by Kenneth Pollack, a Middle East scholar who served two tours of duty in Bill Clinton's National Security Council -- "that will gouge out the eyes of children to force confessions from their parents and grandparents. This is a regime that will crush all the bones in the feet of a 2-year-old girl to force her mother to divulge her father's whereabouts. . . . This is a regime that will burn a person's limbs off to force him to confess or comply. This is a regime that will slowly lower its victims into huge vats of acid, either to break their will or as a means of execution. . . . This is a regime that will drag in a man's wife, daughter, or other female relative and repeatedly rape her in front of him. This is a regime that will force a white-hot metal rod into a person's anus or other orifices. This is a regime that employs thalium poisoning, widely considered one of the most excruciating ways to die. This is a regime that will behead a young mother in the street in front of her house and children because her husband was suspected of opposing the regime. This is a regime that used chemical warfare . . . not just on the 15,000 killed and maimed at Halabja but on scores of other villages all across Kurdistan."

The liberation of Iraq from such mind-curdling horror was a profound moral achievement. It marks the fourth time in little more than a decade that the United States has freed Muslims from terror and totalitarian cruelty.
Read it all.