Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Lesson for Tyrants

Ralph Peters weighs in on the Saddam execution by noting it's a proud day for the United States and a lesson for tyrants.

SADDAM Hussein is dead. The mighty dictator met a criminal's end on the gallows. The murderer responsible for 1 1/2 million corpses is just a bag of bones.

For decades, the world pandered to his fantasies, overlooking his brutality in return for strategic advantages or naked profit. Diplomats, including our own, courted him, while the world's democracies and their competitors vied to sell him arms.

Saddam always bluffed - even, fatally, about weapons of mass destruction - but the world declined to call him on his excesses. Massacres went unpunished. His invasions of neighboring states failed to draw serious punishment. He never faced personal consequences until our troops reached Baghdad (a dozen years late).

As long as Saddam paid sufficient bribes and granted the right concessions to the well-connected, the world shut its eyes to his cavalcade of atrocities. Even when his soldiers raped Kuwait, the United Nations barely summoned the will to expel his military - and the alliance led by the United States declined to liberate Iraq itself from a tyrant with a sea of blood on his hands.

Everything changed in 2003. For all of its later errors in Iraq, the Bush administration altered the course of history for the better.

It may be hard to discern the deeper meaning of our march to Baghdad amid the chaos afflicting Iraq today, but President Bush got a great thing right: He recognized that the age of dictators was ending, that the era of the popular will had arrived. He and his advisers may have underestimated the difficulties involved and misread the nature of that popular will, but they put us back on the moral side of history.

Read the rest.

Over at NRO, there's opinion from James Robbins, Mario Loyola and William F. Buckley.

Meanwhile, the drive-by media can't help themselves by lumping in Saddam's execution with a bomb blast in Iraq: Saddam hanged at dawn, bomb kills 36.

The Saddam story will quickly disappear from the media radar now as they will no doubt breathlessly report the 3,000th soldier killed in Iraq.

UPDATE: Nice roundup from Lawhawk. Michelle Malkin has video. Gateway Pundit has reaction from the insane left.

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