December 13, 2003


Nobody listens to the UN or France or Germany any more. Isnít it sad? Wonderful international precedents about whole bunches of stuff are just ignored. Oh, woe! Phillips Adams isn't happy:

Saddam Hussein has gone. But so has sanity in international affairs.

And so has the unimaginable brutality of Saddam Husseinís murder squads:

The killers kept bankers' hours.

They showed up for work at the barley field at 9 a.m., trailed by backhoes and three buses filled with blindfolded men, women and children as young as 1.

Every day, witnesses say, the routine was the same: The backhoes dug a trench. Fifty people were led to the edge of the hole and shot, one by one, in the head. The backhoes covered them with dirt, then dug another hole for the next group.

At 5 p.m., the killers officials of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party went home to rest up for another day of slaughter.

That site dates from 1991. The glacial international policies Adams applauds allowed Saddam to dodge justice for twelve years.

The mass grave at Mahaweel, with more than 3,100 sets of remains, is the largest of some 270 such sites across Iraq. They hold upward of 300,000 bodies; some Iraqi political parties estimate there are more than 1 million.

"It's as easy to find mass graves in Iraq as it once was to find oil," said Adnan Jabbar al-Saadi, a lawyer with Iraq's new Human Rights Ministry.

Yeah, leave Saddam in power. Stopping him would be insane.

UPDATE. David Brooks writes:

Until the Bush team came to power, foreign relations were conducted with a certain gentlemanly decorum. The first Bush administration urged regime change in Iraq, without sullying itself with the Iraqi peasants actually trying to do it. The Clinton administration pretended to fight terrorism without committing the sin of unilateralism by trying very hard.

The United Nations passed resolution after resolution condemning the government of Iraq, without committing the faux pas of actually enforcing them. The leaders of France and Germany announced their abhorrence of Saddam's regime, and expressed this abhorrence by doing as much business with Saddam as possible.

Then came George W. Bush, the cowboy out of the West, and all good manners were discarded.

Read the whole thing. Killer final line.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 13, 2003 01:04 PM

Adolf Hitler has gone. But so has sanity in international affairs.

You just can't say it with a straight face.

General Tojo and the honor of the bushido have gone. But so has sanity in Japanese affairs.

Soon it will seem as impossible as these statements that anyone could say such things.

The famine in the Ukraine has gone. But so has the simple happiness of life on the steppes.

It is absurd. You cannot be taken seriously after saying such things. Can they not see it?

Lee Kiang has gone. But so has sanity in Federation affairs.

It's nutty. It's kooky. It's a laugh.

Posted by: Mike G at December 13, 2003 at 02:23 PM

The "events" of 9/11? What a prick.

Posted by: gaz at December 13, 2003 at 02:52 PM

I think the man means that ends do not justify the means, and that a unilateral military invasion was a high-risk option for the US and for the Iraqi people. As he points out, there is plenty of high-level US opinion to support that view.

I don't recall much fuss being made about Saddam's death squads during the 12-year period when (you say)Saddam "dodged justice". Perhaps our leaders would have gained more support for armed removal of Saddam if they had focussed on his death squads rather than a tenuous Saddam-Bin Laden connection or the elusive WMDs. Then, of course, we would have had to commit to removing all the tyrannical regimes around the world.

Bet you never thought you'd hear Bunyip saying that.

[Note: this person's nom de coward of "Bunyip" has been replaced by her own email in order to avoid confusion. We wouldn't want to cause confusion, would we? -- Admin.]

Posted by: at December 13, 2003 at 03:35 PM

Phil years back for before 2001. You know the good old days when everyone listened to the UN - oh except those regimes who didnt before - North Korea, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Iran etc etc etc. To a time when terrorists were unknown - oh except the IRA, Al Quaida, Palestinians etc etc. When they were not planning to blow us up - oh except for the planning of 9-11 that happened on Clinton's watch, but just a minor detail.

The point is that all these things were coming whether Bush is in power or not - to say that somehow all this could be legislated away is the real madness. Terrorists and rogue states never have and never will have respect for the rule of law. Hasn't history taught him that?

When are they going to pension this guy off? Its embarrassing.

Posted by: Rob at December 13, 2003 at 04:18 PM

A bunyip, not the Bunyip.

Posted by: waterhole inebriate at December 13, 2003 at 05:24 PM

Itís damned simple & Brooks sees that.

Civilization should be standing shoulder to shoulder synergistically effective & zero-tolerant against cranky despots & terrorist subcultures seeking or having global reach or WMD. WMD-adaptable tech & asymmetrical warfare capabilities march on in accelerative development. Thatís the future, coming ever quicker & thicker, face it or be an insufferable moron. Civilization can no longer afford to tolerate the existence of Saddams, Bin Ladens, etc. They ALL must be killed, crushed, destroyed. The sooner the better. The longer we wait, the more COLLATERAL MASS HORROR is in store. Chirac has the blood of future millions already on his hands. He, de Villepin, Schrűder, & the rest, are pure human garbage.

A lot of scum decide to count on our success at saving them while they reap political profit opportunistically by scavenging for influence by hampering & opposing us in our efforts. When terrorists bomb the Eiffel Tower wilting catastrophically & killingly on a French avenue, when plague ravages Provence, when the blood explodes from the ears & eyes of French people, then their survivors will say, sorry, we didnít understand! But they will not be forgiven.

I sound a little angrier than usual, but I do imbibe once in a while.
W is blazing a trail of precedents for a battle that will last beyond his earthquake presidency.

Posted by: ForNow at December 13, 2003 at 05:43 PM

I pressed the Submit button a bit hard. Sorry! It really would be quite acceptable for you to delete my duplicate post.

Posted by: ForNow at December 13, 2003 at 05:47 PM

Phillip is now critizing Bush from deviating from the strategy that one the Cold War. Strangely enough I'm sure I remember reading an editorial written by him critizing the US for its actions during the Cold War period.

Posted by: hast at December 13, 2003 at 06:01 PM

wasn't unilateral.

Posted by: samkit at December 13, 2003 at 09:20 PM

ForNow: I went ahead and deleted the extra post, since I was in there. Watch those mouse clicks!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 14, 2003 at 02:23 AM

Brook's last line floored me. Absolutely devastating.

Can you imagine all those upper West Side lefties reading it?


Posted by: SteveMG at December 14, 2003 at 02:51 AM

"I don't recall much fuss being made about Saddam's death squads during the 12-year period when (you say)Saddam 'dodged justice'"

Susannahb is right, not much fuss was made during most of that time. The President was too busy getting blowjobs to worry about Saddam.

OTOH, I distincly remember the subject coming up shortly after Bush was elected.

Posted by: Ken Summers at December 14, 2003 at 03:16 AM

The U.S. Administration was stabbed in the back with a lacrity? What's a lacrity?? Some kind of milk product??? Is this some kind of mad cow thing????

For God's sake, what is going on?????

UPDATE: Oh. Never mind.

Posted by: Brian Swisher at December 14, 2003 at 03:25 AM

Thank you, Andrea.

Posted by: ForNow at December 14, 2003 at 07:21 AM