January 26, 2004


Nedra Pickler reports:

Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean said Sunday that the standard of living for Iraqis is a "whole lot worse" since Saddam Hussein's removal from power in last year's American-led invasion.

"You can say that it's great that Saddam is gone and I'm sure that a lot of Iraqis feel it is great that Saddam is gone," said the former Vermont governor, an unflinching critic of the war against Iraq. "But a lot of them gave their lives. And their living standard is a whole lot worse now than it was before."

A lot more of them seem to be actually living, however. Itís difficult to measure the living standard of people in mass graves.

"Now I would never defend Saddam Hussein," Dean told the "Women for Dean" rally. "He's a horrible person. I'm delighted he's gone. Would there not have been a better way to get rid of him in cooperation with the United Nations?"

What part of the word no doesnít Dean understand?

UPDATE. Living standards werenít so hot in post-war Germany, either. If only there had been a better way ...

Posted by Tim Blair at January 26, 2004 12:24 PM

I hope Howard Dean continues to operate on the assumption that there exists a solid majority of Americans who feel they need the UN's assent to defend themselves. For that matter I hope John Kerry operates on the same assumption.

To the extent that these guys actually believe this they're going to loose.

Posted by: Leathan Lund at January 26, 2004 at 12:48 PM

... and, in response, I say, Monday, that suddenly, wholly, and irrevocably, I will not vote for Dean even if he becomes the last (but me) person on the earth.

Posted by: m at January 26, 2004 at 01:19 PM

I think that should be: What part of the word KNOW does Dean not understand?

The answer: All of it!

Posted by: rinardman at January 26, 2004 at 01:28 PM

I think that Jim Treacher had the best solution for removing Saddam from power, posted last year:


First we'll coax Saddam out of his bunker with a trail of delicious candy. Then, once his belly is full and he's all sleepy and happy, we'll calmly explain that we don't approve of what he's been doing and it's not very nice and we wish he'd stop. And he'll be like, 'Whoa, I never thought of it that way. You guys are my friends! I like you!' And then everybody will hug and cry, and then get a little embarrassed about crying, and then make some jokes to cover up being embarrassed. And then a beautiful rainbow will appear, and a shy unicorn will walk down it, and Saddam will ride it to the North Pole, and he'll spend the rest of his life helping Santa make wonderful toys for all the good little girls and boys, and there'll be hot chocolate, and, and, and nobody will ever ever die again for any reason ever.

Why that unilateralist warmonger Bush never tried this approach is beyond me!

Posted by: Daniel at January 26, 2004 at 01:35 PM

He could be right though. Saddam had 43 palaces. If you factor those into gross standards of living for Iraqis...

Posted by: RainDog at January 26, 2004 at 01:42 PM

It would be an ugly statement to make -- that tyranny at least had high living standards -- if it were true. But it's the kind of thing you expect for the same crowd that talks about Cuban literacy and health care.

What's worse is that it's not true. It's a capital-L Lie.

Certainly, there have been dislocations, and the standard of living for former members of the regime's apparatus (military, secret police) is down. And Bagdad's electricity became less reliable when the U.S. stopped the diversion from the countryside and smaller towns.

However, overall there has been a huge upswing in the Iraqi standard of living. Remember, this country had been under twelve years of sanctions on top of thirty years of kleptocracy. Food, medicine, infrastructure, and luxury goods are all more common now than a year ago, plus children aren't being rounded up and jailed, or their parents abducted and tortured.

So not only is Dean a moral cretin, he's also a just plain idiot.

Posted by: Warmongering Lunatic at January 26, 2004 at 02:04 PM

A lot of Bush supporters are still holding out hope that Dean gets the Democratic nomination. He's an endless source of soundbites for future Republican campaign commercials.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at January 26, 2004 at 02:18 PM

I'm going to be a bit concerned if Dean starts talking about raising Americans' standard of living.

Posted by: David at January 26, 2004 at 02:45 PM

I'd like to see Dean make that statement to some Iraqis. One reason Iraqis don't totally trust the reconstruction effort is that they know Deano or some other democrat might somehow get elected. I can't blame them for being scared.

Posted by: Sortelli at January 26, 2004 at 05:29 PM

Have the left really got so ridiculous that now we are having an argument over which is worse: living under the relatively benign hand of American occupation forces, or living under an unrepetenant Stalinist state with the late 20th century's biggest mass-murderer of Arabs in charge.

No wonder now I just find the most effective tactic is to point and laugh.

They are usually helpful enough to give you warning: something like "blah blah BUSH lied blah blah hegemon blah Zionist blah neo-con blah children overboard blah blah racist blah poodle blah blah"

Keep talkin', I'm reloadin'.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 26, 2004 at 08:17 PM

What part of the word no doesn’t Dean understand?

Well, with France, "no" doesn't mean "no". As a commenter at Tim Dunlop's blog pointed out, whatever the circumstances was taken a little out of context.

Posted by: Andjam at January 26, 2004 at 10:17 PM

Well, Andjam, that interview was very clear that CHirac et al. thought that the UN and only the UN could authorize a war against Iraq. That right there is where they go off the rails in my opinion. My copy of the US Constitution does not mention the UN, and gives the power to wage war to the President as CINC, and the power to delcare war to Congress.

Posted by: R C Dean at January 26, 2004 at 11:43 PM

I used to be a Democrat. That was before the party became the standard bearer for moral cretinism.

Posted by: Bruce at January 27, 2004 at 01:44 AM

While we are admitting embarassing personal history, I used to vote Democrat because I thought Natasha Stop-Opposingme was a bit hot and wore proper boots. I'm still so ashamed....

Posted by: Jake D at January 27, 2004 at 03:52 PM