Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam finally received what the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao and Arafat managed to avoid - temporal justice for crimes committed against humanity. He was hanged as the execrable criminal that he was, reportedly clutching the Quran, though from all accounts he was not a particularly religious man. He was more of a secular mass-murderer rather than the much more common religious variety. In the end, I guess the Quran unites murderers of all stripes.

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson offers his inimitable perspective:

One of the most depressing sights of the entire Saddam postmortem were the clips shown ad nauseam of all the dignitaries, diplomats, and obsequious reporters who in years past trekked to Baghdad to flatter or to pay homage to this creepy mass murderer. Watching a younger Kofi Annan, Lindberg like, pump Saddam's hand, smiling and offering blandishments was sickening. Surely the world can learn from this sordid spectacle, and not repeat the same mistake with Ahmadinejad and Assad. Their demise will come soon enough, and only the clips and outtakes of the appeasers will remain.

It is getting so that the cheap anti-American rhetoric from Europe and the Middle East about our purported complicity in killing a mass murderer should be worn as a badge of honor. We caught him, turned him over for a transparent trial, and ensured he would never murder again. So the question remains: where is the true morality-building this killer's bunkers, selling him weapons, taking his oil-or putting him in a noose?

Nothing was more evident of the moral impoverishment of the Palestinians than their collective lamentation over the fate of this mass killer of the Kurds and Arabs. We gave the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars for housing, schools, and security and they hate us; Saddam gave them a few thousand dollars as bounty for suicide murderers and they loved him.

That says it all.

Indeed it does. Theirs is a "culture" hopelessly mired in a dark and violent past where blood lust and violence are the currency and killers such as Saddam are revered as heroes. They have created a "win win" situation in their minds whereas even in abject defeat, they achieve glorious martyrdom.

Monday, December 25, 2006


I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. No, not happy holidays, Merry Christmas. Have you noticed that "Merry Christmas" is becoming something of a symbol of rebellion? Indeed, there seems to be a backlash, and more and more people are using the phrase "Merry Christmas" with an subtle underlying attitude that whispers "take your happy holidays and shove it". A very good thing, indeed. Let's face it, if you are offended by someone wishing you Merry Christmas, you have issues that need to be addressed by you, not by those around you.

In short, if you want tolerance, try practicing some yourself.

As a side note, I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I should or would I have liked. It's been a fairly rough time and next week looks busy in the extreme. I promise that more blogging will be in the offing as we close out '06 and prepare for '07.

Again, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Wishful thinking perhaps, but any progress is welcome.

Captain Ed had a very interesting post that indicates that maybe, just maybe, Iraqis are beginning to realize the opportunity that has been laid before them:

It appears that events have begun to pick up pace in Iraq. First a broad agreement seems to have coalesced around revenue sharing for Iraq's oil production, and now it looks like Nouri al-Maliki might be getting the heave as Prime Minister:

Major partners in Iraq's governing coalition are in behind-the-scenes talks to oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki amid discontent over his failure to quell raging violence, according to lawmakers involved. The talks are aimed at forming a new parliamentary bloc that would seek to replace the current government and that would likely exclude supporters of the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is a vehement opponent of the U.S. military presence.

The new alliance would be led by senior Shiite politician Abdul-Aziz
al-Hakim, who met withPresident Bush last week. Al-Hakim, however, was not expected to be the next prime minister because he prefers the role of powerbroker, staying above the grinding day-to-day running of the country.

Back in March, the thinking was that by allowing a Sadr ally to form the government, it might encourage Sadr to end his efforts to gain power through violence. That has obviously failed, and failed badly. As I wrote earlier today, it torpedoed the efforts to get the Sunni and Ba'athist insurgents to end their campaigns, and Sadr has only gotten worse ever since.

Maliki needs to go, and go soon. Engaging Sadr doesn't work, and the US should return to our previous policy of targeting him and his Mahdi army lieutenants if they refuse to disarm. Thanks to Maliki, he has infiltrated the Interior ministry, so he will present a difficult opponent if he chooses to fight it out. However, Sadr makes a better power broker than a general, as he has proven several times now. Without Maliki running interference, he will be more exposed than ever.

And guess who has apparently given his blessing to the change? Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. We have not heard much from the widely respected Shi'ite cleric since Sadr's star rose, but it looks like he's coming out of his de facto retirement from national politics.

The Iraqis have tired of the lack of progress even more than we have. It looks like they have formed a coalition of groups large enough to shut down Maliki and Sadr in the National Assembly, which means that even the Shi'ites have had enough. Keep an eye on this over the next few days.

Maybe all of this "pull out of Iraq" prattle that has been going on may well be incentivizing the Iraqis to get their act together and recognize those who stand in the way of progress. A lot of people have a lot to lose if we pull out of Iraq and the Iraqis are at the top of that list.

It is said that "The gallows doth wonderfully concentrate the mind" and perhaps the Iraqis have seen the shadow of their gallows.