Saturday, December 30, 2006

How is the world a safer place?

So, Saddam has been topped, justice has been done and the world is a safer place. Thank you, Mr. Bush.
Of course, there is, as always, an alternative viewpoint. As a Globe and Mail article points out, not everyone is happy with this outcome, not even all Iraqis. Arguably, the country is a messier, less stable and more dangerous place now that it ever was under Saddam Hussein. And I can only see that getting worse, not better, after the execution. As for Iraq's new-found democracy, I see little evidence of it in the present climate.
Certainly, the Middle East as a whole has been destabilized, not that it was ever what you would call stable. Nor, in my humble and admittedly defeatist opinion, is it ever likely to be for any substantial period of time.
Anyone opposed to the death sentence on principle can't be happy, and I for one find it difficult to fathom how the gruesome, public killing one one more person can be expected to improve anything. It may go some way towards fulfulling some people's personal need for revenge, but revenge has rarely, if ever, had any positive influence on a situation, and usually leads to further recriminations and bad feeling.
The Yanks, Brits and Aussies are finally starting to understand what the rest of the world has been telling them for 3 or 4 years, that a military solution was never going to work in Iraq, however you try and justify it. Even the demagogue George Bush himself is toning down his rhetoric substantially as realism finally sets in (and the next election starts to focus the minds of his party members).
Iraq remains a basket case, both economically and politically. Whether it is less or more of a basket case is almost a moot point. Whether the nebulous benefits outweigh the huge costs in lives, infrastructure and the national psyche - who can say?
But I am pretty sure that the made-for-TV hanging of a bad guy is really not the way to go, and is nothing to be proud of.

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