Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Modest Proposal

I have an idea about an alternative sentence for Saddam Hussein. Rather than putting him to death, we should make use of him. After all, he has between thirty and forty years of experience in running that country, whereas we've managed to plunge it into outright chaos within three and a half years. If I had been President Bush, Hussein's sentence would have gone something like this. (Believe me, the President could've arranged it if he had really wanted to):

"Mr. Hussein, in view of your crimes against humanity, there is no punishment this court can provide that would be adequate to punish you. Consequently, the only fitting punishment that we know of is that you will be appointed President of Iraq from this day forward. You will rule over your people, if you can.

"Do not think that this is a light sentence. Things have changed since you last ruled. The Shi'ites you once oppressed are now organised into military forces, all of which will want to see your head on top of a pole. They are not the weak minority that you once tormented to your heart's content. Likewise for the Kurds, who may well break away from Iraq once you return to power. Do not bother them; Turkey will deal with them. You will have your hands full as it is.

"Furthermore, you will not have the American Army to protect you as Maliki has. The Americans are leaving, now that they have come to their senses. They realise that they cannot teach liberty to a foreign people, or impose it on them. It is something that they must determine for themselves, no matter how difficult that path is. In our case, it may take years of bloodshed. It may not even happen within our lifetimes. You, I suspect, will be but a minor obstacle now, for whatever number of weeks you manage to stay in power.

"You have always proclaimed you would return to power. Now let's see what you can make of it."

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