Tag Archives: Saddam Hussein

How Ethnocentrism Blinded the War’s Critics to the People of Iraq

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SCANNING THIS WEEK’S renewal of the Bush and Blair trials, I wondered: do I alone notice the toxic ethnocentrism lurking in the belief that the world’s political disasters are the result of, and response to, America’s policies and actions?

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An Attack on Syria for Whose Benefit?

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IN THE YEARS leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a commonplace indictment of Saddam Hussein was that he was guilty of using chemical weapons against “his own people.” The notion that Iraqis, to say nothing of Kurds or Kuwaitis, could be considered the people of the Ba’athist regime was not lost on the dictator. The Hussein family indeed treated all of Iraq as its personal property, inclusive even of the private lives of Iraq’s citizens, and revealed itself ever eager to extend these possessions beyond its own borders.

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The Conservative Party’s courting of China is shameful

I KNOW FROM experience the most efficient way to start a fist-fight in some circles is to use, without irony, the word evil. As in the phrase Axis of Evil. On this principle, George W. Bush was mocked for years by lefties who noted condescendingly (though correctly) that the President’s eyes were just a bit too close together for the nation’s good. One afternoon in the mid 90s, the man who would memorably link Iran, Iraq and North Korea — Bush Jr’s speechwriter, David Frum — passed in front of my car while I was at a red light. I confess repressing an urge to step on the gas. Some years on, however, I’ve a greater respect for Mr. Frum, and in part it’s due to the fact that I think there really is such a thing as evil, perhaps even in axis form.

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