Saddam as Victim
By James Taranto
January 3, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders notes a rather outrageous quote from a self-styled human-rights advocate, objecting to Saddam Hussein's execution:
Saunders is obviously right: It is perverse to consider the execution of a mass murderer as worse than the murder of children.
But she doesn't quite capture the full perversity of Dicker's statement, "The test of a government's commitment to human rights is measured by the way it treats its worst offenders." By this reasoning, hanging a thief or a jaywalker would be less bad than hanging a mass murderer.
And suppose we apply the Dicker principle to the previous regime in Baghdad. How did it treat Iraq's worst offenders, namely Saddam Hussein his sons and assorted hangers-on? It provided them with nearly limitless wealth and power. By Dicker's logic, this is close to ideal: The more brutal a dictatorship and the more lavishly its rulers live, the stronger its commitment to human rights. What a monstrous moral inversion.
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