On this day in 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by American forces in a hole on a farm near Tikrit. I’ve always felt a bit sad for the man. Sure, he was a horrible despot. But he really did play by the despot rules. He had managed his power with a great deal of thuggish intelligence. And then he gets invaded for what?! I’m still not clear on it.
And the Persian Gulf War: what was up with that? Here’s the thing: the United States had supported him while he did all kinds of terrible things. And then, suddenly, it decided that it wasn’t going to support him. It amazes me that people like King Abdullah trust us. We really aren’t good allies. Personally, I would prefer if we actually did stand for democracy and all the other nice things we claim to. But we don’t. Is it asking so much to have a bit of consistency?
Of course, there is consistency. It is just that it isn’t of action, but of motivation. We do whatever is in our best interest at any time. We are not loyal to anyone. In other words, as countries go, we are a psychopath. Saddam Hussein never seemed to realize this. Before the invasion, he thought we were just bluffing. He was right that it made no sense in the grand scheme of things. (That’s another thing about us: we are sometimes led by complete idiots.) What can I say, it’s hard out there for a pimp; but it’s much worse for a despot.