Saturday, December 30, 2006


Here’s the thing.

Nobody disagrees that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy (well, maybe a few insurgents disagree, but for the moment we’ll pretend like we’re all on the same page). There might be a wee bit of contention over the notion that the Middle East or the world is in a better place because Saddam’s no longer in control (and, again, let’s set aside the question of should we have gone to Iraq in the first place instead of, you know, finishing up the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. By the way, if going into Iraq was anything more than finishing up what Daddy started or a grab for oil, something like the “he’s a threat, he’s mean to his people” rationale, then why aren’t we sending thousands of troops and millions in aid to the Sudan, where men, women and children –emphasis on women and children – are being tortured and murdered on a daily basis? And that’s just one of several other happy spots on the globe. Okay, Digression Controls initiated).

So, anyway, we capture him, make his homeboys put him on trial and execute him. And that’s good, right? Because when you’re our enemy, we vanquish you, baby. Scorched earth. It feels right.

Except when it doesn’t.

(Sigh. One more digression. Let’s also put on hold the debate over the death penalty. It’s a topic I’ve vacillated over since I was a teen. In theory it sounds good. In practice it eliminates bad guys, but only if we have the right bad guy. Time and again we’ve been shown that the wrong people get executed with alarming frequency. Not that Saddam was the wrong guy. He wasn’t.)

Just think about this: what works better for out purposes in Iraq – a dead Saddam around whom thousands of insurgents can rally and proclaim him a martyr for their cause, or locking Saddam up in prison for life and constantly providing updates of his incarceration – showing photos of him in the cafeteria line; doing laundry; sitting in the dimness of his cell, head hung in defeat? Essentially saying, “Look at this. This is what we did to the most powerful guy in this part of the world. You want some of this?”

In fact that last line could have come straight from the I-book of a Bush speech writer.

There’s no manual for this kind of stuff. Just conscience and a willingness to think it through, to weigh all the consequences of our actions

Have we made things better? The coming months will tell, but in the words of that great strategist and statesman Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”


UNCLE BUD said...



Mark Justice said...

Hi, Uncle Bud.

Your boy Rush would be proud of that answer.

Happy New Year!

Aunt Vera said...

Mark was always the communist of the family. I always have to apologize for him at the Justice family reunions.

I don't know when things starting going wrong. He was such a nice little boy. Must have been all those nasty little books he read when he was small.

Mark Justice said...

Good to hear from you, Aunt Vera. I didn't know you were out of prison.

By the way, I always defended you at the family reunions. I never thought it was so wrong for you to run that lesbian farm animal brothel up in the holler.

Happy Holidays!

Ron Fortier said...

Personally I think he was a non-entity in the end. As for him becoming a martyr, all of 400 people rallied today in the streets. Hardly seems worth the one minute news spot.
No, Mark, I personally think his passing (to which I sigh...good riddance...give my regards to the ultimate judge) isn't going to alter
the status quo as it exist today.
And there's a fitting epilogue to
a 20th Century Monster. He was executed and nobody gave a s**t.

Mark Justice said...


I hope you're right, though I think it's too early to tell.

Paul Benard said...

I think you and I think alike. I wish I could see the black and white of these issues but I see only grey. This administration both sickens me and frightens me. The fact that people still believe in our leadership gives me faith that the German soldiers who said they were just following orders were true.
love & kisses, The other uncle

Mark Justice said...

Uncle Paul!

Be careful....or Uncle Bud will drop the "L" word. You know, the same Ls that got us clean air, clean water, civil right,etc.

Anonymous said...

Damn hippy, commie, liberal pinko! Cut your hair and get a real job!!!

Hugs and kisses - Cousin BettyJeanBillyAnne

Mark Justice said...

After 30 years in radio, I don't think I could hack a real job.

And I wish I *had* hair to cut.