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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 4, 2007 / 14 Teves 5767

Putting an end to the Saddam problem

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Opponents of capital punishment may have contemplated Saddam's execution by recalling Groucho Marx's quote about never forgetting a face: For you, I'll make an exception.


One might argue that the trial could have been less farcical; one might have enjoyed seeing Saddam answer for all his crimes, including the deaths of 100,000 Kurds in 1987-88. In the end, however, he had but one neck to give for his country, and he proved that no man is above the law. Especially the one concerning gravity.


Tyrants in other countries might have felt a pang of unease at his end; all that money, all that power, all those glorious implements of fear and oppression at his disposal, and it still added up to a drop, a jolt, an ignominious yank captured on shaky cellphone video. No doubt tyrants have drawn the correct conclusion, too: Confiscate all the cell phones.


It felt oddly anticlimactic, though. Not that anyone expected it would end the violence.


Iraq's problems won't end until the terrorists' sponsors open the window one fine bright morning to find a Tomahawk sailing in their direction. But the Bush administration has decided to leave Iran and Syria alone, perhaps to make the ruination of Iraq an example of international cooperation for the 21st century.


Iraq's problems will be solved when the warring groups are suppressed once and for all, but that sort of horrible force plays poorly on CNN International. Besides, the Ethiopians are rather busy at the moment.


Only fools expected Saddam's death to solve the violence; that wasn't the point. It was justice, and it was justice's half-brother, vengeance. It was a tentative step toward the rule of law, but the real work will take decades. Ideally, you ought to be able to change leaders without hanging the last one.


It'll take a decade of peaceful transitions of power to make Iraq a true democracy, which is why Saddam's death won't immediately strew flowers throughout the Middle East. But that's OK. Imagine telling the Italians after the death of Mussolini that their governments would rise and fall like the tides of Venice, and the only effect on the citizens would be the distribution of patronage. Their response: Really? You promise?


This is not the time to lament the dictator, but of course that's what many did. As his appointed hour grew nigh, the humanitarians of the world found a new champion.


"He held the country together!" Well, if President Bush gassed New York and California and outlawed the Democratic Party, he could impose the same sort of remarkable cohesion.


"He was a counterweight to Iran!" Yes. But perhaps it's better to have a struggling democracy with American bases as the counterweight. If the U.S. had occupied Iraq in the 1980s, it's doubtful that millions of Iraqis would have been sent to their death so Ronald Reagan could wear a military uniform and wave a shotgun for the cameras. "We put him in power!" Hmm. How did that work, exactly? Right: We smuggled him into the country in Donald Rumsfeld's steamer trunk with instructions to buy Russian weapons and a French reactor, then invade countries we really liked.


"He was relentlessly opposed to Islamist terrorists!" Except for those he paid and sheltered, of course. If he was sending money to people who blew up buses in New York instead of Jerusalem, people might have been more exercised.


If this was a peaceable world, with no Darfurs or Hezbollah wars or Somalia clan-spats or auto-explosive jihadis anxious to perforate infidels on G-d's behalf, Saddam would have stood out as a throwback, an anachronism, a monstrosity who taxed the conscience of the just.


In this world, however, he had television correspondents seek his company and call him Mr. President. If his death seems anticlimactic, it may reflect the shame of a world that shrugged at his thuggery.


"We had him in a box!" some said. That was debatable, then. Now he's in a box for real. It does not solve the problem of Iraq. But it solved the problem of Saddam.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2006, James Lileks

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