In an excellent post at Unqualified Offerings, Jim Henley points out something I hadn't really thought of: the crime for which Saddam Hussein was officially executed, the Dujail reprisal massacre, is pretty much the sort of thing a lot of hawks are suggesting we do when they complain about our inadequate ferocity in Iraq. As Henley bluntly puts it:
Every time you read a complaint about “politically correct rules of engagement” you are reading someone who would applaud a Dujail-level slaughter if only we were to perpetrate it.A harsh assessment, but it rings true with several conversations I've had, sadly.
This brings to mind a similar quirk of many hawks, who are generally the people most likely to advocate the use of torture on suspected terrorists. Quite often, their publicly stated position seems to be, "Hussein was a monster who had to be destroyed because he engaged in things like torture. By the way, let's start torturing people!"
To be fair, I'm pretty sure none of the neocons have advocated going to Hussein-level extremes like rape rooms or acid baths. Still, it makes me wonder: Are they oblivious to the fact that they're calling for us to do the sorts of things they damn Hussein for? Or are they just hoping everyone else will be?