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October 01, 2004

Thank God Our Leaders Are Completely Different From Saddam Hussein

Why did Saddam Hussein have to invade Iran? According to a recent story in the New Yorker, in 1983 he visited Kirkuk and told residents that "Iraq was at war with Iran to protect the purity of Iraqi women from Ayatollah Khomeini’s rampaging troops."

More recently, during his trial, Saddam has explained why he had to invade Kuwait. It was because Kuwait "said it will reduce Iraqi women to 10-dinar prostitutes."

It seems beyond belief that any leader would make such transparent claims to justify attacking other countries. I mean, obviously both invasions were all about oil and Saddam's own power. Yet the Iraqi state newspapers carried Saddam's preposterous justifications without a snicker! And what's worse, many Iraqis probably believe them to this day.

Thank god we live in a country that's completely different. In the sense that we're alarmingly similar.

For instance, here's George H.W. Bush explaining on the morning of December 20, 1989 why America had just invaded Panama:

Last Friday, Noriega declared his military dictatorship to be in a state of war with the United States and publicly threatened the lives of Americans in Panama. The very next day, forces under his command... brutally beat a third American serviceman; and then brutally interrogated his wife, threatening her with sexual abuse. That was enough.

And here's what the Washington Times wrote the next day (via Nexis; not online):

More than anything else, it was a rape threat by Pananamian soldiers to a U.S. naval officer's wife that triggered President Bush's decision to oust "Maximum Leader" Manuel Antonio Noriega... She was "sexually harassed" and threatened with rape, the incident that administration officials called the last straw.
Posted at October 1, 2004 10:03 PM | TrackBack