Liberal Hawks Reconsider the Iraq War

Hitler, Stalin, Hussein
Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Jan. 16 2004 1:21 PM

Liberal Hawks Reconsider the Iraq War

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A final footnote on the arcane topic of Hitler and Stalin. I do think we have reason to keep these historical figures in mind. Saddam's Baath was founded in 1943 under a Nazi influence. (This ought to give the Germans a reason to ensure Baathism's final defeat in Iraq, even if Bush has treated Germany with arrogance.) Later on, Saddam added an influence of Stalin to the Baathist idea. Fred Halliday has pointed out that Saddam's birthplace in Tikrit is a mere 450 miles from Stalin's birthplace. (This might give the Russians a reason to help out, too.) Saddam has the unusual quality of being able to claim descent from Hitler and Stalin both. He is himself the Hitler-Stalin pact.

This arcane fact goes to the heart of our modern predicament—the reality that large political forces exist that have demonized entire countries and populations and have worked up a cult of mass killing. The war against these political forces has been bungled by the strategists in Washington. But, as George and other journalists have shown, many heroic people are doing everything they can do to undo those blunders on the ground in Iraq. What should liberals and Democrats do at home in the United States? Everything we can to help those people. Their success and our safety are one and the same.