VIRGINIA -- Looking out at the snow falling on the rolling hills of Loudoun County, Virginia, would for me be enough to make any weekend beautiful. The deer are prancing and leaping around, foraging on the lawn, and in the cedar forest. An owl perched on a tall cedar a while ago. But even without the view from my study, this would be a wonderful weekend. We got Saddam, the EU imploded, and Big Dog's Deputy visited a little justice on the Axis of Weasels.
The pictures of Saddam, freshly dug out of his Tikrit hidey-hole, showed the would-be emperor of a pan-Arab colossus tugging at his scraggly beard, submitting quietly to a medical exam and mouth-swab for DNA testing. (One evil genius editor of my acquaintance whose initials are WP suggested that our medics weren't sufficiently expert for this. Maybe the Russians would be better at searching Saddam's hair for lice. Saddam kinda looks like Karl Marx on a bad hair day.)
President Bush -- smiling as he hasn't since he landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln -- said on Sunday that the people of Iraq will never have to fear Saddam again. Saddam is a mass murderer, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds having died on his orders. His crimes are more than enough to justify his trial and a death sentence. It's a shame that Saddam was taken alive, because he still can be used -- or use others -- to affect Iraq and America.
Saddam is our prisoner and should remain so through any trial. Some will want Saddam transferred to the International Criminal Court for a show trial that will become a trial of America and George W. Bush, with Saddam as the innocent bystander. The Iraqis could be persuaded to allow this, if we let it happen. We mustn't. Keep him in isolation, without contact with the media, Arab delegations (which would make propaganda out of whatever is going on) or anyone except our interrogators, one lawyer and the International Red Cross. He's a POW. Nothing more, nothing less. There should be no speeches, no Al-Jazeera, BBC or CBS interviews for him. Set up an Iraqi or Coalition tribunal now, and don't wait for the Governing Council to spend another two years drafting a constitution to set up the framework. Let's keep it simple. Try Saddam for the poison gas murder of Kurds in Halabjah in 1988, and send him to the gallows.
There's a growing chorus on the left that says we should question Saddam about WMD -- missiles, nukes, chem and bio, the whole lot -- and see if what he tells us is helpful. Ask him if he was a 9-11 co-conspirator. Oh, please. Unless you shoot this guy so full of sodium amatol or Versed that he thinks he's talking to Allah, all you'll get is garbage. In fairness to our efforts to find the WMD and the money he stole, we should be interrogating him enthusiastically with the proper chemical assistance. It may or may not work, but we have to try. Get it on, and end it quickly. Because as soon as he is being questioned, the leaks will begin about what he's saying. At that point, every leak will fuel the Deanieboppers, the Axis of Weasels, and everyone else who doesn't want to fight the war we're in. More importantly, the leaks and any extended trial will distract Iraq, us, and the rest of the world from what is vastly more important. The Iraqis won't make progress toward democracy until this guy is taking a grass nap.
It's pretty funny how Howlin' Howie and the Trailers are taking the news. Wesley Clark rubbed his knuckles and said, "I hope this will see a diminishing in the violence against American soldiers in Iraq." Gee, Wes, so do I. But doncha think there may be some other effects? Like giving the Iraqis a big boost toward freedom and democracy? Vichy John Kerry said, "Our problems in Iraq have not been caused by one man and this is a moment when the administration can and must launch a major effort to gain international support and win the peace." John, when you're right, you're right. Our problems in Iraq haven't been caused by one man. Saddam had a lot of help, and the Axis of Weasels has been giving it. So what you want to do -- turn the whole thing over to those who were some of the main troublemakers -- is (as usual) precisely the wrong thing to do.
Howlin' Howie -- dare I even say it? -- almost sounded presidential in his reaction. Almost. Dean proved his political smarts by saying that this is a day to take pride in our military (!!) and a great day for the Iraqi people. But that was too much for the principal Deaniac. He slipped back into Kofi-ism, saying, "This development provides an enormous opportunity to set a new course and take the American label off the war. We must do everything possible to bring the U.N., NATO, and other members of the international community back into this effort."
It's really not relevant which of the Dems you listen to (unless it's Ol' Joe Lieberman, who at this point is starting to sound almost like Zell Miller). All the rest are desperate to surrender America's foreign policy to our betters so they can pay attention to what's important, like saving the environment at Camp Pendleton from all those noisy guys in olive drab. The Dems just don't get it, and never will.
MORE RELEVANT -- AND EVEN MORE amusing -- is the EUnuchs' comic opera, and how Big Dog's Deputy shoved a hot poker up their dignity.
On 5 December, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz signed a common-sensical ban on companies from Axis of Weasels nations being awarded prime contracts for the construction of the new Iraq. There was about $18.6 billion in those contracts about to be awarded, and Dr. W. told the world -- or at least news leaked out a few days later -- that those who march behind the bare behind of Jacques Chirac could count themselves out.
The timing was beautiful because the Wolfowitz decision came out only a few days before the rancorous EUnuchs were scheduled to meet in Brussels to negotiate the final details of their new "constitution," a thousand pages of wishful thinking no one really believed would work, except the bureaucratic horde that now occupies Brussels. The rather unsubtle message from Dr. W. wasn't lost on the folks who met in the Belgian rain. Wolfowitz's action was not the proximate cause of the EUnuchs' failure, but it certainly didn't help them, and the timing was perfect.
The EUnuchs -- led by Wacky Jacky, the most pompous jerk the earth has seen since Charles de Gaulle passed from this vale of tears -- are now talking about a "two-speed" EU, with France and Germany forging ahead before the others. First, he blamed Tony Blair for the EU summit's failure because Britain didn't back the plan France and Germany proposed to Weasel on the deal previously cut with smaller nations on their voting rights in the EU. Gee, how unusual. The Brits are trying to stick to a promise they made, the French are reneging, and then blaming the Brits when the whole thing falls apart. The wogs still start at Calais.
Perspiration may be the ordure of the day at the Elysée Palace, because Chirac is going to be working hard this week. He has two immediate tasks. First, he'll be spending a lot of time with his lawyer, burning records and preparing for whatever Saddam may choose to rat him out on. Second, he'll have to work with the Germans to lead the few nations still dedicated to the EU off a cliff. The "two speed" Europe they envision will begin as a sort of Franco-German nation-state with their inferiors volunteering to join later as subordinate members of the new empire. I have a suggestion for the national anthem. How about, "Bring in the Clowns"? Stock up on popcorn. This will be the most expensive and least successful movie since CBS produced "The Reagans."