As expected, Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced to death yesterday. The timing is certainly "convenient" for the Bush administration, but there was something else that struck me when the conviction was announced.
Saddam was convicted for war crimes that he committed in 1982. Don't get me wrong, I am glad he was convicted, and his crimes were atrocious.
However, before you take this as a sign to vote for the Republican party, because they will rid the world of evil and protect us from bad guys like Saddam, it might be helpful to recall how the Republican Administration that was in the White House in 1982 responded at the time.
Saddam's crimes were apparently so appalling to Ronald Reagan and his administration, that they sent none other than Donald Rumsfeld as a Special Envoy from the President to meet with the dictator in 1983.
Rumsfeld met and shook hands with Saddam in December of 1983, a full year after the killings in Dujail for which Hussein was convicted and after the United States had confirmed that Iraq was illegally using chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war.
So when Saddam was actively using chemical weapons and killing his people, Donald Rumsfeld was busy shaking his hand. Yet 20 years later, when Saddam was contained by sanctions, no-fly zones, and weapons inspectors, then we go to war at the cost of nearly 3,000 US soldiers and thousands more Iraqi lives.
If you want to "stay the course" with this type of foreign policy, then vote Republican. Personally, I prefer a change.