Bye bye, butcher

Jim Nolan says good riddance to one of the most bloodthirsty tyrants of the modern era. He quotes novelist Ian McEwan who observed that there were, in relation to Iraq, two kinds of people: those who recognised the words Abu Ghraib before 2004 and those who only did so afterwards.
Jim concludes that: Of course, the pious hand-wringing among significant parts of the Western Left about the war curiously and conveniently passes over the fact that their ideological brethren in Iraq – represented principally, but not exclusively, by the Kurds – were the subject of this most ruthless repression. In July 2003, the Iraqi Communist Party renewed its call for the UN Human Rights Commission and international human rights organisations to support efforts aimed at revealing the fate of tens of thousands of disappeared Iraqis who were victims of Saddam’s anti-leftist repression.
As if deaf to this history, only minutes after the announcement of Saddam’s death sentence there were tendentious blogs that called for the trial and sentencing of those other “war criminals” George W. Bush and Tony Blair, confirming yet again, if confirmation were needed, that new depths of moral obtuseness not seen since the Hitler-Stalin pact are resurgent.
The critics of the removal of Saddam should recall George Orwell’s message to his contemporaries in another, not unrelated, context: “The truth, it is felt, becomes untruth when your enemy utters it … There was even a tendency to feel that the Nanking atrocities had become, as it were, retrospectively untrue because the British government now drew attention to them.” Reminding his appeasement-minded comrades of the atrocities in pre-war Europe, Orwell said: “These things really happened, that is the thing to keep one’s eye on. They happened even though Lord Halifax said they happened.”
And so it was for Saddam, for whom the words genocidal butcher and tyrant have real meaning. It’s just a shame that so many so-called progressives discreetly and eagerly look the other way.