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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

How to justify an exit.

The Boston Globe walks a tight rope in endorsing attempts by Iraq's neighbors to encourage Saddam Hussein's exile: "Iraq's neighbors deserve support in their efforts to avoid a war next door by offering Saddam Hussein and his top accomplices asylum or by seeking to have the dictator deposed in a coup," the Globe says. The editors acknowledge, though, that the motivation — especially of the Saudi government — may be self-protective much more than humanitarian:

But the same suspicions that Iraqi partisans of democracy and human rights harbor about Saudi motives might also apply to some sectors of the Bush administration. In the Saudi case, it is no secret that the ruling princes do not look kindly on the prospect of a constitutional government in Iraq that would not be dominated by Sunni autocrats and would establish full human rights for women, Kurds, Christians, and other minorities. It would be a shame — and a tragic blunder — if the United States once again fell for the Saudi fallacy of strongman rule in Iraq.

But where in this editorial is there a proposal for "peaceful" regime change that doesn't a) protect Saddam from prosecution and b) preserve a military dictatorship in Iraq? It seems the Globe is really saying that the Saudi-led efforts are justified not so much for "striving to prevent the loss of life" as they are for giving some moral cover ultimately for war. Christopher Hitchens makes the case against the Saudi plan in Slate.

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 22 January 2003 at 8:18 AM

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