This is after all a man who put up two rows of giant sword arms and let it be known they were modelled from his own. There is a very good book about this called The Monument by Kanan Makiya, who also wrote Republic of Fear which is the other best book on Saddam's Iraq.
Makiya is supporting the war, and I think he is wrong, but I take his views seriously, as I take those of journalist Nick Cohen who is supporting the war out of solidarity with the Kurds. One of the things that disturbs me about a lot of the comrades in the peace movement is that they refuse to accept the idea that there are good reasons for supporting the war in spite of loathing Bush and Blair and everything else. They just are not good enough reasons, on balance - but we all make choices and sometimes people make bad ones.
Various people I know were persuaded by John Pilger's journalism that the Allies were lying about Serbian massacres. I wasn't and I very reluctantly supported the Allies in Bosnia and Kossovo - but I don't think those of my friends who went the other way were bad, just that they were wrong.
Everyone is suddenly an expert - I do not pretend to know what the terrible consequences of this war will be, just that the odds are there will be some.
I was talking to friends earlier who were cursing the 9.11 bombers for not thinking about the effects of their actions on Iraqi civilians and Afghan civilians. My guess is that they thought very precisely about those consequence and deliberately chose to set the US on the path of vengeance, believing that the US will provoke the great Holy War. Which they assumed Islam will win, because they believe that God is on their side.
As, of course, does George W Bush Jr. On even less evidence.
If there were a hell, there would be an especial place in it for people who persuade others that atrocities are mandated by God while knowing that those acts are in fact damnable. It is bad to send someone out to die and even worse to send them out to damn themselves. I don't believe in God or Hell, but it strikes me as particularly monstrous that those who do are prepared to condemn other people to Hell by lying to them, and hope to escape it themselves.
I am getting too angry to think - partly because LJ keeps eating this.