30 December 2006

hussein hanged

"Dictator Who Ruled Iraq With Violence Is Hanged for Crimes Against Humanity", reads the times this morning. the post's story is pretty good, too. lots of the same elements in both places.

but we knew this was coming. i'm more interested in the question i ran across at crescat sententia (more-than-a-friend of a friend), roughly: end in itself or means to an end? in politics, i'm more and more inclined to believe it should be the latter, rather than the former (within limits, utilitarian-type calculus dodgy without intensity of preferences, etc.). in saddam's case, per will's question, i suppose that means that i don't give a flying fuck whether it's acceptable or even meritorious to kill murdering dictators just because they are murdering dictators. the question, and this has always been the question about everything surrounding this stupid, stupid war, is whether killing this particular murdering dictator in this particular circumstance will, on balance, help or hurt the people who don't get to make policy decisions. on that debate, i'm pretty sure the jury's still out.