Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Curtain Closes

Some things, even in International Affairs, are permanent. Death is one of those things.

No matter how the spinmeisters -- at CNN or Al Jazeera -- try to play this, one thing about Saddam Hussein's execution cannot be a negative. He is gone forever.

So long as he lived -- even in captivity -- some remote possibilities remained on the table. Now, some of those potentialities are completely eliminated.

There is a complicated interplay of motivating factors for the terrorists/insurgents in the Iraqi front of the War on Terror. One impetus for some of them to keep going was the dream -- however unrealistic -- that if they played their cards right they might somehow restore Saddam and his regime to power in Baghdad. Saddam himself played to this hope (or fear, for those Iraqis on our side).

Now that's impossible. And that cannot but be a great thing for the United States and the War on Terror.

The extent of the impact of Saddam's death may take a while to assess. Some of it may be counteracted by the "martyr" factor (most of which existed while he was imprisoned, regardless of his life status).

But it is likely -- and it is my hope -- that some of the wind will be taken from the terrorists' sails from this simple, but final, action.

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