Saddam no Hitler (Qaddafi maybe)

Old Blog Import

A good point by Kristof in the NY Times:

Hawks often compare Saddam to Hitler, suggesting that if we don’t stand up to him today in Baghdad we’ll face him tomorrow in the Mediterranean. The same was said of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom the West saw as the Hitler of the 1950’s and 1960’s. But as with Nasser the analogy is faulty: Saddam may be as nasty as Hitler, but he is unable to invade his neighbors. His army has degraded even since the days when Iran fought him to a standstill, and he won’t be a threat to us tomorrow; more likely, he’ll be dead.

A better analogy is Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, who used to be denounced as the Hitler of the 1980’s. Saddam and Colonel Qaddafi are little changed since those days, but back then we reviled Mr. Qaddafi — while Don Rumsfeld was charming our man in Baghdad.