The Derelict from Tikrit

I find myself contemplating that as I sit back and sip sangria as part of the celebrations of the downfall of Saddam Hussein. What a great day to be an American! What a great day to be an Israeli! What a great day to be a Jew!

Prof. Steven Plaut,

When Jacob?s two sons, Shimon and Levi, killed all the menfolk of Sh?chem, he was terribly concerned that the vengeance would endanger him and his nation amongst the Canaanites. But he need not have worried. As it turned out, the Canaanites did not lift a finger against him. The vengeance had worked. It had cowed the barbarians. It had focused their minds.

I find myself contemplating that as I sit back and sip sangria as part of the celebrations of the downfall of Saddam Hussein. What a great day to be an American! What a great day to be an Israeli! What a great day to be a Jew!

The most delightful part was trying to project into my own mind what must have been the thoughts in the heads of the leading barbarians of the Arab and Islamist world, the leaders of Iran, Syria, Libya and the many terrorist groups. Here we had the man who had defied the United States, who had thumbed his nose at the democratic West, reduced to a Neanderthal lifestyle, the suitcases of dollar cash nearby notwithstanding.

Sure it was twelve years too late, and sure it proved how foolish George Bush Senior had been to fear carrying the first Gulf War to its natural conclusion. That foolishness had allowed Saddam to morph into the great hero of the fascist Arab world, resisting all the efforts of the US and the UN for years after George Bush Senior had himself seen his political career end.

But those of us who laugh last, laugh best. The ultimate purpose of the career of the monster from Baghdad is, we now know, to illustrate for the Middle East?s barbarian hordes and their leaders what fate awaits them. The man who fired missiles into Tel Aviv received what can only appear as Divine comeuppance. Confined to a hole in the ground with rodents scurrying about, living for months in conditions far worse than those to which he will now be confined as a prisoner, his two sons assassinated, left alone by his people. A Haman-like denouement if ever there was one. Who says the modern world does not resemble the Bible?

You know how it is a platitude that everyone remembers where they were when they heard JFK was shot? In my case, I actually do recall it quite clearly. I suspect the capture of Saddam will not be as memorable and as historically marked in people's minds as the JFK assassination, but nevertheless, I thought I would share my own experience of where and when I heard the glad tidings about Saddam's capture.

I had taken a break from some office work at Haifa University shortly after noon local time and I went down to the Arab student cafeteria. No, that is not what it is officially called, just what I call it. Israel?s Haifa University has the largest contingent of Arab students in Israel. While they are not a homogeneous bunch, the bulk are ferociously anti-Israel and pro-PLO and pro-terror. Many strut about campus with T-shirts showing Abdul Nasser on them, the other Arab tyrant who was planning to fire missiles of mass destruction at the Jews.

There is one cafeteria where the Arab students tend to congregate in large numbers, and this cafeteria has a better-than-average shwarma stand (kosher, of course). The fellow who sells shwarma there is himself an Arab who is not pro-Saddam. I know, because I once brought him an internet photo of Saddam cutting shwarma off a churning rotisserie with the caption, "We have discovered where Saddam is." He thought it was hilarious and he hung it up, telling me that most of the Arab students who come there to eat are Saddam-supporters and would be angered by the photo, to his delight.

I was waiting in line for the shwarma-in-pita when I started listening to the TV set in the cafeteria. It was the announcement by the US governor in Iraq that they had caught Saddam. The Arab students in the cafeteria were thrown into deep remorse and anger and shock. Their faces showed their sorrow.

I ordered extra amba sauce to celebrate.

The sorrow of the Arab students at seeing their hero captured was not to be restricted to Haifa University. Pity those poor peace demonstrators on Western campuses. You might want to send condolence cards to some anti-war protesters and leftist professors in your town, telling them how sorry you are that the guy who best represents their values and dreams is now behind bars. Or, you might want to slap an anti-war protester with your sandal, or turn the fire hoses on the demonstrators for Palestinian liberation.

And Saddam? In the first photos, he looked ever so much like one of those homeless men south of Market Street in the Mission District of San Francisco, who eat out of garbage bins. The tyrant of Iraq reduced to dressing like a derelict, hiding in the mud, pouring dirt on himself to try to escape capture.

Could there be a better image to focus the minds and to deter the Islamofascist leaders of the Arab world? An image to throw the fear of death and humiliation into them? Could there be any better way to deter their savagery?

And for Israel, could there be any better lesson in how to handle Yasser Arafat, that longtime groupie of Saddam? Arafat is a tyrant and fascist leader who would also make a wonderful poster boy for homelessness and dereliction. I am willing to dig the hole under the farmhouse myself, despite my bad back.

Shimon and Levi were right. The peace movement was wrong. The Left is always wrong.

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