If we had dropped a daisy cutter on Kim Jong-Il?s North Korean palace in 1994 instead of signing a worthless nonproliferation treaty, more than two million North Koreans would be alive today?and they?d be breathing freedom. Would some civilians have died? Of course. But nowhere near two million. Not even close.
And lest we forget that in roughly a quarter-century, Saddam killed anywhere from half-million to over one million people, according to most reasonable estimates. That doesn?t count the untold suffering in Saddam?s torture chambers and rape rooms. Given Saddam?s annual death toll, he could have murdered upwards of 50,000 people this year alone?far more civilians than even the most rabid America-haters contend have died in the past year.
Israel is finally starting to figure out that terror is a top-down plague, not some grassroots ?uprising.? If only they had killed the head of Hamas and his minions years ago, many of the 377 innocent Israelis Hamas slaughtered might be alive today. Even many or most of the 52 young Palestinians Sheikh Ahmed Yassin brainwashed to their gruesome ends might still be in one piece.
Does this mean the United States should adopt its own targeted assassination policy? Not necessarily, but it should completely undercut the argument that somehow civilians under the thumb of a murderous thug suffer more when that tyrant is toppled.
The one set of numbers not available for analysis?the number of innocent Americans killed in a second 9/11 perpetrated with Saddam?s help?is probably the most important of all, precisely because there will never be such a number. Thankfully, we will never need a commission to wring its hands about our inability to stop Saddam in time.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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