Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Ozymandius in Action

On another place where I write, a commentary of one of my articles brought about the possibility of using Ba'athist justice protocols to bear on Saddam Hussein. I understand why it feels good to revel in the atavistic glee of applying his tools to the master of the plastic shredders. Way back in the lizard brain is this clamoring to inflict hurt for hurt. Part of the problem is that the lizard brain never learns and is never really satisfied. That part of the brain is great in a fight for survival, but never really gets the whole civilization thing. It is one thing to pay attention to the lizard brain; but letting it run your life or form your ethics prevents you from accomplishing more than just survival.

It would be folly to have taken the efforts and made the sacrifices we have only to go back to playing Saddam's game. The goal was never to punish Saddam; he cannot pay for his crimes in a million years of vengeance. The only meaningful goal is to make Iraq more successful in freedom and decency than in Saddam's wildest dreams of empire.

That is what scares the despots of the Middle East more than suffering and death; that the United States and its friends can make the dictators irrelevant. Freedom is hated because it is more successful than lizard brain thinking in accomplishing goals that last. Despotism destroys itself. Think of it as Ozymandius in action.
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