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Hussein and other 'evil monsters'

January 08, 2007

Re "Vandalizing Hussein," Opinion, Jan. 4

Richard Dawkins wonders how "evil monsters could secure sufficient support to take over an entire country," and predictably he uses Adolf Hitler as his model. He ignores such tyrants as Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot and others who caused 100 million deaths in pursuit of what they called equality and social justice. Contributing to their success in taking over entire countries were members of the international leftist community who were convinced by their words. Scientific research would be better dedicated to the study of the mental processes of those in the West who called such men harmless agrarian reformers.




I take exception to Dawkins' argument that Saddam Hussein should have been spared for the value of the research opportunity. Ostensibly, researchers have data of more than half a century of Hussein's life and deeds to study. Besides, wouldn't Hussein's responses been self-serving and of little value to researchers? Perhaps Dawkins' opportunistic argument should be used for a universal ban on capital punishment. There are alternative arguments for banning executions than Dawkins' about the research opportunity.


Los Angeles

The writer is a senior lecturer in economics at USC.

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