Trump praises Saddam Hussein's efficient killing of 'terrorists'
Donald Trump on Tuesday once again expressed his preference for keeping dictators in power in the Middle East.
While acknowledging that Saddam Hussein "was a bad guy," Trump praised the former Iraqi dictator's efficient killing of "terrorists" -- despite the fact that Iraq was listed as a state sponsor of terrorism during Hussein's time in power.
Trump, who supported the Iraq War before the invasion and in the early months of the war, said the U.S. "shouldn't have destabilized" Iraq before pivoting to praising Hussein.
"He was a bad guy -- really bad guy. But you know what? He did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn't read them the rights. They didn't talk. They were terrorists. Over. Today, Iraq is Harvard for terrorism," Trump said.
Trump's praise of Saddam Hussein brings bipartisan disdain
Hussein notoriously targeted political and sectarian enemies for assassination.
He used poison gas to murder Iraqi Kurds, and he launched missiles at Israel.
In his roughly 30-year reign, Hussein landed his country on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism before the U.S. invaded in 2003.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign quickly responded by calling Trump's praise of “brutal strongmen” dangerous.
Senior Clinton aide Jake Sullivan cited several instances of Trump lauding violent regimes, including Chinese leaders during the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, Kim Jong-un’s isolated power in North Korea and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Trump's cavalier compliments for brutal dictators … again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief,” Sullivan said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has repeatedly called out Trump for divisive comments, slammed his characterization of Hussein.
“[Hussein] was one of the 20th century’s most evil people,” Ryan said in a Fox News interview.
“He committed mass genocide against his own people.”
That it would have been better to leave Saddam in power is a view that has considerable merit, as was known to Bush pere, and the same can be said about Qaddafi and Mubarak.
Heck, it would have been better all around if the Shah had kept his throne.
What is objectionable here is The Duce's praise of thug rule, the disdain for human rights and the rule of law, the scorn for law-abiding policing.
Not the rejection of pig-headed neo-Wilsonism.