So we’ve got him dead. What do we do now?

WE WANTED him dead or alive. There is no doubt that the Army wanted him dead, and had no intention of taking Abu Musab AL Zarqawi alive. I felt the same way. Americans are not a bloodthirsty people by nature, but we saw what happened when Saddam Hussein was captured.

By Art Buchwald

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Published: Mon 19 Jun 2006, 11:26 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:44 PM

We took him alive and we’re still stuck with him. The way things look, we’ll be stuck with him for a very long time. It will be quite costly by the time he’s found guilty of killing thousands and thousands of his people. You get the feeling that even President Bush wanted Al Zarqawi dead. Bush now looks much better in the eyes of the country. All it cost us was two 500-pound bombs — and poof! One mission was accomplished.

On the other hand, whenever you tune in to the trial of Saddam Hussein, he’s sitting in his box, denying everything. Saddam screams and yells at the judge, claiming he can’t be tried because he’s still president of Iraq. It was our mistake to let him out of his spider hole, give him a nice clean cell, a dentist, a good haircut and a dictionary so he could write a book.

It makes you sick.

When the news came out that Al Zarqawi was killed (either standing up or sitting down), there was joy in Bud Evered’s family room.

He said, "I’m a couch potato, except when it comes to killing an insurgent."

I agreed with Evered. "He blew up people’s homes, sank our ships, beheaded hostages and destroyed mosques. But if we had sent him to Guantanamo Bay, we would have looked bad."

Evered said, "Zarqawi gave Al Qaeda hope when they shouldn’t have had any."

I asked, "I wonder who gave the order not to kill Saddam?"

Evered replied, "Some silly person following the Geneva Convention."

I said, "We’re never going to win if we observe the Geneva Convention. We observed it with Saddam and didn’t with Zarqawi. Which one got the best deal?"

Evered said, "My fear is that, since the Iraqis are trying Saddam, he could be found not guilty, or get 10 years of community service."

"President Bush said trying Saddam is an Iraqi problem. As a matter of fact, everything that goes wrong in Iraq is an Iraqi problem."

Evered pointed out, "The name Al Zarqawi will fade from the front pages of the newspapers in a week."

I said, "His followers will find another leader to carry out Osama bin Laden’s videotaped instructions."

Evered replied, "The answer is to offer a $50 million reward to anyone who finds their new leader dead — and nothing if he’s found alive."

I asked, "Do you think the insurgents are fighting for oil like everyone else?"

Evered answered, "I can’t believe they’re that greedy."

I said, "Everyone knows the whole thing’s about oil. I just got an idea. Why don’t we announce that we will turn on the electricity in Baghdad long enough to electrocute Saddam?"

Evered said, "You always come up with the best idea."

I said, "I do if it’s for my column."

Art Buchwald is a celebrated US humour columnist

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