A Great Day for Freedom December 15, 2003March 25, 2012 The year after Saddam Hussein gassed his own people – killing 100,000 Kurds with weapons of mass destruction – the Bush administration (not this one, that one) doubled Iraq’s credits to buy U.S. farm products from half a billion to a billion dollars. Fourteen years later, we’ve captured this monster. It is a great day – though I wish it hadn’t cost us hundreds of billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and the good will of so much of the rest of the world. Still, it’s fantastic that Saddam is facing trial, and I’m going to take the rest of the day off to celebrate; then get back to the job of domestic regime change. ‘I doubt you realize it,’ writes one well-known conservative political figure (yes! I have conservative friends!), ‘but – aside from the fanatic neocons and perhaps a few of the most ultra-extreme tax-cutters – virtually every prominent conservative I know is utterly appalled at the whole range of Bush’s policies, so much so that many have told me privately they’re really hoping for a Democratic victory. But it’s hard for them to do or say anything, lest the Republican apparatchiks stir up the gullible conservative base voters (who still overwhelmingly back Bush) against them. Even some of the highest ranking conservatives most closely tied to the Bush Administration and most willing to defend him in the media quietly feel this way.’ I don’t know how accurate that assessment is, but I don’t want to live in a country where we need machine guns to guard the gated communities, or a country that has lost the separation of church and state . . . so it gives me hope.