I was out most of the day so I missed an interesting debate over at Eschaton regarding this post and Aaron McGruder's remarks on Real Time, comparing Bush with Saddam. Now is Bush as evil as Saddam? Frankly, I don't care. Bush is bad enough that I want him out. Better yet, I want him impeached. But terms like "good" and "evil" have been thrown around so cavalierly that I think it's a good use of our time to actually define what we mean by "evil" for this comparison. Now, is Bush more evil than Saddam? Well, I think that Bush is both capable and willing to do more and worse than Saddam. As bad as Saddam is, the range of his atrocity is pretty small. He simply doesn't have the resources for carnage that Bush has. Now, given that Bush was "chosen by God" to lead us at this crucial hour I think that we should be very careful in analyzing his motives. Bush is so driving by his own twisted view of Christianity that I believe he could reduce Iraq to a radioactive memory and justify it in the name of peace.
Calling people "evil" in real life doesn't work. We believe that all evil people are Shakespearian like Richard the Third or Iago and completely forthcoming in the taste for villainy. But the Osamas and Saddams of this world don't believe what their doing is evil. In fact they subscribe to the idea that they serve some sort of divine purpose and we are the evil ones. That's what's so troubling about this whole debate. We've been sucked into using the same fundamentalist rhetoric to describe them as they use to describe us and given the extremists their holy war.