The Monster and Our Friends

A dumb question… why is Saddam so demonized? I understand, the guy was a monster. But was he more of a monster, than, say, the folks in charge in Kuwait – over whom we went to war with Iraq, or Saudi Arabia?

I don’t know the first thing about the folks who run Kuwait. My guess is that GHW Bush knows them well. So maybe that part of the question was a dumb question.

But I have read a bit about Saudi Arabia. From what I can tell, the folks running Saudi Arabia can be pretty brutal. It hasn’t had to be as brutal as Saddam was, but the indications (such as public executions and frightening enthusiasm for torture) are that it could be if it felt it necessary. Reasons I can think of that the Saudis haven’t had to be as brutal include:

1. Much smaller percentage of the population oppressed by the majority (15% (if I recall the number correctly) of Shia oppressed in SA, 20% of Sunni running Iraq under Saddam)
2. The SA government demonstrates much more willingness to get rid of huge numbers of people. (e.g., close to a million Yemenis expelled from the country in a bit over a year in 80 and 81)
3. Far fewer liberties given to the Saudi population (one can’t take a mile if one isn’t given an inch) than to Iraqis under Saddam. Heck, for all practical purposes women are property in SA.

Anyway, I can go on, but Saddam is demonized (as well he should be) but our government’s relationship with SA is far more cordial.

Isn’t anyone bothered by this?