Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, June 07, 2004
THIS WEEK'S IRONY AWARD goes to James Lileks. This is the heavy-duty, industrial-strength, even-Sir-Ronald-Wilson-couldn't-miss-it kind of irony.

He is responding to a comment on speculation that Saddam Hussein is responsible for killing seven million, at a rough count, Shia. Now read on:
To answer Hugh’s question:

1. Five to seven million “disappeared” is not the same as five to seven million killed. They could have wandered off. The discovery of mass graves that hold several hundred thousands is no proof that Saddam killed any more. Until we have at leave five million skeletons all clutching their national identification cards, with neat bullet holes in the back of their skulls, there is no reason to believe that Saddam had them killed.

If we have learned nothing else in the last few years, it’s that we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

2. So? Other people have died in large amounts elsewhere, and we’re not worried about that.

3. Hey, Arabs killing Arabs. Like that’s news. What do expect of these people? In any case it’s obscene to use the death toll as a justification for Bush’s illegal war. Which was also a racist war, I might add.

4. To paraphrase an influential thinker of the previous century: The death of millions is a statistic.

The reelection of one is a tragedy.