Sad Sack

The CNN website today carried an interesting little item: an interview with Saddam Hussein’s defense attorney, Ramsey Clark. For those of you who aren’t up on Mr. Clark’s curriculum vitae, he was United States Attorney General under Lyndon Johnson, and played an important role in the civil rights struggles of the 1960’s, but since then has wandered farther and farther into the fever swamps of the extreme Left, and from the Vietnam era forward has happily made common cause with an sordid assortment of America’s foes. He also seems, to paraphrase J.B.S. Haldane, to have an “inordinate fondness” for brutal tyrants, including Serbian thug Slobodan Milošević, Liberian despot and mutilator of uncounted thousands Charles Taylor, and of course the Butcher of Baghdad himself. Clark attended Milošević’s funeral, for example, and announced that “history will prove Milošević was right.” Right to wage a ruthless campaign of genocide, I assume he means.

At any rate, Clark was interviewed for CNN by Wolf Blitzer, and after a brief consideration of whether Saddam might be considering a “political comeback”, Clark, speaking in obvious sympathy for his new friend, shares with us how Saddam is feeling these days. It turns out that he’s actually kind of sad, apparently:

…he’s torn apart by what he sees happening to his country, to the people of Iraq. And the thing he says above all is Iraqis should never kill Iraqis.

Now the last thing I’d want anyone to think is that I don’t have a “nuanced’ view of complex issues, but the idea that Ramsey Clark can have uttered this in apparent seriousness, and that both men seem subsequently to have been able to keep straight faces (I see nothing in the transcript about gales of laughter, elbow nudges, slapped thighs, or such like) was so absolutely mind-boggling that as I contemplated it just now I had momentarily to grip the table at which I write, lest I fall over sideways. Saddam is “torn apart”? Come to think of it, so were quite a few of his countrymen, in a much more literal sense: this is the psychopath who dropped his Iraqi political foes feet-first into industrial plastic-shredders, who gassed entire Iraqi villages, who has pocked the countryside with the anonymous graves of his fellow Iraqis in the hundreds of thousands, who tortured Iraqi children to death in view of their Iraqi parents.

I should have thought that the blogosphere would be all afroth over such lunacy, but nobody seemed to have noticed – or perhaps it’s just that Ramsey Clark is already so well known to be completely round the bend that this latest howler isn’t worth mentioning. Who knows? We report, you decide.


  1. Thano says

    “…has wandered farther and farther into the fever swamps of the extreme Left”

    This reminds me of the current administration: it promised moderate, “compassionate conservativist” policies, but instead has acted in an extremist, neo-fascist manner.

    As someone who has always voted Republican (except in the 2004 election), I am hoping, for the good of the country, that the next administration is not Republican.

    Posted June 28, 2006 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Thano, and thanks for commenting.

    This post was not about domestic politics at all, but about the absurdity of the one Iraqi who has probably killed more Iraqis than any other Iraqi in history being upset that Iraqis are killing Iraqis, and the fact that two apparently intelligent men can discuss this in public without noticing how preposterous it is.

    You mustn’t assume, just because I castigate Ramsey Clark for his extreme political stance, that I am making any brief for the Republicans. I’m actually a registered Democrat myself, but I consider my political positions on an issue-by-issue basis, and am hoping not for a Republican or Democratic administration next time around, but simply one led by someone who is reasonable, moderate, and above all thoughtful and intelligent (which would make a refreshing contrast to the status quo). There are “fever swamps” all about, to both left and right; they are both populous, and I have no admiration for the inhabitants of either.

    Glad to have you as a reader; perhaps our views aren’t as divergent as you think.

    Posted June 28, 2006 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  3. the one eyed man says

    I saw Ramsey Clark speak in college, before he went off the deep end. Clark was a member of the Warren Commission, and in the Q&A he was asked what part of Kennedy’s skull the bullet entered. There was a moment of embarrassed silence, and then Clark refused to answer the question, saying that the information was classified.

    Posted June 28, 2006 at 7:54 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    I can see why that would be a national-security issue, of course.

    Posted June 29, 2006 at 12:03 am | Permalink

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