Television news stations, along with newspapers from coast to coast, have been showing scenes of celebration in Baghdad. The dictator, Saddam Hussein, has been removed from power. News anchors have likened this event to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of Paris by Allied forces during World War II. Never mind that the joyful crowds who tore down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad last week numbered perhaps one hundred people, or that the entire event was a staged media scam. A wide angle shot of the square where this 'celebration' took place showed a deserted, ruined city with that one small clot of people. The true feelings of the Iraqi people in the aftermath of the invasion were best summed up by a woman who screamed at a reporter for the UK Independent: "Go back to your country. Get out of here. You are not wanted here. We hated Saddam and now we are hating Bush because he is destroying our city."
The war against Iraq was proffered and pursued by the Bush administration with two clear goals on the table. 1) We were, first and foremost, there to capture and destroy any and all weapons of mass destruction; 2) We were there to 'liberate' the Iraqi people and plant a seedcorn of democracy. Enveloping this entire scenario was the Bush administration's premise that what we were doing was just and moral.
We need, first of all, to get our terms straight so as to achieve a sense of clarity regarding the issue of America's moral standing on the matter. Saddam Hussein was not defeated. He was not overthrown, bested, beaten or destroyed. Saddam Hussein was fired, relieved of his position by a nation that hired him for a dirty job way back in 1979.