When to Kill

Listen / Download

“Wanted Dead or Alive.” That is what the old Wild West posters used to say, but in the Wild, Wild East, out Iraq way the posters simply say “Wanted Dead.” Somewhere between Tikrit and Mosul, Saddam Hussein is being hunted, even as we speak.

Last week, U.S. soldiers shot and killed his two sons. Today, the U.S. military reports it has detained a long-time bodyguard of the deposed leader and officials proudly claim they are “tightening the noose” around his neck. It’s not the first time a U.S. administration has issued death warrant for a leader, but it is the first time it has done so this publicly.

Advocates of this new brand of shoot to kill diplomacy say stability in Iraq is not possible without his death. Those arguing against claim that killing Saddam will make the Bush administration no better than the regime it has changed.


Ann Scott Tyson, staff writer, Christian Science Monitor, from Tikrit, Iraq

Thomas Powers, author, “Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to al-Qaeda,” and Ralph Peters, retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, and author, Beyond Terror.