When Did Saddam Hussein Become a Dictator?

He was apparently just first among equals back in 1991, when the U.S. government deliberately destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure:

Among the justifications offered now [shortly after Gulf War I], particularly by the Air Force in recent briefings, is that Iraqi civilians were not blameless for Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. “The definition of innocents gets to be a little bit unclear,” said a senior Air Force officer, noting that many Iraqis supported the invasion of Kuwait. “They do live there, and ultimately the people have some control over what goes on in their country.”

This passage is quoted in a recent James Bovard essay on the murderous economic/diplomatic war that filled the space between the two invasions. Chew on this: The definition of innocents gets to be a little bit unclear. Americans and Britons: How different are your governments’ foreign policies from those of Osama bin Laden? Go ahead and send the hate mail, but give an honest minute’s reflection to the question first.