The Rude Pundit has often wondered, especially as the cost of the Iraq war approaches the half-trillion mark, how much it would have cost to just buy Saddam Hussein out of power. Really. If Saddam had said, "Okay, you know what? Howzabout $10 billion for me and $1 billion each for my two sons and here's a list of about 100 people who get ten million each," would it have been so wrong to write the checks, maybe even have spread it out over time, like some lottery winnings, so that the vicious bastard couldn't back out? At the time it would have seemed outrageous, but history is a cruel bitch, and it now seems like a fuckin' bargain. Sure, sure, you could argue, it sets a bad precedent, others will blackmail the United States, we shouldn't be in the business of "rewarding" dictators, and blah, blah, fuckin' blah. 'Cause you could also argue, perhaps more effectively, that it sets a bad precedent to start a war based on a lie that's on the fast track to 3000 Americans and untold tens of thousands of Iraqis, with no plan to secure the peace. If you'd bought Hussein out of office, all you'd've had to worry about was keeping the peace. Hell, Bush would have fucked it up anyways.
Now, Kim Jong-Il's pissant nuke is, among other scarier things, a cry for help. Not just mental health help for a nutzoid dictator of a decimated country, a pathetic monomaniacal boy who is so overcompensating for his lack of stature that he has to show everyone in the area his little missle so we can all be so fucking impressed. No, it's also a cry for attention. And, like a toddler holding a butcher knife to his own throat, we probably oughta be gentle and bribe it away from him. Start by, oh, fuck, why not bilateral talks. Just for the fuck of it. Just to see if it works. Then start talkin' the cash money. Naive? Yeah, but the sophistication of bombs and bullying has worked so well in the last few years.