It's Not Easy Being Mean,
Stossel, The Atlantic Online
The media's caricatures of despots make hating them easy--too easy.
But, as Sage Stossel explains in an interview with author Mark
Bowden in The Atlantic Online
, to understand how a
tyrant becomes so brutal and power-hungry, we must analyze when and
how their more humanitarian side was corrupted. Saddam Hussein is
an excellent case-in-point. Bowden, who spoke with people who had
been close to Saddam, says that before coming to power the dictator
had been respected as a visionary for Iraq's future: 'Not so long
ago, Saddam was admired as a thoughtful, articulate, intelligent
politician who was an asset to Iraq's reform-minded
socialist-revolutionary party. He began to implement a number of
reforms to Iraq's health-care and educational systems that both
seemed to fulfill his early promise and earned him praise in the
West.' But things changed as Saddam garnered more power, and Bowden
muses about whether that power corrupted the leader or vice versa.
Today, Bowden says, Saddam's growing desperation to hold onto his
iron-fisted authority might result in his ultimate end.