Glenn Reynolds wants to see someone "denounce Saddam Hussein as a 'baby killer' or anything similar for his embargo on oil exports".

OK Glenn. Saddam is killing babies by immorally coercing his people to not trade with us. The man is evil. He should free his people and let them trade with us if they want.

Of course, anyone calling Saddam "baby-killer" on this basis also should accuse the U.N., albeit in somewhat less harsh terms (since Saddam's embargo is total, whereas ours was not). It is not something we should be proud of, to have this man emulate our immoral tactic.

Another way of looking at Saddam is that he owns the entire country (and population) of Iraq, which is the defacto truth, more or less. To paraphrase Mao, ownership springs from the barrel of a gun. Looked at that way, Saddam has every right to not trade with us (it's his Iraq, after all). On the other hand this makes him a slaveowner, a far worse violation of human rights than coercing people to prevent them from trading.

In any case, "killing babies" is a side effect of the true moral evil at work here (coerced non-association or slavery, depending on how I look at it). Innocent deaths are always regretable, and while they should always exert an emotional claim on everyone, they do not necessarily exert a moral claim. The only people who might claim so are the left, who propound notions of entitlement. You know the idea - people have a "right" to free food, free medical care, free water, free shelter, blah blah blah. So really I am not giving Glenn what he wants: he wants to see the left apply notions of entitlement to Saddam's action. On that score, I am waiting along with him.

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