Putting another face on the evil

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 31, 2003

We have all become too familiar with his face - that scowling visage with its harsh, angry features. Like the faces of Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, Saddam Hussein's face has become almost a caricature of itself.

But there is another face of evil, and it was flashed for mere seconds on the television screen. A child, a girl of three or four years old, screaming as her city burned behind her. It was not the child who bore the face of evil, of course, nor was it even the blackened curl of smoke outlining her head against a blue Iraqi sky. It was the necessity of war that presented its face of evil - yet another facet of the man named Saddam.

Those protesting the war will see this photo and cry "See! See what we are doing to their children?"

The same protestors will conveniently forget the videotapes of the Kurdish villages, wiped out with chemical or biological agents, by the man who called himself "Uncle Saddam" and their own leader. Those same protestors will see the tear-streaked face of that Iraqi child and forget the children of our own soldiers. Just this weekend, another unit of the Alabama National Guard left for Fort Benning to prepare for war. Their families gathered to bid them farewell and in the audience was another little girl, about the same age, also with tear-streaked cheeks.

But that little girl has the comfort of knowing that her own leader will not send poisonous gases into her hometown; nor will her brothers or uncles disappear in the night if they raise their voices in protest.

They will not be tortured by their "leader" nor fear for the safety of their wives and daughters at the hands of their "leader."

It was a tragic image, that little Iraqi girl, but within the sorrow and fear lie the seeds of hope - that when this conflict is over, she too can live in a country where the leader

is a person to be respected and admired, not feared