Political Assassination Capabilities

If we could have assassinated Hitler, would we have? Did we try? Did we simply not have people good enough to do it?

Saddam…What would the political fallout be if he suddenly showed up stiff?

And finally, could a political assassination be carried out with no apparent blame placed on any one nation?

There are conflicts around the world that could and would be lessened if certain leaders were not in power. Why is political assassination not considered a valid form of warfare? Mean nasty dictator shot between the eyes, his people now live better lives, happier economy etc…etc…Why not?

Bush, apparently said he wants Saddam dead. If Assassination is internationally illegal…how can he say this? Who wouldn’t want Saddam dead? I am not familiar with the international treaties that prohibit assassinations, but I seem to remember there being some kind of treaty forbidding such acts…

Well, there was a famous attempt on Hitler’s life–he was spared because someone moved a briefcase stuffed with explosives to the other side of a very heavy oak table so it wouldn’t be in Hitler’s way.

With Saddam, the problem is who would replace him. One of his sons is truly viciously psychotic, but he has fallen out of favor because he beat one of Saddam’s bodyguards to death. So Saddam’s other son is now the favored one to take over. But let’s just pretend that you managed to wipe out all successors and pretenders to the throne of Iraq. Do you actually think that the Iraqi’s or other mid-eastern countries would approve whoever the US put into power? The US would have to spend money like there was no tommorrow to supply the new leader with troops, munitions etc., and the person would probably end up like the Shad of Iran, with his own secret police/terror force which would cause them to be even more hated.

I believe that it is illegal for “agents of the United States” to “sanction/assasinate” foreign leaders, at least that was the case after the CIA kept trying and failing to kill Castro. But that doesn’t mean that indirect help is illegal, witness the US’s involvement in the assasination of President Diem of south Vietnam.

And I don’t know of many cases where the assasination of a dictator has led to better conditions for the masses, in most cases, the assasination has the opposite effect. Look at what happened in Yugoslavia after the breakup of the Soviet Bloc. Say what you want about the “Evil Empire,” but there weren’t entire villages in Yugoslavia being machin-gunned while Yugoslavia was part of the Soviet Bloc.

It’s only illegal because the President says it is, and he can always change his mind (or more specifically, issue an Executive Order cancelling the previous Executive Order that forbade assassination as a policy tool).

>> Bush, apparently said he wants Saddam dead

Can you show me a cite for this? Removed from power does not mean dead.

Assassination is the thin end of the wedge.

Say the Allies in around mid-1943 had the opportunity to kill Hitler, they would have taken it and condsidered it a job well done. However, the Allies were in a state of total war, enlivened by mass murder, saturation bombing of civilians, and death on a scale previously though impossible.

Now Saddam, for all his faults, is not at war with the USA/UK/NATO/whatever. In fact, the difficulty of defining exactly who the participants are partly describes the problem. Who should take the decision, what is the legal basis for taking it?

So Bush authorises it, Saddam dies, Iraq becomes a peace loving Garden of Eden. After the event the UN congratulates Bush for the doing the job (I say Bush, but it equally could be Blair, Chirac, Putin, Sharon).

Now, who’s next? Mugabe, starving Zimbabwe to death. A judicious bit of killing here would soon sort him out. Headlines - “Mugabe dies in mysterious tobacco eating accident.”

Now, who’s next? What about the (unconvicted but assumed) criminal heads of drug cartels? Weyhey! Bang.

Now who’s next? That bloody EU, always at loggerheads with the US. Let’s clear some deadwood out - Romano Prodi, eat lead.

My examples are trite, but the principal is sound. Assassination is never a valid tool for a liberal democracy unless we are in an officially declared state of war with the country and the targets are military personnel or political leaders. Any other use is simply murder.