When U.S. leaders decided it was time to despise Saddam Hussein, he made the perfect villain.
He was cocky and cunning. He looked dangerous and deranged standing at rallies firing a gun into the air, conduct unbecoming a head of government.
He was “Hitler revisited,” as the first President Bush put it, lacking the endless armies, but close enough for U.S. purposes. He had a history of atrocities. His black mustache heightened the aura of menace.
America’s quarter-century entanglement with the Iraqi leader ended Friday at the gallows.