FROM ALMOST THE VERY MOMENT that Saddam Hussein was dragged out of his worm hole, our friends and allies around the world made it perfectly clear that they wanted no part of any trial that might lead to the former dictator's execution -- life in prison, yes; the death penalty, no. To which the current administration, with typical Bushian elan, replied: Go piss up a rope, friends and allies. We'll do the right thing while you sit on your fat Euroweenie asses and swill Merlot.
Now, believe it or not, and tone aside, I have to say that I had no real problem with that decision. Saddam Hussein is a butcher of uncommon barbarity, and if the Iraqi people want to hang him from the nearest lamp pole, that's their call, as far as I'm concerned. (Of course, it would be nice if said lamp pole had electricity running to it, but the untold billions that this administration has thrown away not reconstructing Iraq is an issue for another day.)
But here's the thing. When you make a conscious decision to go it alone, it's just infantile to then turn around and complain about being alone, as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice did yesterday in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, in which she lambasted the international community for its "effective boycott" of Saddam's trial. "All who express their devotion to human rights and the rule of law," declared Ms. Rice, in high, high moral dudgeon, "have a special obligation to help the Iraqis bring to justice one of the world's most murderous tyrants."
Well, sure. Only in this case, we've already told the folks she's talking about to go screw, so why complain about their lack of participation now? That's as silly as it is insulting, as pointless as it is puerile. And it's beneath the great nation that Secretary Rice represents.
We Americans are perfectly capable of making tough choices, and then taking responsibility for them. In other words, we know how to act like grownups. Unfortunately, we appear to be saddled with an administration that can't say the same.