A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked “Who would you most like to see captured or killed and why: Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein?” Some responses:
“At the present time I think it would be better for our security if Osama bin Laden were done away with. He still has his terrorists that can do great damage to our country. Saddam is going to be controlled now. His power is gone. He has to hide to remain alive.” — James W. McDonald, Clovis
“I would like to see Saddam captured first as I believe that most of the problems in Iraq will go away and our troops will be able to come home sooner. It will take less troops to capture Osama.” — John Frey, Clovis
“I think that Saddam Hussein will be going on his own shortly, so the guy to worry about and get rid of is Osama bin Laden. He’s still young enough to cause a lot more havoc than Saddam ever did. So my vote is to not take Osama bin Laden alive.” — Gerald Majewski, Clovis
“I feel bin Laden is the bigger threat. Hussein was influential due to his control of the country and the financial backing it provided. Without this position his followers are limited. Bin Laden is based on ideology and is able to recruit based on motivation and opinion, permitting his followers and recruits to continue their misguided goals.” — Bruce Ford, Clovis
“At first thought, Osama, the hidden deceiver, seems to be the first choice for elimination of influence — in whatever the best means possible. Only a parade that degrades both the man and his message would be sufficient. This would kill the root of the spiritual darkness invading the whole world.
“However, on second thought, Osama’s influence would be limited without those who contribute the voice, the means, and the power to make his message effective. To cut off Saddam is to cut off Osama’s hands and feet. That is what has been done. Now we just need to finish the job.” — Carolyn Spence, Clovis
“I believe Saddam Hussein is the most dangerous at this point and time. If he is arrested or killed it will be like cutting the head off a snake. The head may still be dangerous, but the body and tail would eventually fade away. I also think the people of Iraq should be able to decide whether Saddam Hussein should be killed or imprisoned for the rest of his life. Osama bin Laden seems to have lost a lot of his power for now and doesn’t seem to be as much of a danger as the followers of Saddam.” — Ardyth Elms, Clovis
“If one’s choice was a “tie,” would that allow the capture of both of these vermin? Actually, my choice would be Osama, as I believe that he has caused more tragedy worldwide than the Iraqi Idiot. And, I would choose life imprisonment as punishment, as that would seem to be much more severe than execution.” — Harold Burris, Clovis
“While Saddam Hussein has done bad things, he has not been proven to be tied to or responsible for the 9-11 attacks. On the other hand, Osama bin Laden has been directly tied to the events of 9-11. If one can measure priorities in the capturing or elimination of a bad guy, I’d have to say that killing thousands of Americans puts OBL at the top of the list.” — Bob Baker, Clovis
“Osama bin Laden and his organization have, for the most part, been neutralized. … Al Qaeda is not presently capable of inflicting significant carnage on the U.S. This does not mean they are not working diligently to regain that capability. Osama is and will remain a prime target for our security forces.
“Saddam Hussein presents quite a different problem in that many Iraqis still believe he maintains the ability to return to power and wreak havoc on those he views as traitors to him and to Iraq. As such, he presents a much greater threat to the U.S. and to the rest of the mid-East, indeed the world. The No. 1 priority of our counter-terror effort should be focused on capturing or (preferably) killing Saddam.” — R.L. Render, Clovis