Via an indignant Martin Peretz, a New York Times article about voice recordings of Saddam Hussein discussing his brutal repression of the Kurds in the late 1980s. Remarks Peretz, “Saddam thrills to say, ‘Yes, they will kill thousands.’ And, yes, roughly 180,000 Kurds were killed by chemical warfare. So, please, stop this nonsense about how he didn’t deserve to die.” At the time of the killing, of course, Peretz was using his perch as owner and editor in chief of The New Republic to print articles like the classic April 1987 Laurie Mylroie / Daniel Pipes collaboration “Back Iraq: It’s Time for a U.S. Tilt”.
UPDATE: The theory has been raised in comments that Saddam was a swell dude at the time of publication and only became evil later during 1988’s Anfal campaign. I would recommend a read of chapter one and chapter two of the Human Rights Watch Anfal Report which deals with events before the publication of the Mylroie/Pipes article. The worst was yet to come, but things were pretty damn bad already. Certainly nobody genuinely concerned about the well-being of Kurdish people would have been urging a pro-Iraqi tilt.