Up-and-down-and-round-and-round-go-all-created-things-and-losses-on-the-roundabouts-are-profits-on-the-swings department

If I was right in saying earlier that Saddam Hussein’s being dead would have been mostly bad news, the evidence that I was probably wrong in thinking that was dead is good news.

Got that?

Note that I’m saying “probably.” That an Iraqi peasant somewhere would bring down an American helicopter with an old weapon, and that the Americans would go around Iraqi defenses, were certainly not far-fetched notions, and it’s not hard to believe that a set of Saddam Hussein tapes made before the war might have included some with references to those expected events. If the tape is contemporary, why not name the date, the village, and the peasant? But the hypothesis that he’s actually alive and well seems the less tortured hypothesis for now.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com