James Joyner at Outside The Beltway remarks about Saddam’s capture one year ago today, and allows;

Presumably, the effort to build a secure Iraq would be even further behind were Saddam still free. But that the level of violence would be higher a year later was not something I would have predicted. Nor would I have guessed that Saddam’s trial wouldn’t even be underway. I’m still glad “We got him” but it has mattered less than it seemed at the time.

Well, I don’t know as I’d put it that way, James.

While I do agree that his departure did not signal an end to the violence, what it did do was remove one legitimate face of of the evil that is the Islamo-facists. we knew going in that there was far more than Saddam himself involved, here.  And we were right, too; Saddam, more clearly now than then, was a tool of these animals, not their leader… but because of his semi-legit position, a very effective one on the world stage, particularly, in the UN he was decidedly a threat to the rest of the world, and we’re better off with him gone.

That action, however, could do little BUT escalate the violence in the region, at least in the short term. The best analogy I could draw would be a raccoon, cornered by a pack of dogs… Such an animal will always fight with a rabid viciousness. It’s this reaction we’re now seeing from the Islamo-Facists.  Their mask has been pulled back a bit and they’re not happy about it, any more than the Germans, or the Japanise were happy about us bombing the snot out of them.

However, their happiness isn’t the issue here. 

I’m not interested in who hates us. OUr central issue was and remains the security of the western world against these animals. As such we should never back off. To do so only encourages our attackers.