Today’s column by Jeff Jacoby on today’s Boston Globe Op Ed page, Where’s the Smoking Gun?, illustrates once again why he’s the best writer and thinker on Morrissey Boulevard. “It was Saddam and his circle of thugs who were responsible for the violent and often sadistic death of an estimated million human beings,” Jacoby wrote.

“It was they who gassed men, women and children en masse. It was they who hanged, shot, beheaded and dismembered people to death for thinking the wrong thoughts….they who murdered the youngest and sickest of Iraq’s people by embezzling tens of millions of olil-for-food dollars and spending them on obscene pleasure palaces for themselves instead of medicine and bread for the weak and hungry.

“A million deaths. And that doesn’t include the others left maimed and mutilated, the innocents blinded or broken for life. It doesn’t account for the minds that shattered under torture or the families that were reduced to shreds. It leaves out the agony of the father whose child was burned alive to make him speak; the endless pain of the wife or daughter whose gang rape was carried out and videotaped on government orders; the emotional scar of those forced to watch as Saddam’s agents fed their victims to wild dogs or slowly lowered them into vats of acid.”

Finding a so-called “smoking gun” isn’t the issue, Jacoby said, taking the wind out of the sails of those critics of the U. S. led victory in Iraq whose intense dislike of President Bush dominates their thinking. We went to war, Jacoby wrote, to crush one of the bloodiest tyrannies the modern world has known.

That says it all.