I got a bunch of e-mail from some of you whacking me for saying the Reagan administration was right in arming Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction so he could keep Iran from winning the war with Iraq in the early 80s.

A lot of you seem to have forgotten the rough years in the late seventies, during the Carter administration and the early Reagan years.

These were the times when OPEC and oil ruled the world and by 1983 the administration had, in my view, a reasonable fear that Ayatollah Khomeini wanted to run the world economy by dictating oil prices to the world. If he controlled Iraq he might reasonably have been able to roll over, or fold Saudi Arabia.

Maybe hindsight would tell us different now -- maybe. But at that point, it was a reasonable fear, and the Reagan administration sent Donald Rumsfeld to Iraq to try to help Saddam Hussein stave off a loss in a war he started.

He wasn't a friend, he wasn't a pal. He was just the lesser evil and we couldn't let Iran beat him.

What's so hard to understand about that? Who would like to see the mullahs in Tehran running the world economy for the last 20 years instead of us? Yes, we do run it and the world is the beneficiary. Sorry if you think that shouldn't be said out loud, but it's true.

If we didn't have Saddam gas and kill Iranian troops, we would have had to do it. Sorry, we gave him bad stuff and we now have to go take it back. But I don't think it was the wrong thing to do and I'm glad Rummy and the Reagan boys did it.

By the way, happy New Year.

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