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Russell Shaw Headshot

Saddam, Bush, Skilling- All Brought Down By "Yes Men"

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Some tyrants, politicians and business executives surround themselves with yes men. They live in a bubble and tolerate no dissent or checks.

And because of that bubble, bad things can happen.

Saddam's yes men told him invading Kuwait was a grand idea, and yes, it was a great victory. Then they told him to bluff the U.N. inspectors.

Not listening to better advice got Saddam deposed, and then hung.

Bush's advisors told him to try and tie Iraq to 9/11, and then to invade that nation. They also told him to veto stem cell research. Now we see Nancy Pelosi of the opposition Democrats take the House of Representatives gavel away from Bush's own party for the first time in 12 years.

And then you have one-time Enron CEO Jeff Skilling. Whatever wise and ethical counsel was available to Skilling, he didn't listen. And now Jeff Skilling is in jail.

Is there a morale in all of this? Whether we are a public official, a senior executive, or just an ordinary person, it can be downright harmful to only listen to the yes men (and yes women) and sycophants in our lives.

Dissent is not only patriotic. It is worth listening to.