The Quality of Mercy

Thought for the night (it’s a dark one — the night, and the thought):
Clearly, there are some Iraqis who are willing to sacrifice their own lives to defend the Hussein regime.
I submit the following proposition, then: to ensure a safe and stable future for Iraq’s soon-to-be-emerging democracy, is it not wise for Coalition forces to ensure that those willing to make such an ultimate sacrifice, do so?
Accepting surrender from those who fought (or didn’t) under threat of their own lives is mercy, and builds a stable foundation for Iraq’s future. But is not the converse true: that accepting the surrender of those who truly wish for the preservation of Hussein’s tyranny undermines that same future?
Put another way: will the inevitable mercy we will see in the short-term — as Coalition forces accept the late, but unavoidable, surrender of Republican Guard units worn down over days and weeks of punishment — breed long-term suffering as those die-hards slink into the night, only to emerge later as guerillas, terrorists, or worse?
Would it be best for Iraq’s future if those units we know to be stacked with loyalists somehow are never presented with the opportunity to lay down their arms?
And would it be moral for Coalition forces to ensure they never did get that chance?
PS – If you’re upset by the very thought I’d contemplate such a thing, see my response to Shelley Powers in the comments.