Saturday, January 01, 2005

 

Saddam The Demon

By now, most if not all Americans perceive Saddam Hussein as a sort of evil, demonic leader who brutalized his people and threatened neighbors for years. This is the same sort of picture painted of Fidel Castro, which, of course, has been shown to be greatly exaggerated through time. I am one for giving the "devil" his due. Even those who were against a preemptive attack on Iraq conceded that Saddam "had to go". Is there really a sound and justifiable case that Saddam Hussein "had to go"? Just like the "Arabs did it" mythology that most Americans have accepted without question concerning 911, are we taking too much for granted Saddam's image as painted in the Western media? I think we have.

For one thing, how can a leader in Saddam's shoes, a leader of a nation with the 2nd biggest oil reserves in the world, a nation surrounded by past, present and future enemies craving that oil prize, allow for a lax and liberal internal security apparatus? Imagine if you will for one moment how our present leaders would handle such a situation. Anytime a nation feels threatened, whether internally or externally, stricter security measures are put in place. Remember WW2, after Pearl Harbor, when Japanese were rounded up and interred in concentration camps here in the States? On the surface of things, this would appear to be a gross violation of human rights(which it was). Obviously anything would seem to be justified to us Americans if it was an act to protect us all. In light of this, how can we attach so much guilt to the actions of Saddam Hussein?

In 1963, a young 23 year old Iraqi soldier named Saddam Hussein was point man for a CIA assassination squad aiming to kill the Iraqi president. His gun supposedly jammed and the plot was unsuccessful. Throughout the years Hussein did the bidding for the CIA, especially in the Iran/Iraq War, where US weapons sales to Iraq guaranteed a continual flow of Iranian casualties at the expense of Iraqis. Even after it was known that Hussein had used biological weapons against Iran(Iran also used them), the United States STILL provided these to Hussein. The point man for this deal of weaponry at this time was none other than Donald Rumsfeld. Hussein was being set up as far back as the 80's by the same people in Bush1 who would reclaim power in the Bush2 administration. These people ran all sorts of dirty little games during the Reagan administration at the direction of VP Bush(Iran/Contra, Mean, BCCI . . . look them up!).

As the Iran/Iraq conflict settled down, a new tactic to set Saddam up was used- encouraging Kuwait to cross-drill into Iraqi territory for oil. When Hussein brought this up to American Ambassador April Gillespie in 1980, Gillespie stated that this problem was not the United States' problem, virtually giving Hussein a green light to deal with it in his own way. After Iraq occupied Kuwait, Bush had his justification to attack, and the demonization of Saddam Hussein was put into full gear. Episodes such as the "baby incubator" story that portrayed Iraqi brutalities and stirred revulsion and anger among Americans, were later shown to be hoaxes.

Gulf War 1 sanctions imposed on Iraq, maintained principally by the US and Britain, served to lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, especially very young children who died for lack of basic medical supplies and infrastructure. Iraq was continually bombed by the United States and Britain for various reasons, killing many more civilians. How could Saddam Hussein NOT want to be cooperative with such a vicious and conniving force as the United States? Put yourself in his shoes for one moment! Put Americans in the place of Iraqis for the past 20 years and try to picture what kind of leader we would want to protect us. I guarantee you it would be someone like Hussein, who exercised a very tight grip on Iraqi security. Under these trying circumstances, it is also easier to understand the heavy-handed brutality that Iraqi security forces used against internal dissidents.

The higher the perceived threat to any nation, the greater the enforcement of internal security applied, period! We as Americans have to stop and ask ourselves- Which nation was threatening Iraq all these years? Did the "egg" of Hussein's ruthlessness come before the "chicken" of American aggression? One thing is certain regardless of anyone's take on Hussein- the United States attacked and killed hundred's of thousands of Iraqi people in both Gulf Wars and also between them, not to mention the Iran/Iraq War in which Hussein, with US sponsorship, used Iraqis as human battering rams against Iran. If you treat and threaten a nation bad enough, you can certainly count on its security apparati reflecting this in its treatment of its own people.

The United States is just as much to blame for Saddam Hussein's "atrocities" as anyone, if not more!


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