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Regional tyrants and the stupid nostalgia

Many Libyans are yearning for the days of Muammar Gaddafi, and the Iraqis also are yearning for the rule of Saddam Hussein and other tyrants after they saw the horrors created by those who came to take over after these rulers. These people used to stay silent about those who deprived them of their freedom and dignity.

In this context, a naïve Iraqi writer, who describes himself as a former opponent of Saddam, wrote an article in which he bemoaned Saddam’s days and apologized to “the most beautiful dictator”, writing sarcastically that there were at least ten real reasons behind the crimes that Saddam had committed.

He wrote, “He committed all of them on his own, and he bears full responsibility for them, due to which he deserves execution.

Saddam, when he was the Deputy President while al-Bakr was the President, nationalized Iraqi oil through an individual and unfair decision that took the Iraqis back to their looted wealth and caused a lot of harm for the foreign oil companies.

He also launched an unjust campaign to eradicate illiteracy, so that his intelligence system saw not only children go to school, but also their parents especially mothers. Most of them were members of the Shiites majority. Saddam also deserved execution because he passed a law that made education compulsory until secondary level, depriving hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families from benefiting from employing their children to sell cigarettes on the streets.

The granting of self-rule by the Kurds, which was said to have been “formal”, gave the Kurds more power than England gave Wales, especially since the Kurds in the neighboring countries enjoyed much greater rights and were not persecuted and discriminated against.

He made the Kurdish language the second language, forcing Iraqis to learn it. He also rebuilt the Kurdistan region but he tightened controls on the border, preventing the “smugglers” among the Kurdish parties from living on money earned through smuggling goods. He allowed newspapers in both Arabic and Kurdish, which was a flagrant violation of the Kurds’ rights to continue illiteracy.

He even appointed a Kurdish citizen as his own deputy president. Saddam used the wealth of Iraq to build industrial facilities when it was necessary to focus on importing from overseas. He granted farmers, in accordance with a law that violates all international norms, more agricultural land than they can cultivate. When they were incapable, he supplied them with equipment and machinery. He even distributed refrigerators and televisions to farmers for free in order to force them to drink cold water during the summer seasons and watch TV programs, which prevented them from sleeping early. His intelligence services organized the work of the farmers in associations, some of which watched the production level of some of the farmers, which imposed inhuman pressure on many innocent farmers who used to just grow enough quantity for their own use.

He also made university education free of charge, turning universities into scientific institutions that attracted expertise, and resulted in the emergence of scientists in various fields such as medicine, engineering, chemistry, electricity, electronics, and other scientific fields. This was a deliberate distortion of national potential and a malicious attempt to brainwash the people.

He issued a law to guarantee women’s civil rights and ensure their equality with men, which can only be seen as an affront to longstanding Arab and Islamic traditions and values.

He wanted Iraq to be a regional superpower, possess weapons of mass destruction, and defy Israel’s power, which was a great international crime.

It was true that he was spending on construction projects without any supervision or control. He did not loot even one dirham, and none of his regime officials were permitted to have accounts in foreign banks. This deprived many patriotic and democratic activists of benefiting from their country’s funds and revenues.”

I am not an Iraqi to respond to such exaggerations and nonsense. The writer’s examples are similar to the situation of parents who give everything to their son but beat him severely every day, humiliate him in front of his friends and make him feel embarrassed about what they gave him as pocket money. However, it is clear that these parents failed to create a human being of personality and dignity, but instead produced a cowardly child who fears shadows, and even doubts his parents. This is what happened to the Iraqi people. Father doubted their sons, husbands doubted their wives. Everyone was living in a 100-percent Republic of Horror and Fear. What is the benefit of all the factories built by Saddam when the people there are living in fear?

Please note – No one has heard about any such factories or production.

What the naïve writer did not understand, perhaps because of his inability to visualize the real scenario, is that the situation in Iraq is now the inevitable result of an unjust and despicable regime conducted by Ba’ath Party and lasted for three decades.

The party, led by Saddam Hussein, ruled the Iraqi people with iron and fire to the extent that even gravediggers lament the days of the tyrant. It seems the writer forgets the afflictions brought to Iraq due to Saddam’s own decision to launch a war against Iran and invade Kuwait. He therefore did not include them in the achievements of the commander of necessity.

Saddam was not only a criminal to his homeland, but also to humanity.


By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

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