BACK TO IRAQ
Saddam was a good leader as far as many in the region go. But Skippytjc
was quite right to say many Iraqis wanted freedom from him, even back
in 1991. What’s important here is not to stop your brain there. Instead ask: Who were these people (within Iraq’s many peoples) who wanted
freedom? And (more importantly) why did they want it?
The last question is far more intelligent than it seems. Because the answer to the first question is that the vast majority of the people wanting out
with Saddam were Shiite Muslims. They make up the majority of Iraq’s population and they are Muslim fundamentalists, they aren’t very interested
in western ideals like democracy. They are far more concerned with things like banning alcohol, having woman with rags veiled around their faces, and
introducing Islamic Holy Law. In fact the type of democracy they would be looking for (if they could somehow choose it) would probably be something
very similar to Iran’s. In fact did you hear recently about Iraqi politicians talking about supporting Iran if the U.S attacked it? Does it really
take a genius to wonder why that fancy talk would be a vote winner? They had rebelled because…
1. Saddam had lost the Gulf War
2. Saddam was a Secular Muslim who up and till then had incorporated western living into Iraqi life.
3. Saddam was a Sunni and therefore not one of them in any case.
Unfortunately for your argument Skippytjc democracy was not very high on their agenda. Just a “more holy” dictator. And I know that’s stupid,
but sadly that’s how a lot of very clever Muslim fundamentalists think.
Of course these people (Shiite’s) were happy to see us. We had just turned up in their country and removed this western style dictator. However that
was about all they wanted from us. They knew we would need to install some kind of government, and didn’t care too much if it was a democracy
because being a 60% of the population they would be able to make things go their way and become “more holy”. They still want that today. They just
want us to go home, so they can complete Iran No.2; which is exactly why we are still keeping a military presence there. When we say “if we go
things will all fall apart” that is what the propaganda means. Things might actually get better for many Iraqis, but on the international stage Iraq
will be Iran’s brother in arms.
We (the west) have basically liberated a bunch of savages. To avoid offence I point out that they are only “savage” in the sense that many hold
little or no respect for western democracy, values and female liberty (well in the western sense anyway).
Under Saddam (and before 19991) Iraq had been close to western style living standards. You saw those roads and street lights when the country was
being bombed? (all put there by Saddam). Yes Saddam built just over 60 palaces, but he was only a multi billionaire. He had risked his life to gain
(like these people do) and one of his first acts was to kick out the British and American oil companies, by nationalising them. The money he saved for
the Iraqi state from this act alone would probably be more than all the money he spent on his palaces.
Saddam did not enforce Islamic Holy law, instead he made a point of modelling Iraqi society around America (which is one of the reasons he once
enjoyed such a close relationship with America).
Of course every now and again the Shiite would get a bit rebellious, and some of them would have to be tortured and killed. But it was ether that or
The worst thing about where we are heading is that Iraq isn’t just heading to being an Iran.2. But in spite of that; people are still being killed,
and small mass graves are still being dug.
However rather than it being an organised state doing it to bunch of Muslim fundamentalists who have little respect for freedom (as we know it)
themselves. It is now Iraq’s highly educated Sunni class (who were favoured under the old regime for being of Saddam’s ethnic origin, and being of
Muslim faith) who are now being abducted and executed as an ethnic minority within their own country.
These people are most like us. They are also most likely to be part of the Resistance because they know it is our hands who have put a bunch of Muslim
Fundamentalists in charge of Iraq. If we ever withdraw, and if power can’t be theirs; then Iraq will be an Iran No.2. Thanks be to giving democracy
to people who don’t care for it. In future people with western eyes (if not polluted with media lies) will look at Saddam and say he was a good
The reason why I actually quite like him is because he was (like most Sunni Arabs) a Secular Muslim. Now notice the “Secular” word. Because in
some ways I'm quite right wing; I don’t mind Arabs, and don’t mind Muslims providing they are Secular (or if they are fundamentalists they are
Secular tolerant). I really don’t care if you kill people just because they can’t understand a picture of Mohammed in western newspaper, in a
western country for a western public has nothing to do with them. I loose all beliefs in liberalism to people who don’t recognise liberalism. Maybe
I'm extreme but it doesn’t change the quality (at least in material terms of Saddam’s leadership). The U.N sanctions were evil, but unlike Iran
or Korea at least he complied with them (even if we didn’t keep our end of the bargain) (not to mention the bit about relieving the Iraqi people of
their suffering). Over 80% of oil food money was to go on Iraqi war reparations (mostly to Kuwait). It was changed only when Saddam suspended the oil
for food programme. And he still provided well for them all things considering everything from generator parts to chlorine for tap water (which kills
cholera) wasn’t allowed to be imported.
If you think gassing the Kurds was wrong them remember they were just 5000 people whilst what we have killed is many times greater. They were believed
to have been supporting Iranian military action. Furthermore Saddam wasn’t the first to come up the idea:
(Do a Google search and use words “Winston Churchill gas the Kurds”)
If you think invading Kuwait was bad remember it had been part of Iraq for thousands of years just 60 years before. Saddam did it because they were
flooding the market with cheap oil at a time the country had Iran war debts to pay. He was scared fundamentalist sections within the army would rebel
if he didn’t give them something to do, and because initially intercepted CIA info led to him to believe he would get away with it.
It was bad and very unwise, but still in quite different context to what most believe.
[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]