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The Legacy of Saddam Hussein

Israel Shamir

88saddam.jpg

January 3, 2007

It is not always necessary to dig into details when we deal with symbols. The details undermine one great wholeness in the eyes of innocent and inexperienced. Every ruler has to commit many deeds that would be crimes if done by ordinary citizens. Deeds of rulers are to be summed up and weighted for good and for bad some years later, in historical perspective. The Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai answered a question about the French revolution of 1789 with "Too early to say".

We should know about Saddam Hussein that he died with confession of faith, shahada on his lips, that his last words were 'God is greatĺ and his last thoughts were about our beloved Palestine. We know that he did not surrender but was captured by the invader. It is forbidden to kill a prisoner of war, it is forbidden to kill a prince, it is forbidden to kill a captive prince. This lawless killing will suffice to call him a martyr.

He was not different from many Palestinian martyrs assassinated by Zionists. Arafat, poisoned by Sharon http://www.uruknet.info/?p=29419 , Abu Jihad shot by Barak, Sheikh Yassin killed by a missile, dozens of others ľ Saddam belongs to this group. They fought, they were heavily demonised by the enemy, they died and sanctified God with their death.

But if one wants to look beyond the bottom line, Saddam was a leader who eliminated illiteracy, gave health care to his people, gave free education, allowed women to participate in social life, turned his country into one of the most advanced in the Middle East. He was one who sent his missiles to Israel, and caused the peace process to start. Without his SCUDs, Israelis wouldnĺt make peace with the PLO in 1993.

There are many decisions he made and came to regret. But I am not sure now is the time to deal with them. When a man is demonised by the enemy, we are tempted to safeguard our judgement by saying "He was a bad man but". Usually there are good reasons for this caution for poets, dissidents and fighters against empire are often troublesome men, even more so if they accessed to power. But we should fight this temptation. They are not persecuted and demonised because they were unfaithful to their wives, but because they were faithful to their people, their country, their muse. If and when mausoleum of Saddam will be constructed in centre of Baghdad, then the time will come to speak of his faults, not now. Not for one minute, not by a single word would I like to support the official narrative.

There are some Iraqis who have a legitimate grievance against the late leader. Every ruler leaves a lot of suffering in his wake. These grievances are exploited by the enemy. But wise people should try to help and overcome this feeling. When Hitler invaded Russia, he tried to exploit grievances many people had against Stalin and Communism. Those who succumbed to his temptation ended as traitors to their country. Those who refused it won their souls and their place in history. Ivan Bunin, a great Russian writer, a Nobel prize winner and an enemy of Stalin and communism, came to the Soviet embassy and swore allegiance to Stalin, when the fate of Russia was in doubt. Now great Iraqis should follow the same line, and stop bickering about Saddam. They have a bigger job: to defeat the Empire and to set Iraq free.


:: Article nr. 29525 sent on 04-jan-2007 06:35 ECT

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Link: www.israelshamir.net/Contributors/Saddam.htm



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