Got your email, I am quiet impressed by the knowledge you have gathered about
Talking about Saddam Hussein, it will be a lie to say we are acquainted but yes we have met couple of times during my tenure in
Although I have no sympathy for the man sentenced to the gallows for the crimes he committed against our people, but, it’s for reflecting the respect for the man who brought genuine change in Arab world. I am sharing with you my biased opinion about him which may not align with the general opinion formulated by the mass crowd.
Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of crime against humanity and has been sentenced to death by a trial court in
I can confidently say many may not be knowing that, Saddam Hussein has been convicted to death sentence in absentia by a tribunal in 1959 for attempt to over throw General Abdul Karim Quasum, He has been involved in many such attempts including the successful overthrow of Abdul Salaam Arif in 1968, he was made Vice president and was made 4 Star general, with his cousin Hassan Al-Bakr as President, latter overthrew him to takeover as President in 1979. He was a de facto ruler much before the takeover in 1979.
Saddam Hussein was the main instrument of US as an agent of CIA to curb the Soviet influence in this region, He was used for containing the influence of resurgent Islamic Iran, the Iran- Iraq war was used by the west to minimize the growing influence of Shia’s in Islamic world, especially in Arab countries, who were scared of revolution may sweep through their countries.
The latter backing out of Arabs, especially Kuwait in sharing the burden of 30 Billion US dollar war time loan, and perceived cheating of oil from its soil, through cross drilling of oil wells and the historic notion of Kuwait being a province of Iraq prior to 1920(It was occupied by British forces, latter who made Kuwait a separate country). The occupation of
Saddam was a family man, had five children from his first wife, and subsequently married two other women, the story, how and why is again controversial. His son Udday was a feared for his ruthless actions. His exploits were known to many in
I had support the plea that Saddam needs to be honorably executed by a firing squad a desire he has expressed several times as a man in military uniform, and not to be hung in any case. I believe that the crime he has committed against our people has been proved beyond any doubt. From a third persons perspective an act of rightful action in 1982 has been termed as a crime in 2006, History has several examples and one need not argue on the merits.
The qualities I admired the most in Saddam:
He was a Nationalist to the core, very few will debate on that irrespective of whether they agree with his actions or not. He had the ability to hold the country together, despite divisions on the basis of ethnic, religious, language, and tribal /non tribal, urban/rural, poor/rich, language feelings. You need to be one of us living this diversity to understand the changes he brought.
A professed secularist, it’s a quality well demonstrated in this country during his regime, he crushed the orthodox Islam and the mullahs and allowed reasonable freedom to the individuals to follow religion of his choice and supported moderate Islam. His secular credentials are worth noting, as a practitioner of Islam, it’s very difficult to be Secular as well as Nationalist, which by choice he choose.
He spoke about pan Arab feelings but refused merger with
He gave women equal rights and allowed western values to be liberally followed for emancipation of women. Many women found place in higher echelons of Govt., a rare thing in Arab world.
He banned veil in public places as an act and a symbol of freedom.
Spent money on education, health and general up keep of Iraqi people irrespective of their ethnicity. He was particular about his tribe as far as security apparatus was concern, as they were loyal to him. We all know 65 % of
His was the only Govt. in the whole of Muslim world, which had a detailed agenda for Infrastructure development to benefit the people at large and oil revenues were used for the purpose.
Probably only Arab leader who bothered about land reforms and rural economy, spent lots of attention on modernization of Agriculture. The pain of being born in the tribe of shepherds made him look for the well being of rural folks.
He was the one who stopped kangaroo courts of Islamic clergy, and
I wonder what others would have done in his place, if a majority of 65% of Shia’s loyalty were with ayatollahs of
His most well fed and elite Republican guards never came in good aid to him in all the two wars, they were sitting ducks in 1991 gulf war and in 2003, they just vanished in thin air. A daring raid by a column of US armed cars and tanks could successfully move inside
In the act of condemning him we should not forget the good job done by him for the people of this country.
The man is dead; standing fearless, undeterred asking to be hanged without being masked speaks volumes about his courage and unflinching faith on his principles for which he stood all his life.
Guilty as charged or the price of being in the bad books of Uncle Sam is for the world to decide.
Hope this little biased knowledge from an old ignorant man like me be of some help to you.
Dr. Saad Tawfiq
Ex. HOD Islamic Studies