What if Saddam Hussein, after four years of the scene in Firdos Square, could ask some questions from his grave? He would address the Iraqis: 'Do you believe that your conditions today are better than they were four years ago? How do you explain that the number of deaths during my short period of absence is double that of those who were killed during my long reign? Do you believe that the practices of the Baath intelligence bodies were cruel like the roaming militants and death squads? If my regime was the problem, why have funerals increased despite its absence? Why are you now escaping to neighboring countries or seeking shelter in remote ones?' He might conclude by saying in his well-known arrogance: 'I was tyrant in Iraq, but Iraq existed. Today, oppression has been worsened, darkness has increased, and Iraq no longer exists'.
Saddam Hussein might ask the Arabs: can it be said that your conditions today are better than they were four years ago? What about the flagrant regional imbalance of power with the Israeli enemy first, and then with neighboring Iran? Or don't you feel that the fall of the eastern gate was expensive and exposed the Arab region and countries to the non-Arab agendas in the region? It is true that I was a factor of disorder, but the concerns raised by my regime cannot be compared to the dangers of the sectarian schism that is poisoning the whole nation and threatens its countries, the cohesion of its societies, the future of its peoples, and the destiny of its wealth? Is it true that there is a major country on a route through the region, and that the Arabs will remain as orphans between two bombs and arsenals?
Saddam might ask the US and its allies in the West: 'Do you think that the world has become more secure by just canceling me from the equation? Where is the democracy of which you claimed that its shining example would begin in Baghdad? Do you think that the venture in Iraq strengthened, or missed the opportunities of, winning the war on terror? What about Iraq, which turned into a field institute for producing new generations of suicide bombers? Is it the New Middle East that you promoted? Is coexistence with Moqtada al-Sadr less costly than with Saddam Hussein?'
On April 9, 2003, a US tank pulled down the statue of 'Mr. President, the Leader'. Many people took to the streets to cheer and destroyed pictures and statues of the fallen regime. On that day, Saddam would not have the right to ask the questions that he is asking four years later. Asking questions does not, however, exempt him from the responsibility or alleviate his horrible practices at the internal and external levels. Saddam went with his medals and atrocities. We left him asking so that we may ask about Iraq, as he is part of our nation, necessities of balance and security.
After four years, the number of deaths approaches the number of palm trees. A man called George Bush committed stupidity portending a comprehensive disaster to Iraq and the nation, with long-term losses to the security of the region and the world, and expensively to his country. In Iraq, those who imagined that they were victorious have not managed their victory properly. Those who felt they were defeated have not behaved in a way that reduces losses. Options of revenge, despair and suicide prevailed. Saddam Hussein has gone, but the disaster is still in its beginning.
Thursday, April 12, 2007