It was on this date in 2003 that Saddam Hussein emerged, bedraggled and flea-ridden, from a filthy hole in the ground near Tikrit, Iraq. Life under Saddam was not the kite-flying paradise depicted by Michael Moore – Saddam was easily one of the most brutal and totalitarian dictators in recent history. His regime controlled every aspect of Iraqi life. Saddam teamed with his spawn Uday and Qusay to terrorize the Iraqi people by systematically torturing their perceived enemies. Not your US variety waterboarding, stress positions, and sleep deprivation; but thrown from buildings, beaten blind, fed feet-first into wood chippers, hung from a hook and electrocuted, doused in acid, or forced to watch the state’s official rapist violate your wife and daughters. Even five years later the Iraqi people still bear the psychological scars from Saddam’s brutal thirty year reign.
Saddam was responsible for the deaths of approximately one and a half million people. War with Iran, invasion of Kuwait, chemical warfare against Kurds in northern Iraq, mass murder in south Iraq following an attempted coup. All of the mass graves may never be found. Saddam’s regime was every bit as ruthless and had just as little regard for human life as the Khmer Rouge or DPRK. His capture, trial, and subsequent death made the world a better place.
I’ve never been a fan of nation building, but removing Saddam and building a democracy in Iraq has a chance to seismically shift the political landscape in the Middle East. Up to now, Israel has been the sole democracy in a sea of Islamic dictators and theocracies. The Iraqi people are the first Muslims in the region to be given a chance to try their hand at the rule of law and democracy. The experiment could still fail, but five years after Saddam was unearthed Iraq has made tremendous progress. There is still much to be done, but they have now been given a taste of freedom. Whether they can overcome the psychoses that result from thirty years of oppression remains to be seen. But the Iraqis- with our help – have beaten back those who would see them fail and become another Iranian proxy. The rest is up to them.
Of course, no words can express the gratitude we owe to the men and women of the US military who left behind their friends and loved ones to fight in Iraq. They have persevered through mismanagement, adapted to difficult circumstances, and overcome a determined enemy on his home turf. God Bless them all. Hoo Rah!
Hanging was too good for Saddam, but the people of Iraq can rest easy knowing the Butcher of Baghdad will never torment them again.
Posted by Baron Von Ottomatic