FUCK YOU, TOO, HABIBI. No, I don't mean Salam. I mean Sami Ramadani, an Iraqi who lost friends and suffered personally under Saddam Hussein. Today he enjoys a comfortable life in the democratic west, working as a university lecturer in London.
You can't get a better insight into the cloudy confusion of the anti-American mindset than by reading his oped in the Guardian today. Cynicism and doubt of American motives supercede any admission that Iraq has a chance to improve, that there is any reason to be optimistic and hope for Iraq's success. Get this: Paul Bremer is Iraq's "new tyrant" that single-handedly spoiled the whole moment of Saddam's capture by announcing it himself. How petty. He has become so very British, it seems.
Ramadani is evidently tired, and has lots of questions, best imagined asked in a kind of whimpering tone:
What will the Americans do with their captive? Is Saddam going to face a trial? Will the truth of his mass murders and crimes come out? Will the trial shed light on how the US backed him and supplied him with chemical weapons? Will it reveal how the US encouraged him to launch the war on Iran, causing the death of a million Iranians and Iraqis? Will the trial go into the alliances with and support for Saddam by so many of members and parties now in the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council? The dark clouds over Iraq haven't lifted yet.
Let's help him out, shall we? Dear Sami, following please find answers to your enquiries:
- Make sure he's tried by an Iraqi court and executed, and if that doesn't work, do it themselves.
- See above.
- Certainly. I hope that makes you glad.
- I fervently hope so. Part of the justification for the war certainly must be US culpability in helping prop up the bastard in the first place. Will you be directing that question to the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, China etc?
- The Iran/Iraq war is the Americans' fault? Sorry, answered a question with a question.
- Indeed, as it should.
What's the problem, Habibi? You keep asking questions that get you further into a corner:
So at this moment of joy, other questions keep intruding: Who is going to try Bremer, Bush, Rumsfeld and Blair? Will Iraq ever be free?
Well, the answer to the second question is somewhat dependent on the success of obstructionists like you.
What would this man have done? For Ramadani, the campaign in Iraq was a "US-led unjust and immoral war". I can't help responding that whether we went to war or not he'd still be alright, enjoying the benefits of the free, prosperous and democratic part of the world he spends so much disparaging.
What would he do? By opposing the war, he says in essence that Saddam Hussein should have been left in power, and his sons left in line for the succession, unless coaxed out of power by international pressure. That worked real well in the previous 12 years. And I doubt it would be a great big stretch to assume that he railed against the sanctions back in the day.
Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein. The inescapable corollary of opposing the war, for the the marchers to the screeching columnists to the tut-tutting English and European dinner party set to the demented and frothy remants of the US far left to the nervous and concerned church ladies of the American middle classes, is preferring to have left Saddam in power.
And I come back to my first comment: the cloudy confusion. Just what is this man saying? Read the article twice if you like. What is his point? There isn't one, other than the need to say, yet again, that no matter what happens, oppose America abroad. "Saddam is gone, the resistance will grow." Is that a bad or a good thing? If bad, then surely he argues for having left Saddam alone. If good, then he's glad that the coalition will now suffer increased casualties and perhaps leave sooner. Before stability has been returned to the country.
There is no mention, by the way, in Ramadi's piece on whether he intends to leave his life in the west now and return to Iraq to help in the rebuilding of his country.