The truth about Saddam |

The truth about Saddam

Dear Editor:As soon as Saddam Hussein was executed I knew there would be sarcastic letters aimed at putting me down. Since I visited Iraq four years ago, people have been accusing me of being a “Saddam lover,” because I dared to point out the fallacy in the demonization of Iraq’s president.Yes, his methods of controlling his people were brutal. He punished whole villages for harboring Shiite insurgents backed by Iran, who attempted to assassinate him and take control of Iraq. He punished the Kurds for their attempts to overthrow the Iraqi government and take over the northern oil fields. In this way he kept Iraq from fracturing, descending into civil war and being taken over by fundamentalists determined to turn the country into a repressive state that would limit modernization and eliminate women’s rights.I never condoned Saddam’s brutality, but unlike most Americans I did understand the problems he faced in ruling a country that had artificial borders drawn by the British without regard for sectarian differences and hostilities. He ruled with an iron fist because he had to, just as we are doing now. With Saddam gone, the U.S. has had to assume his role. When insurgents attack our military, we hunt them down and kill them. We kick down doors in the middle of the night and drag people off to imprison and torture them.But where Saddam built up and modernized infrastructure, we lay siege to entire towns, bulldozing, bombing and destroying. We have replaced the security, education and health care that Saddam provided with a ruined chaotic state that will take decades to repair.When our military withdraws from Iraq, the current regime will fall and someone will step in to fill the power vacuum, most likely a member of radical Islam, who will then employ the same methods of control as Saddam did. In addition, Sharia Law will be instituted and Iraq will no longer be safe for Jews, Christians, women and modernity.In all, the removal of Saddam has been a loss for the Iraqi population, especially professionals, women and non-Muslims. It has meant the loss of over 3,000 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis; far more than would have died under Saddam. The only winners in this situation are the radical Islamists, the very people our president has vowed to eliminate. Oh and Haliburton, which has made billions from the Neocons’ very calculated military failure in Iraq.Sue GrayCarbondale