Saddam is gone, but Iraq has 1,000 Saddams today

A scratchy surface of post-Saddam Hussien’s Iraq.

Abstract

Iraqis were pleased to know the intentions of the United States to topple Saddam’s regime, but the happiness faded away in no time. Iraqi soil soon became the battlefield for many such actors and non-actors, who could not dare to lift their evil eyes on Baghdad under Saddam Hussein. Though many label him a child of the devil just like Libya’s tyrant Qaddafi, whereas several mourn for Saddam’s Iraq to return. Saddam Hussein’s assassination is followed by multiplied corruption, looting, killing and damaged peace. Under his regime, Iraqis had everything but freedom of speech. Whereas today, the Iraqis have almost nothing including freedom of speech.

Ruined Mosul

This article is a quoted article. The major portion of the article is based on a few Iraqis’ views, who could make it record their sentiments on YouTube or other channels.

Abu Ali, an Iraqi father who was interviewed by AFP News Agency in April 2018 has lost his three sons in bomb blasts in 2007 and 2013. The current situation is not promising”, is how Abu Ali, an aged resident of Baghdad speaks his mind. Each side has a different opinion, the security situation is bad and politicians only seek power. They don’t think about the Iraqi people,he adds.

Iraq not only suffered socially but also on educational fronts. Many educationists left the country after the increase in chaos and violence. Ali Abbas, a professor at Baghdad University, Iraq, speaking to the same news agency that Abu Ali did, shared his views as, We got rid of the dictatorship and wars but we lost security and safety.He also emphasized on the point that the teachers, intellectuals, and professors are only bound to do the job done. They cannot be creative in such a tense situation.

Falling statue of Saddam Hussein

Khadim Al-Jabouri used to repair Saddam’s motorcycles. He got jailed for almost eighteen months during Saddam’s era. He talked to BBC News in July 2016, saying, More than 14 or 15 people in my own family were executed by Saddam Hussein. So, I was so happy the day that the Americans came and got rid of Saddam’s oppressive regime.He added, I started to strike the {Saddam’s} statue. Now, when I go past that statue, I feel pain and shame. I ask myself — Why did I topple this statue? I’d like to put it back up to rebuild it, but I am afraid that I would be killed. {After fall of Saddam} Every year things started to get worse. There was corruption, infighting, killing, looting. Saddam killed people, but it was nothing like this current government. Saddam has gone, but in his place now we have 1,000 Saddams. I feel like Iraq has been stolen from us. And when they talk about Fall of Baghdadthose words hurt me.Talking about Americans, he stressed, Bush and Blair are definitely liars. They destroyed Iraq and brought us back to zero___and took us back to the Middle Ages or earlier.In his anger, he told, If I was a criminal, I would kill them with my bare hands

VOA News talked to few commoners in Iraq on the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Baghdad and found similar views as mentioned in the predeceasing paragraphs. For instance, Abed Khaled, a house painter stated, Everybody is suffering. There are no jobs. When an employer comes by, everyone rushes him competing to get hired. The income is very little. It’s bad and every day seems to get worse.Najila Ali Saba, an Iraqi mother, while talking to VOA said, Bombs are a major worry. Life is difficult because of the security situation, the terrorists. Most of the terrorists are not Iraqis, they are coming from foreign countries.

Talking about the sovereignty of Iraq after Saddam, Baghdad does not seem in the position to secure her territorial integrity. As, the commander of Iran’s Al-Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by an American drone in Baghdad. For revenge, Iran could not choose a safer ground than Iraq to answer the US, hitting twelve missiles on US bases in Baghdad. It is sure that until Saddam was in power, they could not dare to do such humiliation to Iraq’s sovereignty. Despite all the ills of Saddam Hussein and his policies, at least he dared to resist external forces against Iraqi soil.

Noof Assi, a blogger and a radio host in Baghdad, who was thirteen when the invasion took place, says on Al Jazeera News Network, I am kind of happy about the way that turned out our lives.She adds, Before 2003, I could not have more freedom to talk about what is in my mind. But the same time it’s not that dreamy situation that we all dreamed of.

Going through many such interviews and documentaries, one can conclude that Americans suffer from a disease. A disease in which they read dozen of books, several articles and then chant the chest that “we (Americans) know what to do there.” Many American adventurist strategies start without knowing the ground realities. For instance, Saddam had warned them that they will not understand the Arab minds, but they did not listen to him. Though getting rid of Saddam was priceless for Iraqis, specifically for Shias and Kurds of Iraq, but Americans had no well-prepared strategy and system to replace Saddam’s Iraq with. For instance. Paul Bremer, who was appointed by President George W Bush to run the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority in the wake of the Iraq war, ordered to span the Iraqi army, once who was promised to be called when needed. It created tens of thousands of additional enemies of the coalition. Mehdi Hassan of Al Jazeera claims that the so-called Islamic State is full of former Iraqi army men. Also, one study (in 2015) showed that 25 out of 40 IS commanders are ex-Baathists. Hence, Iraq and Iraqis continue to suffer.

Middle East Writer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store