Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

I have been inundated today by declarations of rapture (or declarations of rupture) at the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Pookian rapture is dimmed by the knowledge that many other guilty parties in the whole sorry saga of his rise and fall will not be brought to justice.

First there’s Bush senior, Margaret Thatcher and Helmut Kohl who helped bring him to power, provided him with all his dreaded WMD to fight Iran and then turned a blind eye when he used the same WMD on the Kurds.

Then there’s John Major and Bill Clinton who maintained sanctions against the country that killed 500,000 (yes, half a million!) people, half of them children. That’s far more people than Saddam ever managed to kill even with the WMD we gave him.

Then there’s Blair and Bush who initiated a war that was conceived as far back as 1997 and had nothing to do with freedom for the Iraqis or WMD. These were mere pretexts. The war was fought to bring the Iraqi economy and its natural resources back online after its ill-considered quarantine in 1991, and to reconfigure the mid-east to the US’s convenience. The US and UK used their own WMD on both civilian and military targets in their assault on Iraq and their heroic soldiers fired indiscriminately on civilians.

Yes, between Saddam Hussein and the Western leaders hundreds of thousands of people have died for simple reasons of power and money.

Saddam will go on trail for his heinous crimes. I would be happy indeed if he was joined in the dock by his accomplices and fellow evildoers at the head of the Western democracies.

I bumped into this quote today, from a letter from a German soldier present at the Warsaw uprising. ‘Can history ever be just? Not here. However strong the idea of nationhood, the fact of power will always overwhelm.’ The same could be said of the relationship of Saddam Hussein and the West.

By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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