Friday, October 21, 2005

<i>Sic Semper Tyrannus</i>

Mohammed at Iraq the Model discusses how Iraqis of his acquaintance are viewing the trial of Saddam Hussein:

Today I was talking to victims of Saddam who are friends of the family; a mother (52) and her daughter (25). The rest of their family was exterminated by Saddam; the daughter lost her grandfather, father and uncle.

"I was one year old when that happened and I didn't realize the situation until years after but I tell you one thing, I never said 'DAD' in my life...

Why do you think the trial was fine? It was pathetically weak and you cannot imagine the pain I felt when I saw the bloody murderer being allowed to speak and to defy the court. I could see the smiles on the faces of the Ba'athists and the Arab mercenary who speak of Saddam as a brave lion, haven't you heard what Raghad (Saddam's daughter) said on Al-Arabiya? She said: I never saw a greater or a braver father.

She killed me again, killed me and my mother whom Saddam stole her life. I was small when my dad was murdered but I see sadness in my mother's eyes everyday, that woman had to bury her father, brother and husband.

I cannot celebrate justice now because to me justice means that Saddam must be cut into pieces and burned with his gang and family...justice means that the suffer like we suffered.

I am so depressed today, he ought to be kicked, slapped and humiliated in front of us. Where was justice when my grandfather, my dad and my uncle were murdered just because they had a different opinion than that of Saddam!!"

I stood silent and I couldn't answer back, I just told her that Saddam stole my life too but she wouldn't listen, she was only crying and repeating her words...

The mother who lost her father, husband and brother was calmer and actually she sounded happy when she told me "yesterday we avenged the blood of our martyrs, I can't say how happy I was to see fear and anxiety in Saddam's eyes. You don't know how much I awaited this moment, only yesterday I felt safe and I don't really care if they hang him or leave him to rot in jail, all I care about is that this time HE is in the cage, isn't that great? I don't have much time left son but you and your children shall harvest the fruits of this victory..."

If you're interested in knowing about the background of this family's story, I'd like to include snapshots from it:

Back in 1972, the Ba'ath created the "National Patriot Progressive Front" in order to attract the opposition parties, especially the communists, the Kurds and the pan-nationalists. These parties didn't realize that it was a trap designed by the Ba'ath to infiltrate the parties and identify their cadres. So after the Ba'athists seized control over the country they thought it would be a good idea to eliminate those in the opposition who naively thought the Ba'ath fascists wanted to share governance. My guest begins telling her story:

"It started first when they executed 34 members from the leadership of the communist party and this forced the rest of the higher ranks to runaway and hide. One woman activist (Ayda Yasin) sought refuge in my father's clinic (he was a dentist) and he did hide her there until she was spotted by the Ba'thists.

He was attacked and arrested in his clinic and then taken to some unknown location. We were scared and we felt the family was being watched including my brother who carried a PhD in geology. We kept a low profile waiting for news about my father but then we were fired from our jobs and the pressures increased upon us. Then came the horrible news that my father was executed and that the rest of us were on the hit list.

We decided to head north to the Kurdish region; me, my husband and brother joined the "Ansar" movement and we fought for years defending ourselves in the mountains that were besieged by the government's army.

I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter and I had to leave the mountains and escape to Syria and in 1983 I learned that my husband and my brother among 94 other heroes fell in a battle in the mountains outside Erbil. The world became black in my eyes, I lost everything and I'm responsible for two babies who know nothing about the disaster that fell upon us.

You know, we never thought of carrying arms and fighting, we were good citizens serving the country with the knowledge and degrees we earned with hard work and we never imagined we would be forced one day to carry arms and battle the Ba'athists in the mountains and deserts but it's Saddam and his oppressive regime that left us with no other choice...

I'm telling you this and I'm free again and I'm proud of what I and my family did while that miserable coward is sitting in a cage and about to beg for mercy."

Yes, I do feel that justice is winning....

Mohammed describes his friends' thoughts as they watched the trial on television:

We all sat in front of the TV; there were 8 of us hushing each other as we didn't want to miss a single word of the conversations and we wanted to catch every small detail of the trial just like we suffered every small detail of the disasters brought upon us by the hateful tyrant.

"Does he deserve a fair trial?" this was the question that kept surfacing every five minutes...he wasn't the least fair to his people and he literally reduced justice to verbal orders from his mouth to be carried out by his dogs.

Why do we have to listen to his anticipated rudeness and arrogant stupid defenses? We already knew he was going to try to twist things and claim that the trial lacks legitimacy or that it's more a court of politics rather than a court of law, blah, blah, blah...

"Why do we have to listen to this bull****?" said one of my friends. "I prefer the trial goes like this:
Q:Are you Saddam Hussein?
Then take this bullet in the head."

Everyone could find a reason to immediately execute a criminal who never let his victims say a word to defend themselves "let's execute him and get over this."

When the day of reckoning comes for Saddam it should be broadcast around the world with the words scrawling continuously along the top of the picture - sic semper tyrannus! Such a scene might have a salutary effect on tyrants throughout the globe.

The Roots of Their Animosity

Why is there so much animosity on the Left for conservatives in general and George Bush in particular? Perhaps there are several reasons. One surely is that for many on the Left politics is an ersatz religion. They view opposition to their politics in the same way that some religious people view opposition to their religion. Any threat to one's deepest convictions is as dangerous as a threat to one's physical being. It is a causus belli.

Another reason is frustration amounting to bitterness. The movers and shakers on the contemporary Left came of age in the social and cultural rebellions of the 1960s. As the 60s morphed into the 70s many of those who were committed to pulling down the establishment realized that smoking dope, grooving on the Mommas and the Poppas, and looking scruffy would not, by themselves, accomplish much. So they cleaned up, entered the mainstream, and began their long march through the institutions. If they couldn't bring down the system from without, they'd do it from within. The revolution wouldn't be the sudden cataclysm they'd hoped for, but would instead be a gradual evolutionary process, like the frog which discovers too late that he's boiling in hot water. The brightest of the revolutionaries went into law, education, the arts, the media, the church, and politics. They advanced from entry level positions in the 70s, to mid-level positions in the 80s, and reached the zenith of their professions in the 90s. By this time, many of these fields were dominated by recast rebels who still held fast to the values, ideals, and dreams of their youth.

By the 90s social and cultural power was concentrated largely in the hands of those who wished to use it to transform the United States into the economically Marxist, socially libertine, militarily impotent nation they envisioned back in those hallucinogenic, halcyon days of the 60s. They were clearly succeeding. The culture was happy to throw off traditional moral norms and let it all hang out. Education had been transmogrified into a feel-good party for kids and sinecures for instructors, especially at the college level. The Church had largely abandoned traditional beliefs and doctrines, especially as these related to social matters like sexuality, and had thrown in its lot with the Zietgeist. The courts and the media were on board. Bill Clinton, the first president from the 60s generation, had been elected to the highest office in the land after the aberration of the Reagan years. Everything was ripe for the final stages of the transformation of America into a modern utopia. It seemed that success after all these decades of ideological toil was ineluctable. It would happen in their lifetime, as a result of their efforts, and the anticipation of it was doubtless intoxicating.

Then came 2000 and a Republican running on a Reaganite platform garnered fewer votes than their champion but was nevertheless ensconced in office by the Supreme Court. This was infuriating enough, auguring as it did another delay in their ultimate ascendency, but George Bush's retrograde first term witnessed a resurgence of enthusiasm for the American military, tax cuts, and conservatives being placed in high judgeships. Suddenly everything was threatened by this interloper from Texas. It was bad enough, too, that Rush Limbaugh was on the air, but now there was the Washington Times, Fox News, Sean Hannity, and the blogosphere and the feeling that all they had worked so hard for for so many years was coming undone.

Then came 2004 and an even more genuine left-wing candidate was also defeated by Bush who seemed now, despite numerous difficulties, to be in a position to have his way with the courts, the crucial linchpin in any success that the Left would have. The resentment boiled over in the aftermath of the election. Unable to mask their disappointment, resentment, and bitterness the Left launched a vicious assualt on the President and his supporters, especially Evangelicals, and has been determined ever since to do everything it can to punish and discredit Bush to limit the damage that he's done.

If he can be made to look weak, stupid, and venal, the thinking evidently goes, the Left will have a much better chance of persuading the electorate to repudiate all things Republican at the polls in 2006 and 2008. Thus nothing is out of bounds. There are no rules to limit what may be done. Spurious memos on Bush's National Guard service, phony indictments of Republican leaders, repeated allegations of deliberate deceptions by the administration to get us into war, discrediting the administration's ability to respond to disasters like Katrina - every slander on the character of the President and his appointees is in play.

The Left, having been denied its prize after having come so close to grasping it, is lashing out with vitriolic hatred at the people who have frustrated their designs, and demanding of its Democratic surrogates in Congress that there be total all-out war against the President and everything he stands for. Any Republican attempt to reach across the aisle in a quest for bi-partisan cooperation for the good of the country is to be rebuffed. Every Republican initiative is to be opposed, every Bush policy is to be condemned no matter what the cost. The Left is determined to gain its revenge and to recover its momentum by adopting the words of Malcolm X as their tacit slogan: "By whatever means necessary."

And that's why, and how, we've come to be where we are today.