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SurferSpeak: Let Saddam's legacy be

Our surfer explains why Shias-Sunnis of Iraq need to stay united.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2007 15:01 IST

Like a mortal, Iraqi former president Saddam Hussein became a name only for the pages of history books. The first ray of sun on December 30 brought a message for Saddam and made him a name of the past. At 6 am, according to local time, he was hanged in North Baghdad under tight security.

The Iraqi court convicted him for his crime against humanity. American President George Bush must have felt a sigh of relief on his death and his father George Bush 1st will have felt pleased on hearing this news. Whether the American public favoured this decision or not was proved in the last days mid-term elections held in America. Undoubtedly the Bush administration wanted to know the opinion of the public regarding it and that is why, only two days before a mid-term poll in America, an Iraqi court decided to award Saddam the death sentence.

The chief religious office of the Christians in Vatican criticised the death sentence. In a statement issued from Vatican it was said that life must be made for natural death and hanging is not a natural death. Undoubtedly, Saddam was accused of carnage but it is wrong to retaliate a crime with another crime. The European Union has also requested to not to hang Saddam. Italian Prime Minister Rozane Prodi was also not in favour of death sentence to Saddam.

And at the same time, he said that his aim was not to give a lower estimate of his crimes. Many countries of the world including India spoke against the death sentence insisting that there should have been an effort to save Saddam.

But as the world has been witnessing since a century, something happened. According to the plan and the will of the American administration, Saddam had to go to the gallows.

No doubt the life of Saddam Hussein was always full of struggle and controversies. As a person, he was stubborn, obstinate and of dictatorial nature. He always thought of ruling all the Arabs. This desire compelled him to do things because of which the Iraqi public had to face war, destruction, massacre and casteism.

Undoubtedly, hanging of Saddam too is a result of his wrong doings. During his reign, lakhs of Iraqi people died because of wars and massacres. Saddam and his two sons Uday and Kushay treated Iraq as their backyard and people of Iraq as their pets.

There was a new Islamic Revolution, in Iran, in 1980. This revolution under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini uprooted the American influenced ruler of Iran, Ahmed Raza Shah Pehalwi at that time. Saddam sent his soldiers on the border of western Iran to weaken the influence of that revolution.

This war between Iran and Iraq was to continue for eight years. Lakhs of people from both the countries lost their lives. After an arduous eight years, peace was finally restored.

But the fallout was that Iraqi economy was badly shattered. To cope with these circumstances, Iraq raised the price of crude oil. The western countries didn't it. In the meantime Kuwait too lessened the oil prices. Saddam couldn't bear it. He sent his forces and attacked Kuwait in August 1990. This was when George Bush 1st was the president of America. In January 1991 Bush 1st sent American forces in Kuwait and those forces uprooted the base of Iraqi soldiers and thousand of Iraqi soldiers were made war prisoners. Many thousands died in the war. These estimates ranged as high as 100,000 Iraqi troops killed and 300,000 wounded.

Hundreds of oil wells were set on fire in Iraq and Kuwait. As a result of it both the countries had to face a huge damage to their oil resources and their economy.

Saddam's dictatorial stance was not only with his neighbouring countries but also the people of Iraq. They had to face the brunt of his unjust and arrogant behaviour. He was not willing to hear any word against him or his actions. Those who spoke against him were considered hypocrites and were sentenced to death. Hundreds of alleged massacres during Saddam's regime were only because of alleged revolution against Saddam.

He went to the extent of getting his two son-in-laws killed because he doubted their loyalty. Saddam got his opponents killed many times by chemical weapons attacks on their colonies. There are many cases lying pending against him. Saddam was convicted of carnage of 148 persons in Dujail (people of Shia sect).

Why was it so? It needs attention. The execution of Saddam is a grave challenge and a test especially before the Muslim world.

Iraq is on the brink of a civil war. And America very well knew the execution of Saddam would add fuel to fire. It will increase the intensity of the struggle going between Shia-Sunni sects thus increasing the hatred between them. This struggle will spread in the Muslim world. The rulers that govern with the principle- "divide & rule" can do better at such occasions.

In fact, America is always in a wait to kill two birds with a stone in countries like Iraq, which has large deposits of crude oil. This will make America successful in her aims.

If the Muslim world and Iraqi people don't understand this far sighted move of America then Iraq is sure to fall prey of a civil war in the future. It is also possible that on the pretext of this class struggle America may divide Iraq in three parts. All this will give America an excuse to sent more American soldiers in Iraq, just on the pretext of controlling law and order situation.

If that was to happen nobody can stop the American control over the oil production of Iraq.

The American public is strongly opposing the step of their government to send soldiers in Iraq. The American economy is also badly affected by it. By now America has spent $35,43,600,00,000. In spite of all this, it will not like its soldiers to come back defeated.

To save the situation America would spend more money and send more troops. It will try its best to dig a deep ditch between the Shia and the Sunni sects, so that the Arab unity is weakened. If the Muslim world is watchful in time then the advancing steps of the policy of divide and rule, would be stopped.

Tanveer Jafri is the member of Haryana Sahitya Academy and can be contacted at tanveerjafriamb@gmail.com

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