"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Despot to Martyr ... instantly

Saddam begins journey from despot to martyr

Executing leaders is simply bad politics - history shows that they backfire. Saddam's reputation will be salvaged , writes Jim Duffy

Name the last monarchs of Italy, Russia, and France; US presidents from the 1860s and the 1960s; a 1920s Irish minister. The odds are that most people will not remember the last Italian king (Umberto II) and will get the last French king wrong (they'll say Louis XVI; it was Louis Phillippe), but will remember Tsar Nicholas II of Russia while naming Lincoln and John F Kennedy as US presidents and Kevin O'Higgins as an Irish minister.

continued... The Irish Times

Dear Madam,

In Thursday's Irish Times Jim Duffy relays the dangers of executing an invaded country's former leader: "The danger is that, should Iraq descend into civil war and chaos, those millions who never experienced the extremes of Saddam, will come to compare today's chaos with the stability and law and order of Saddam's day."

It seems that Mr. Duffy has misunderstood the current situation in Iraq. A poll conducted by the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies and the Gulf Research Center in November last year found that 90% of adults felt the situation in Iraq was better before the US led invasion. [1]

In October of last year former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix described the US-led invasion of Iraq as a "pure failure" and said that they had left the country worse off than under Saddam Hussein. [2]

It appears that Mr. Duffy is correct, "Saddam's reputation will be salvaged," but not by the chaos of civil war but by the "failure" of an illegal invasion.

Yours etc...

1. http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/
2. http://www.int.iol.co.za/