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Saddam Hussein continues to attempts to cast himself as an Arab martyr despite evidence that he may have killed more Arabs than any one figure in history. In a letter to the dwindling faithful, Saddam now offers himself as a sacrifice for Palestine, of all places:
Facing trial soon on charges he massacred fellow Muslims, Saddam Hussein purportedly vowed in a letter published Sunday to sacrifice himself for the cause of Palestine and Iraq, and he urged Arabs to follow his path. ...
"My soul and my existence is to be sacrificed for our precious Palestine and our beloved, patient and suffering Iraq," the letter said. ...
"Life is meaningless without the considerations of faith, love and inherited history in our nation," the letter said.
"It is not much for a man to support his nation with his soul and all he commands because it deserves it since it has given us life in the name of God and allowed us to inherit the best," he wrote in what appeared to be a clear call to Arabs to follow his footsteps.
"My brother, love your people, love Palestine, love your nation, long live Palestine."
The Iraqis who fight for Saddam's restoration (as opposed to the foreigners who fight for Osama) might find Palestine's primacy a rather unsettling tone in this letter. It sounds as if Saddam acknowledges that he has lost Iraq and has given up hope of finding vindication in his native country. While Iraqis may have trouble finding common political ground at the moment, most of them would agree that their former dictator hardly fits the mold of a martyr for their nation. His brutal regime based itself more on creating marytrs as a manufacturer might produce cars; he killed hundreds of thousands of Shi'ites and Kurds and no small number of Sunni dissidents, either.
Saddam created martyrs to keep himself in power.
So why write this letter? Nothing captures the Arab mind like the mention of Palestine, and Saddam wants to marry himself to that struggle in order to create some sympathy for his position. He did, after all, spend plenty of cash paying off families that used their relatives as Kamikazes on civilian targets. This letter will remind Arabs of that "service" in their cause, and hopefully get them to forget the genocides he perpetrated on fellow Arabs and Muslims in return.
It creates a more pressing problem for Saddam, however. Thanks to the inaction of Arabs and especially Palestinians to oppose his own brutal oppression in Iraq, the new Iraqi government that controls his fate will not find themselves moved by this appeal. Indeed, another common thread among Iraqis of all stripes is an understandable distaste for all things Palestinian. The money that Saddam spent on the Palestinians was supposed to feed and clothe Iraqis, a fact that the new order in Iraq has not forgotten. His elevation of Palestine in this latest missive will only remind them of Saddam's perfidy rather than soften their hearts through his "martyrdom". It will also remind the Western allies of the new, democratic Iraq that Saddam did indeed support terrorism in concrete and open actions.
Saddam should continue to write his letters. If nothing else, they show how desperate tinpot dictators get when they spend their last days locked up and awaiting justice for their myriad crimes.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Round the Reader from In the Bullpen
From Saddam Hussein wanting to be a martyr for Palestine, a bomb threat in Crawford and Senator Hagel’s ridiculous assumption violence in the Middle East is based purely on Iraq, this is the In the Bullpen Sunday Round the Reader. ... [Read More]
Tracked on August 21, 2005 2:41 PM
Tracked on August 21, 2005 4:15 PM
» Saddam lied; people died from Bookworm Room
UPDATE: See Caption Ed's more sophisticated analysis of Hussein's entirely uncoincidental reference to Palestine in his much balleyhooed letter. [Read More]
Tracked on August 21, 2005 8:17 PM
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