T Nation

Saddam Is a MAN!


In the case of Middle Eastern/Arab sensibilities...

More than one commentator has noted that what they "respect" in the Arab/Muslim world are qualities like defiance, control and domination... and that a "leader" like Saddam that tortures, controls and dominates people is what they really "need" (and seem to often "desire").

"Rule of Law" and "justice" are ephemeral terms that seem to fluctuate depending on the sitution. (Witness the "justice" that women receive).

Iraqi citizens have been quoted as saying that Saddam's defiance in the courtroom shows a "real man", and that the court appears weak and docile.

(So much for delivering "Justice")...

I personally think that whatever the outcome of this trial, it's a "no-win" on so many levels, especially for the U.S. and the Iaquis as a whole.

What do my "Nation" friends think?

I say that if they "want" or "need" tyrants and dictators to "live"...more power to them...just get the Troops home.

Your thoughts?



The one in court is not even the real Saddam.


I think the court comes off as weak because it is weak. A defendant in American court wouldn't be permitted to get away with the shit that this piece of garbage is pulling. If anyone should be given even less leeway to fuck around, it should be Saddam. I say put that fucker in a cage like Chikatilo with the Hannibal Lecter mask and give him an electric shock every time he tries to speak when he shouldn't. We have contempt of court in the U.S. At what point will they just remove him from the damn courtroom and let his lawyers speak on his behalf?


I don't buy the line of reasoning that somehow the Arab culture needs or requires some kind of strong, dictatorial leader. It's the same kind of argument that is proferred in any area of the world where a dictatorship is in place (Eastern European nations under Soviet control, China today, any of a number of African dictatorships, etc.) It's almost as if they cannot handle or be trusted with their own freedom.

Any place that individuals have had the opportunity to live in a society where they are free to choose their own representation, have freedom of information, etc., that's something that people will always powerfully respond to. I think that some of those countries may eventually choose to install strong but democratic governments, but I have a hard time believing that people somehow cannot function without an absolute dictator in power.


I think it would be much preferable to trot him into the courtroom in shackles and a pink jumpsuit.

Seriously, if this is the case, then they should make it look as if he is having the will of others imposed upon him, right down to the details of his clothing.



I certainly don't disagree with you at all...

It just seems that dictatorial power and control is "respected" more in this part of the World.



Mufasa - I think there may be something to that potentially, but that could be due more to the fact that they really have not had a lot of democratic opportunities in that region. Heck, the only country in that region that [i]is[/i] democratic is Israel.


Don't forget Turkey. If Iraq could get to Turkish status I think that would be a very good thing.



I've always been curious as to how Turkey survives (and appears to avoid) the extremist/insurgents/suicide bombers, etc.

(Or do they?)



and when exactly was the last time americans had true democracy? the time they voted for one president and got another? or the many times their presidents waged war without the approval of congress?

the only way to get democracy in the middle east is through creating a nation based completely on Islam, something that does not exist anywhere in the world at the moment.

[i]"Thus it follows that, in order to satisfy the requirements of Islamic law, the leadership of the state must be of an elective nature; consequently, an assumption of governmental power through non-elective means of any description whatsoever becomes automatically, even though the person or persons concerned be Muslims, as illegal as an imposition of power by conquest from outside the Muslim community." (p.36)

"(The Qur`anic ordinance, [/i]amruhum shura baynahum, the believers' affairs are to be run by mutual consultation among themselves) must be regarded as the fundamental operative clause of all Islamic thought relating to statecraft. It is so comprehensive that it reaches out into almost every department of political life, and it is so self-expressive and unequivocal that no attempt at arbitrary interpretation can change its purpose. The word amr, in this injunction refers to all affairs of a communal nature and therefore also to the manner in which the government of an Islamic state is to be established: that is, to the elective principle underlying all governmental authority. Beyond that, the phrase amruhum shura baynahum[i] - literally, "their communal business is consultation among themselves" - makes the transaction of all political business not only consequent upon, but synonymous with, consultation: which means that the legislative powers of the state must be vested in an assembly chosen by the community specifically for this purpose."

"It is evident from the context that the expression "among themselves" in the Qur`anic ordinance under consideration refers to the whole community: hence, the legislative assembly - or, to use a term well known throughout Muslim history, the [/i]majlis ash-shura - must be truly representative of the entire community, both men and women. Such a representative character can be achieved only through free and general elections: therefore, the members of the majlis must be elected by means of the widest possible suffrage, including both men and women." (pg 44-45)

  • Muhammad Asad, "State and Government in Islam"




At times it seems they are teetering, but I think the main key to their survival is the army. The army is secular, professional, and has let it be known that it wouldn't brook any Islamist uprisings. If the army were corrupted I think the country would fall quickly.

I think the urban population is relatively well educated as well -- and seems to want to be more European than Middle Eastern, which helps also.


Good point - something like Turkey would really be almost ideal (absent the Turkish fears of a sovereign Kurdish state).


Its hard to imagine right? Well a friend of mine grew up in Lebanon. He was telling me why the western and middle eastern cultures seem so different is because of their differing value system.

Overall, in the western hemisphere, the greatest value that we hold onto is mercy. But in the middle east, its honor.

What this looks like is this. If you were involved in an auto accident and killed one of the two people in the opposite vehicle, in America, you would get out...call 911....say you're sorry...maybe shed a few tears...that's how the story goes. However, the value system is different over there.

Same scenerio except middle east. Instead of getting out to consoul the survivor of the auto accident, the killer would run for their life. The survivor would then go to chase down the killer to try and bring honor back to their friend. That would be by ending the life of the person that ended the friends. Its not about mercy, its about honor. To do nothing at all would be the same as saying the person who died had no value to you. To make that person pay for what they had done would show that you respected and honored the one who had died.

So whats that got to do with Saddam? Well if he acted like a pansey and kept quiet, it wouldnt show any honor for himself. Its not about the respectable thing to do, thats the western civilization mentality. To stand up and be outrageous is commendable because it shows he still has power and respect. To go down fighting is more honorable than to lay still to get kicked. I mean does he want to look like a crying schoolboy in the corner waiting for a whipping or a man who goes down punching?


That's the best idea I've heard yet!


As someone else said, that could be because the haven't really experienced democracy.

Where I study there are young iranians, and I have been told by one of them that most young iranians in Iran's capital hate theocracies, including their current government. They also tell me that they don't care much about islam... similar to modern catholics.

Just in case, don't get fooled by my name. I'm hispanic, raised catholic, and atheist :slightly_smiling:


Man, should've just filled that spider hole with bullets!! Done and done.



I'm readin' you...

If you look at it historically...ALL types of government have a theoretical "ideal"...then there is the "reality" of its application in the real world among real people.

It becomes a question of how wide the gulf is between the ideal and the reality...and the effect that Goverment has on the people that have to function under it.



Saddam is a MAN! because he has a beard 2 feet long.





As long as our politicians keep whining about pulling out of Iraq and our media keeps harping on the alleged torture we will have a hard time.

We are often our own worst enemy.

We don't have to use Saddam's tactics, but we have to be hard.