Happiness of Saddam’s arrest unjustified [Archives:2003/698/Letters to the Editor]

December 29 2003

Abdulrahman al-Huthaify
[email protected]
Punjab University, India

It is really strange to find people looking at Saddam's capture as the end of the world. They started accusing him of cowardice and betrayal forgetting that he is only a human being who has been betrayed by the majority of his people and some of the nearest relatives. What can he do? We have no right to blame him for failing in the face of the world's sole superpower. It is really unbelievable the way we change the status of a man from a hero into zero in a moment. He is not the first leader in history who was defeated or captured. We must remember that Napoleon Bonaparte was also arrested after Waterloo. We also have examples from our own history, including Omar al-Mukhtar who was captured and executed by the Italian occupation in Libya after along struggle.
The American vision of his arrest is meant to kill every last hope in us, to deprive this man of the last thing he has the love and respect of millions of Muslims around the world. I was shocked by your report that Yemeni intellectuals are happy about this drama, although it is a too generalized statement to say that all of them are happy.
I met an Iranian scholar whose brother was killed in the Iraq-Iran war and has every right to feel overjoyed by Saddam's fate. Yet, I found him deeply offended and sad that this could happen to an Arab and Muslim leader at the hands of the foreign forces. We would have been happy only if the Iraqi people revolted against Saddam themselves and took their destiny in their hands. But it is a kind of self-deception to think that the Americans have done this for the good of the region. Let those who are happy wait and see.