Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Saddam's Arrest Brings Humiliation Debate
AP | 12/19/03

Posted on 12/19/2003 2:10:41 AM PST by kattracks

The Associated Press

CAIRO, Egypt Dec. 19 — Was he an Arab hero or a dictator? This is the question being debated in newspapers in the Middle East and by Arab intellectuals faced with the image of a bearded, bedraggled Saddam Hussein in the hands of American captors. Many are asking, too, if Saddam's downfall was a humiliation to the entire Arab world, not just to the ousted Iraqi leader. Others say that with Saddam's capture, it's time to drop any expectation that a great hero will unite the Arab world.

"A new humiliation to Arabs" was the headline on a column this week by Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi.

"It was a shock for us, and a humiliation to millions of Arabs who saw the TV shots of the Iraqi president being subjected to the humiliating medical checkup. We hoped that he would have fought until the end, and fallen as a martyr like his two sons and grandson or chose Hitler's end," Atwan wrote, referring to the Nazi leader's suicide.

But Atwan was quick to find excuses for Saddam's succumbing to U.S. forces without a shot being fired after he was found in a spider-hole near his hometown of Tikrit.

"We only heard the American version of the story. Maybe they drugged him because if Saddam wanted to surrender this way, he would have ... accepted the many offers to leave power," Atwan wrote.

Instead, he added, Saddam had chosen "to stand up to American arrogance."

Apparently, many Arabs shared Atwan's view of Saddam's arrest on Saturday as a collective humiliation and an intentional one.

In a telephone poll, the popular Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera asked viewers if showing Saddam being probed by U.S. military doctors was meant to humiliate Arabs. Al-Jazeera said that of the 1,500 people who called in, 97 percent said it was.

Kuwaiti columnist Ahmed al-Robei expressed anger at such talk of a hurt afflicting all Arabs. He wrote in the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat that the worst thing on Middle East satellite channels since Saddam's arrest was the idea of "humiliation to Arab dignity"

He added that Arabs were continuing to ignore that the Iraqi leader was a villain. "The mass graves are not enough to wake the minds of some of us. Are we people who adore despots? It is a sad question," he wrote.

He said he wondered how long Arabs would go on "glorifying oppressors and despots and portraying them as the saviors and leaders of this (Arab) nation, which is handed over from one executioner to another."

Some writers have described an Arab need for heroes and said it stems from an education that glorifies the past when Arab armies conquered much of the known world leaving people today looking with discouragement at a world where the West, and particularly the United States, has all the power.

Fouad Ajami, director of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said in his 1998 book "The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey" that too many Arab intellectuals prefer invoking Arab unity and anti-Western defiance to dealing with real problems in the Middle East.

"The political culture of (Arab) nationalism reserved its approval for those who led ruinous campaigns in pursuit of impossible quests," Ajami wrote.

The argument over whether Saddam should be praised or criticized has spread across the Arab world, from pan-Arab dailies published in London to newspapers in the Gulf nations.

Sayed Nassar, an Egyptian journalist who had close ties to Saddam, wrote in the British-based Asharq Al-Awsat that the question of whether Saddam was a dictator "deserves a lot of research."

Nassar praised Saddam for building a large army to defend his country and said that without harsh policies Saddam wouldn't have been able to rule Iraq's different ethnic and religious groups. Saddam's only mistake was invading Kuwait in 1990, Nassar wrote.

In Saudi Arabia, Abdallah Nasser Al-Fawzan, expressed quite another view in the Saudi daily Al-Watan: "We all saw the pictures ... Saddam was miserable, and I, as an Arab, felt humiliation. But my other feelings against Saddam were stronger. He was a paper knight."

Bahraini columnist Mohammed Jaber Al-Ansari wrote Thursday in the London-based daily Al-Hayat that Saddam's arrest posed a challenge to all Arabs.

"Saddam is out of the hole," he wrote, "but we have to get him out of the corners of our political psychology, which is still draining us with its nightmares.

"This is the test," he added, "and it's one the Americans can't take for us."



TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: arabworld; prisonersaddam; viceisclosed
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-63 next last

1 posted on 12/19/2003 2:10:42 AM PST by kattracks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: kattracks
If this guy was considered an "Arab Hero", despite his slaughter of his own people, his attacks on Israel, his defiance of the only true civilized nations on the planet and the invasion of that flyspeck of a country Kuwait, then humuliation is called for, in the highest order.

This man's fate should render him a role-model for none. Why don't these fools understand that?

Then again, we have to remember that these are part of the same element that would have argued on Hitler's behalf.

2 posted on 12/19/2003 2:16:47 AM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caipirabob
Why bother preaching?

We're talking about Arabs here.....a culture of pirates, thieves and jackals.

3 posted on 12/19/2003 2:22:39 AM PST by zarf (..where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: zarf
They're asking the wrong questions.

The Great Arab Shame is that so many millions of Arabs supplicated themselves to this fraud.
4 posted on 12/19/2003 2:31:26 AM PST by Fenris6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Fenris6
Of course they did...they're Arabs. It's what they do.
5 posted on 12/19/2003 2:33:51 AM PST by zarf (..where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: All
My 2 cents on Islam? ( or the Arab world? )

It is Us versus an eighth-century "culture" of plunder, forced religious "conversions," and the mistreatment of women.

6 posted on 12/19/2003 2:34:22 AM PST by backhoe (--30--)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Religion of PEACE
7 posted on 12/19/2003 2:40:16 AM PST by arielb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
..humiliation to Arab dignity..

"Arab dignity" is an oxymoron.

8 posted on 12/19/2003 2:44:03 AM PST by Jeff Gordon (arabed - verb: lower in esteem; hurt the pride of [syn: mortify, chagrin, humble, abase, humiliate])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
The Arab world should indeed find the spectacle of Saddam's medical examination humiliating. That military doctor holding the tongue depresser should have been Egyptian or Saudi, not American, and the scene should have happened long ago. For all their angry rationalizations, the Arab world must know that it has much to be deeply ashamed of.
9 posted on 12/19/2003 4:07:51 AM PST by solzhenitsyn ("Live Not By Lies")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caipirabob; kattracks
<< Why don't these fools understand that? >>

The Bell Curve.
10 posted on 12/19/2003 4:26:45 AM PST by Brian Allen ( Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God - Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
"Are we people who adore despots? It is a sad question,"

It's a legitimate question. What's sad is the answer.

11 posted on 12/19/2003 4:29:20 AM PST by TheyConvictedOglethorpe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheyConvictedOglethorpe
Mohammed already has shamed the Arab people, so no more can be done. Saddam has shown the world, bigtime.
12 posted on 12/19/2003 4:33:45 AM PST by tessalu
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Middle East and by Arab intellectuals faced with the image of a bearded, bedraggled Saddam Hussein...

Just wait until they see pictures of the hanging!

13 posted on 12/19/2003 4:35:07 AM PST by Libloather (DemocRATs - the biggest hate group going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Gordon
..humiliation to Arab dignity..

GOOD

14 posted on 12/19/2003 4:37:49 AM PST by Lurking in Kansas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
I'm of German heritage. The history channel is always running some show where the allies are kicking the snot out of us in WWII.

I just know it is for reasons of humiliating me.

I hate Hitler jokes. I know who those people are really poking fun at: Me!!!!
15 posted on 12/19/2003 4:39:15 AM PST by Bluntpoint
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: solzhenitsyn
The Arab world should indeed find the spectacle of Saddam's medical examination humiliating.

Chrissy Mathews and Dickless Gephart are ashamed that Saddam gets better medical care than our seniors.

Geesh! We just can't win!

16 posted on 12/19/2003 4:41:56 AM PST by Bluntpoint
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Libloather
"Just wait until they see pictures of the hanging!"

LOL!


17 posted on 12/19/2003 4:44:55 AM PST by bk1000 (put Saddam back in the spider hole)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
Here's an excellent discussion of my favorite book and film. Please note Rhys-Davies' comments on the war. We need more dwarves!

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1042324/posts

"The civilization that has given us "democracy, the equality of women, the abolition of slavery … and the right to true intellectual dissent" is under assault—specifically, Rhys-Davies noted, under assault by radical Islam. Instead of resisting that assault, parts of the Western world—and here, he's referring to Europe—are committing cultural suicide."
18 posted on 12/19/2003 4:45:48 AM PST by Samwise (There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kattracks
If it was humiliating to Arabs for the US to give Saddam a medical exam, would they have preferred to just let the lice eat him alive? Anti-Americanism is so ingrained in the masses that anything will be used as an excuse to gripe.
19 posted on 12/19/2003 4:46:11 AM PST by R. Scott (It is seldom that any liberty is lost all at once.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Caipirabob
"his attacks on Israel"
This alone probably makes him an Arab "Hero"
20 posted on 12/19/2003 4:46:28 AM PST by DM1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-63 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson