Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Confusion

I still haven't been able to get rid of this deep sadness that has overcome me the last two days. People have been emailing asking me to explain. I wish I could, but I simply can't.

After going through the comments today I had some more thoughts. If you had lived all your life ruled by a tough dictator elevated to the level of a god and then suddenly without warning watched that dictator displayed to the public on tv as a 'man', you probably would have related with my position.

The images were shocking. I couldn't make myself believe this was the same Saddam that slaughtered hundreds of thousands and plundered my country's wealth for decades. The humiliation I experienced was not out of nationalistic pride or Islamic notions of superiority or anything like that as some readers suggested. It was out of a feeling of impotence and helplessness. This was just one old disturbed man yet the whole country couldn't dispose of him. We needed a superpower from the other side of the ocean to come here and 'get him' for us. I was really confused that day I went out and almost got myself killed by those Fedayeen and angry teenagers in the Adhamiya district.

Rachel and Ali explained the Stockholm Syndrome in the comments section. I haven't heard about it before, but it did help me understand my contradicting feelings. I didn't want to see him humiliated as much as I loathed him. And that is why I was dissapointed with myself. I want to see him sit in an Iraqi court and explain himself to Iraqis. I want to hear him apologize to Iraqis. It won't help the dead, but I want to hear it anyway. He must be handed over to Iraqis. I don't care about legitimacy. He must be tried publicly in an Iraqi civil court by Iraqi judges. The rest of the Arab dictators should see it and learn from it.

And I'm still wondering why? Why did he have to put himself into this? Why did he have to destroy Iraq? What did he gain from all of this?