Can We Please Have Saddam Hussein Back?

Published October 17th, 2021 - 06:20 GMT
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein with the crowd (AFP File Photo)

Tlate Ahmad al-Rubei (1949 – 2008), after the revolutionary and leftist ideas evaporated from his head, told me that he visited the fish market in Aden, the former British protectorate (the British left in 1967) and was shocked by the spread of filth and foul odors the scarcity of fish and poor quality, and the high price, so he asked an elderly fishmonger the reason for all this, and if things during the days of the Englishman were much better than after independence.

The veteran fisherman replied, “Bring the English back to us if you want a clean market, good quality fish, and good prices”.

I remembered this story while reading an article by a Palestinian who demands, out of his great pain and despair that the Israeli occupation returns to the areas that were liberated from his homeland. Here are brief excerpts from what he wrote, with some amendments:

 “Yes, this is not a luxury of saying, or a form of madness, or an admiration for the occupation. Rather, this is a cry in the absurd. Yes, return the occupation to us because our people are no longer able to pay the cost of two occupations at the same time.

“Yes, we want to go back to what we were before 1993 which became the history of a new catastrophe for our people who are now ruled by two authorities, the authority of the master ruler, and the authority of the executioner servant.”

“The occupation of our homeland is the first occupation in history to be called an inexpensive occupation, an occupation run by those who claim to be representatives of the people while they are occupying their homeland.”

 “Yes, unfortunately, this is our situation, not out of deception or as an exaggeration, but from the reality of the situation that lasted 30 years and is still mastering in providing the best means of security and safety for the ruling occupier until it has become Israeli-managed from an office in which the number of officials does not exceed a few dozen in air-conditioned offices because this is one of the requirements of the donor countries on which the authority relies to earn benefits and salaries.

We had a Palestinian revolution launched with one goal more than 55 years ago, which is the liberation of Palestine, all of Palestine. Our people offered their best sons voluntarily, love and redemption as fuel for this revolution. Then our organization changed its charter and its leaders bet on a moment of weakness that Palestine could not be returned by armed struggle but by political action, and they entered Oslo on this basis, but 30 years after Oslo, what happened? The dream of establishing the state has become a mirage, and in return for the mirage, the occupier granted us official recognition for free, without any compensation for our interest.

Is this what the Palestinians dreamed of, and what about those who laid down their lives in the belief of liberation?

When the young men were arrested by the occupier, the women ‘ululate’ and the men cheer with pride over the arrest or martyrdom of their sons. The young man among us would stand with his head held high and his eyes shining like that of a hawk, because the enemy had arrested a hero that the whole country is talking about.

The question is what drives such people to such despair? Why did a large part of the Iraqi people become nostalgic for the days of Saddam, the tyrannical, despicable, inhuman and brutal dictator?

How do Libyans lament the days of Gaddafi, who perched on their chests for more than forty years without spending anything from the surplus of billions of state funds for their betterment?

Finally, why do the conditions of the peoples of the world vary between ups and downs, except for the Arab countries, most of which have deteriorated for half a century from one military coup to another, and from bad to worse and even more worse?

Ahmad al Sarraf writes for the Arab Times of Kuwait.

 


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