Brooding Thoughts on Tenth Anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s Hanging

Saddam Hussein
Above left: Saddam at trial. Inset, top left: Saddam, 1979. Inset, top right: captured, 2003. Bottom right: Hussein family, pre 1995. Photo credit: Department of Defense / Wikimedia, Iraqi News Agency / Wikimedia, Unknown / Wikimedia and Iraqi State Television/ Wikimedia

Here we are on the tenth anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s hanging: December 30, 2006.

As with the removal and ghastly end of Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, another tyrant the US didn’t like, and with a third, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, hanging on despite a concerted effort to topple him, we’re inclined to ask:

How’s all this regime-changing and “democracy building” in the Middle East working out?

By almost every measure, it has been a disaster. There’s a lot of blame to go around: the US government, the US media, and the American public all bear some responsibility for provoking massive bloodshed and creating a more unstable world without any noticeable improvement in the lives of the people directly affected and at a great cost to the US.

In any case, we thought it was worth taking a bit of time to reflect on all of this. So we provide you with links, below, to some of what we wrote about Iraq in the past.

Manufacturing War: A Primer

Now that President Obama’s administration is giving itself the option to have “boots on the ground” in Iraq, there has never been a more important time to look at how we get sucked into unending wars. Professor Martin Hellman examines how it’s been done for the last 70 years.

Mind the Credibility Gap: Syria and the History of US War Disinformation

… a story that contained no hint of behind-the-scenes diplomatic machinations encouraging Hussein to think the US would not oppose his marching into Kuwait.

Stories-You-Didn’t-Read Department

Baroness Manningham-Buller, director general of MI5 in 2002-2007: “Our involvement in Iraq radicalised, for want of a better word, a whole generation of young people — a few among a generation — who saw our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as being an attack on Islam.

Who Caused Europe’s Refugee Mess? Why, We Did

…I was among the unfortunately small number of journalists warning about the rush to war with Iraq, and pointing out how virtually the entire US establishment was complicit in…

Not So Fast: Not All Media Screwed Up the Iraq Story (Just Almost All)

In a new piece for CNN, headlined “Media’s Failure on Iraq still stings,” the media analyst Howard Kurtz looks back on what went wrong with the media in its coverage of the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. CNN summarizes his points atop the article:

Iraq Invasion Revelations, Part II: The Payoff

Iraq invasion skeptics, listen up. You’re right: it was always about oil. Now the other shoe is dropping — in India of all places. That’s where the oil and money connection back to Iraq can be found.

The Cradle of Conflagration: The End (and Beginning) of the War for Iraq

In the wake of the pullout of US forces, Iraq is on the brink of internal combustion. And frankly, nobody should be surprised. Even a cursory review of Iraq’s history reveals this to be the likely aftermath of American occupation — and not even because of American missteps on the ground (as egregious as those were), but because of the intrinsic nature of the Iraqi ‘nation’.

A Republican Regrets: How the Iraq War Brought Chaos to the West

He helped Powell make the case for the overthrow of Saddam in 2003. Today he looks back on those decisions as a turning point not…


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Rumsfeld and Saddam (South Bend Voice / Flickr – CC BY 2.0), Powell anthrax (Unknown / Wikimedia), Saddam hanging (Unknown / Wikimedia) and shock and awe (Common Dreams).

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