Thursday, March 02, 2006

Archival Nugget: Zeyad on the Capture of Saddam Hussein

Over the last three years many writers have remarked upon the contradictory feelings in the hearts of Iraqis, many of whom are still trying to pull themselves out of Saddam's vortex and into a belief in a democratic and prosperous future. This morning I was digging through the archives of the Iraqi bloggers for a post of a different nature when I came across this post by Zeyad written just after Saddam Hussein had been pulled from his spiderhole:
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?
Today Zeyad seems less interested in the trial of Saddam Hussein, but perhaps only because he hasn't visited ITM yet and read about the recent documentary (and damning) evidence that has recently been presented. There were many Iraqis who simply loathed Saddam Hussein and felt no contradictory feelings as Zeyad did (Alaa the Mesopotamian, for example), but Zeyad's honest post represents, I imagine, many Iraqis' mixed feelings of relief and shame at seeing their dictator drug from his hiding hole.


Akba of Iraq Rising has returned to blogging and has just posted a long-view analysis of the reasons behind the current situation in Iraq.


Kurdistan Bloggers Union, a collection of rascally Kurdish voices, has decided to shut down, but you may follow the group's diverse opinions by visiting their individual blogs (a nice list of links to their personal blogs is provided on the last post).


Vladimir posts about a Turkish chanteuse in Kurdistan (photos included).


For a view of the events of the last week in Baghdad through the eyes of a twenty-year-old college student, check out "Men in black ... with torn slippers" from the Konfused Kollege Kid.

You may also want to examine the Konfused Kid's reading of the other Iraqi bloggers. "[A]ll I'm saying is stop the doom machine cuz that's NOT really what's going on," writes the Kid. The exchange on the comments page is vigorous and well worth your time.

In that comments string, Soldier's Dad quips, "Zeyad has eaten the fruits of 'NY Times Select', which is similar to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The term the 'Big Apple' comes to mind, as well as the 'Snake.'"


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