The Corner

Before Iraq Was Saddam’s

From Ralph Peters’ column in America’s Newspaper of Record today:

“Saddam didn’t just ravage the physical infrastructure — he wrecked the moral infrastructure, too. The recovery will be long and often painful. But the patient wants to get better, something that’s easily lost amid skewed headlines.”

From David Pryce-Jones’s The Closed Circle: An Interpretation of the Arabs, writing about the pre-Saddam period:

“Mosul, Kirkuk, Sulaimaniya, where there are large Kurdish elements, as well as the holy Shia cities of Najaf and Karbala, have consequently experienced one atrocity after another in a succession of attempted coups and uprisings, massacres, assassinations, and communal bloodletting. Prisons and detemtion centers–Qar al-Nihaya, or the Palace of the End, for instance–have acquired the most sinister reputation. Nothing limits outrage…”


“In 1963, a group of Baathist army officers tortured and assassinated General Qassim. This was done on Iraqi television. They also mutilated many of Qassim’s devotees and showed their bodies (in close up) on the nightly news for more than one night. Saddam, hearing the news, quickly rushed back to Iraq to become involved in the revolution.”

[Derb] That wicked Saddam, ruining all that fine moral infrastructure!


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