Imagine a world where a powerful Arab state with a strong Sunni President was able to de-facto isolate Iran from the Levant. Imagine a world where this strong Arab state had no love for Syria, had mutually indifferent relations with Turkey, but like Turkey a willingness to cooperate with the west.
One needn’t imagine such a state because this was Iraq under Saddam Hussein, a man whose legacy remains deeply polarising throughout the Arab world, hated in Iran due to his aggression against the Iranian nation and perversely missed in some quarters of “Israel” in spite of Saddam’s strongly pro-Palestinian policies.
Out of all the leaders that the US has overthrown or tried to overthrow since 1999, Saddam stands out from the rest. Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milošević’s reputation has, if anything become more cherished among patriotic Serbs since his overthrow, not least because Serbia’s current leadership seems far too willing to make compromises with the unrepentant European killers of Serbian civilians.
Libyans continue to rally in increasing numbers around Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, as even anti-Gaddafi ideologues admit that the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was a successful state while today’s post-NATO Libya is one of the most dangerous failed states in modern history. US attempts to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad have not only failed, but in failing, many including in the west realise that al-Assad is a secular, progressive and capable leader while his opponents are Takfiri jihadist killers whose only accomplishments are slaughtering those they deem to be ‘impure’.
Saddam, however, is different from all of these leaders. Iraq’s Shi’a majority population is divided between those who continue to loathe him and those who while disagreeing with his positions on Iraqi Shi’as, admit that he was a capable leader who held the country together effectively against tremendous odds.
In Syria, many remain indifferent to a man who prohibited Syria-Iraq unity due to the failure to reconcile the Syria-Iraq Ba’ath Party schism of 1966. On the other hand, Syrians acknowledge that with Saddam in power, ISIS and al-Qaeda would never have been able to get an easy foothold in Syria.
Saddam is universally reviled in Iran as an aggressor due to his invasion of 1980. However, in 2003, the Islamic Republic fully opposed the illegal US ‘regime change’ invasion of Iraq and continue to criticise US actions in Iraq, even though these actions ultimately brought a pro-Iranian government to power.
Most curiously, while in the 1980s Saddam was considered one of the primary “enemies” of the Zionist regime, in today’s “Israel” where Iran and the wider Arab Resistance (Lebanon, Syria and Iraq) are seen as ‘enemy number one’, some reports from Zionist websites indicate Tel Aviv’s willingness to restore a Saddam style regime in Iraq. Although these reports do not technically reflect the official position of the Zionist regime, the fact that Iraq’s government in 2018 supports the Resistance and supports Iran, while Saddam’s government fought Iran while supporting Palestine, means that in the mercenary world that is Zionist politics, Saddam now looks like a preferred option.
It is however in the United States where the ghost of Saddam will continue to haunt generations of future political and military leaders. The Middle East is now shaped by an alliance which includes Iran, Iraq, Syria and most of Lebanon. The fact that Iran, Iraq and Turkey are also all partners among themselves as well as partners with Russia, means that an anti-western grouping has formed in the new north of the Middle East. If and when Syria is able to reconcile with Turkey and Pakistan is able to rekindle a friendly relationship with Iran (something which looks highly likely), an unbroken ‘pro-eastern’ alliance could realistically stretch from Punjab to the Mediterranean.
Saddam was for all intents and purposes, the biggest stumbling block in such a chain of partners, not least because Iran would have never reconciled with a Saddam led Baghdad while the Ba’ath party split seemed to have no end in sight. With Saddam gone, the once unthinkable is now reality, one that the US is doing everything it can to destroy. From threatening Iran with economic war and military conflict and Iraq because of its good relations with Iran, to threatening Syria because of its good relations with Iran amongst other things, relations that have been enhanced due to a clear road from Iran to Syria via a friendly Iraq, the crux of Zionist/American policy in the region is all aimed at re-creating a reality that existed when Saddam sat in the Presidential palace in Baghdad.
Furthermore, while the NATO war of aggression on Yugoslavia was criminally underreported and the NATO war on Libya was something of a slaughter and run operation as characterised by the wicked remarks of Hilary Clinton who said of Libya’s revolution leader “we came, we saw, he died”, the US invasion and occupation of Iraq was covered extensively in the media and its protracted nature remains a prominent feature even in the discourse of pro-US media.
The illegal US war on Iraq remains something of the ‘granddaddy’ of US regime change wars, even though it was not the most recent (that would be Libya), nor was it the first war of this style in the post-Cold War era (that would be Yugoslavia).
Making things all the more haunting, although Milošević signed the Dayton Accords next to smiling US diplomats in 1995 and Gaddafi agreed to reopen relations with the west in 2003, it was Saddam who in the 1980s was a better friend to the west than either Milošević or Gaddafi.
Saddam fought a decade long war with a larger nation, partly at the behest and certainly with the full public support of the United States, Britain, France and West Germany. He did so happily and at the time the western powers were very happy with Saddam. Saddam after all did everything they wanted. They had no reason not to be happy. But when the war ended in an effective stalemate Saddam was not only chewed up and spit out but he was remodelled into a public enemy number one, even as US diplomats led Saddam to believe he had an effective US green light to take action against Kuwait.
This is indicative of the chaotic nature of the about face in the US regime of 1990 in respect of Saddam. While some in the US were ready to turn Saddam into the enemy, others clearly still saw him as a useful asset in the region.
Today, many in the US could use such an asset, although the continued failure of the US blood-soaked policies, speak to the fact that Saddam II is nowhere to be found and never will be. Ironically, the Zionist regime’s hatred of Saddam led to many in Tel Aviv hoping for a narrow Iranian victory in the Iran-Iraq war. Some reports which have always been rejected by Iran, indicate that Israel covertly armed Iran in the 1980s.
This illustrates that the US betrayal of Saddam in 1990, was yet another instance of the Zionist tail wagging the US dog. The irony for the contemporary leaders in Washington and Tel Aviv, is that they had more of what they wanted under Saddam than they do now, certainly in respect of Iran’s position in the Middle East, the position of the Resistance in the Middle East and even to a degree the position of Turkey. It is difficult to imagine Saddam and Erdogan seeing eye to eye for a number of reasons, although today, Baghdad and Ankara once again have healthy relations, in spite of the turbulence of recent years.
Saddam was many things to many people and his brutal death shocked and angered even many of his strident opponents. While the Middle East moves on and Iraq becomes increasingly confident in its new partnerships with Iran, Syria, Turkey and Russia, the US will continue to be haunted by the fact that many of their troubles in the Middle East are due to the fact that they betrayed a man who had done everything they wanted and all because the Zionist regime of the 1980s and 1990s loathed Saddam.
The US and “Israel” wanted Iraq as a prize, instead Iraq was their curse and the beginning of the end of the hegemonic American empire. This is a rare instance where both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the ghost of Saddam are sharing the last laugh.