Took you long enough

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by PartTimePongo, Apr 4, 2003.

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  1. Is it just me... or....

    When seeing reports on TV of the coalition bulldozing (with tanks) through huge pictures of Saddam, and also removing portraits from the walls of houses / offices etc... this seems to me quite strange. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favour of his regime at all. But is the possession of a picture of the current leader of your country a crime?

    Reminds me of a BBC report a few days back. British troops were speaking to an Iraqi professional (and by that I mean doctor / lawyer, something like that, altho I can't remember which) and the BBC asked the Iraqi "What do you think of Saddam?"
    Iraqi: He is my president.
    BBC: For how long, do you think?
    Iraqi: I don't know, but I will still keep his picture on my wall. I'll remove it if he is no longer president. Or if someone removes it by force...

    With that the British Army officer stood on a chair, reached up and removed it.

    Hang on. That's not right. I can't get my head around it. I understand that Saddams regime is perpetuated by propaganda, but does that include a picture that someone has on his wall? Or am I overlooking some law (I'm a bit ignorant!) that Saddam has laid down: that his picture must be displayed in every room / house?

    I just found it slightly.. insulting (to the Iraqis).
  2. I must admit that while I felt the same as you do when I saw that, it does have a practical application too. Removing the pictures was to show that he is no longer the 'boss' and therefore further support and action against the coalition was pointless. In that respect it was right.

    At the same time though, I think we must question why the Iraqi's no longer have the right to support who and what regime they like, and really, it is the coalition who have removed those rights. It seems strange that here in the UK people are allowed to give support, tacit or otherwise, to Saddam and his regime in Iraq, but the people of Iraq don't have the same right.. It must make a mockery of the notion that this is a war of liberation, when the whole point of liberation is to give people the rights which we are, prima facae, taking from them.

    It won't happen, but let's suppose when the war is over that the Iraqi's decide in their first democratic election to elect the Baath party to power. Do we call these elections null and void because we decide who is allowed to be elected? And if so, what kind of free democracy is Iraq?

    Some interesting hypotheticals there.
  3. I think shotgun you have hit the nail on the head.
    we are imposing a domocracy on Iraq, but itsAmerica's (our's) kind of damocracy and it sometimes doesnt work for all. The same could be said here, perish the thought BUT, what if the BNP gained power here, would old tone and the rest just shrug their shoulders and say well thats democracy, not on your nelly.
    And this is why you cannot/should not impose YOUR opinion of democracy on other people, but if that is the case our cousins over the pond are going to busy over the next decade or two sorting the world out!!!
  4. Thanks - I think some of you have explained things better than I could've!

    The other thing I was concerned about - related to the above - and I actually just forgot to mention it (It's been bothering me all afternoon!) was that this enforced removal of pictures, and great haste to destroy all remnants of the regime, makes me think of Nazi Germany.

    Again, I'm no expert, so I guess someone will advise. But, I've heard it said that German schools teach only "select" history of the Nazi regime as part of the curriculum. Please do correct me if I'm wrong on that point (as the rest of my concern is based on this). Isn't it true that we should learn fully about the mistakes of the past in order to avoid them happening again?

    I know we have fantastic media resources in order to remember Saddam Hussein and his rule, but the total eradication of everything? Every monument? Everything which was ever called after him being renamed?

    I don't mean to relate it to Germany again (and in fact this is just coincidental) but look how pleased we (cos I was there!) all were to rip down the Berlin Wall at the end of the Cold War, only for it now to be a preserved stretch of 100 meters of concrete. That's all that remains of something that is a major part of a city, two countries, Europe, super-powers.

    And even on the Nazi subject - wasn't it Nurenburg or somewhere like that (sorry to be so vague) where huge displays of the strength of their fighting forces were held, only now the building is falling to pieces, crumbling, covered with grafitti.

    Lest we forget, I guess.
  5. Let's just hope that the Spams aren't enforcing their own particular brand of democracy on Iraq... i.e. the kind of where an unelected idiot gets to be the main man, by virtually rigging the election results!