So Long, Saddam

Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to hang.

How do I feel about that? I don’t really like to talk about the impending death of anyone. I’ll be honest that I am a pacifist. I think it is difficult to be in the medical profession, especially in the role of a nurse, and not be a pacifist. However, I do not feel any sorrow for Saddam.

I’ve seen his handiwork in Kuwait. I was there after the first Gulf War and I saw firsthand what the Iraqi invasion did to the country. Saddam hurt his own people – the Marsh Arabs, the Kurds, all Iraqis – to an even greater extent. He is a mad, mad man and he deserves his punishment.

My time in China was blissfully free of reality. I hardly heard a word about the war in Iraq, and if I did it was in Chinese and I couldn’t understand it. I think to some extent I purposefully walled myself off from the war – I had internet access after all. Only recently have I started to listen to news channels again. Only recently have I paused on Iraq stories. Only recently did I find a world of blogs that shared Iraqi viewpoints. (Iraqis on Global Voices)

There are many horrific things happening in the world right now, and there are no easy answers to any of the conflicts. It is all so complex that I am reminded of why I chose not to pay attention while in China.
It all feels hopeless. The execution of Saddam should have brought a sense of justice to the Iraqis who suffered under his rule, but with no sense of calm, safety, nor end to the war, I’m afraid it is an empty victory.


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