The Devil We Knew

Why the world was better off with Saddam Hussein

Unfortunately for the U.S. and the world writ large, it seems that not learning from errors of the past have not only come back to haunt, but literally terrorize us and the world, most especially those in the Middle East who want peace. The theory I pose is simply this; we were better with Saddam Hussein and his iron grip on Iraq, which tended to keep his neighbors in line somewhat as well because he scared the sh** out of them.

After the first Gulf War, he was not even a paper tiger. He was deranged and declawed and absolutely no threat to us, or quite honestly, anyone. He had rattled his sabre by invading Kuwait which didn’t even have an organized Army, and within 48 hours his revered “Republican Guard” were throwing down weapons and surrendering to anyone who looked remotely American. That was that.

9/11 changed our mindset about what was out there when we realized that terror could reach our shores, hearts and souls. So we went along like a bunch of dipsh*** being conned into a war to take out Saddam because of the “stockpiles of chemical weapons” intel from some Iraqi code named “Curveball” assured us were hidden all over the country. Never mind that al Qeuda and Osama bin Laden had planned, funded, directed and carried out the attacks from Afghanastan. By the time the Bush snow job was blown, within a week after the attacks a full 83% of Americans believed Saddam was behind it, giving us carte blanche to “rid the world of these evildoers” while the actual culprit, who should have been fairly easy to locate (how many 6’8″ Arabs dragging a dialysis machine and accompanied by a small army could there be?).

But no, we take out Saddam because he has used chemical weapons against his own people. We fail to mention that those same chemical weapons, actually chemical and conventional, had come from us to aid him in his war with Iran. Almost like a really bad soap opera in that the situations seem so ludicrous that surely they can’t be as they seem. But be as they seem they are. Now, ISIS has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, slaughtering anything and anyone that gets in their way on their self professed quest to establish a “Muslim Caliphate ruled by the most barbaric tenets of Sharia Law” across the entire region.

Assad is barely hanging on and when and if he does fall, so do an estimated 3 million Syrian Christians that the Assads have protected as part of the coalition that has kept them, as minority Alawite Muslims, in power and not the majority Shia and Sunni who will, upon gaining control, leave not a christian infidel standing.

When we removed Saddam Hussien, evil bastard, brutal dictator, hellbound sinner et al, we created the vacuum for ISIS, which is simply a group of blood thirsty thugs looking to up the ante at every step. Hussein didn’t stay in power for 4 decades by being stupid. He was an a**hole but he always tempered it with being a politically wily fellow who knew how to walk the tightrope.

We also have the humanitarian disaster on our hands of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in filthy, cholera infested border camps, where most estimates say 300,000 have been misplaced and the number grows daily. The World Hunger Eradication Program director told me “I would conservatively estimate 100 children die of starvation alone daily in the camps, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of people dying daily from cholera and other disease, and of course, constant ISIS attacks to kill the people and steal what meager resources there are”.

Had we gone after and gotten bin Laden in, say, 2002, kept the sanctions on Hussien and worked to rebuild Afghanistan with partners in the region do you think you would have ever even heard of ISIS? Saddam Hussien would have smothered them in the womb. He would be a thorn in our side for sure, maybe for many years. But would that not be better than the absolute unmitigated cauldron of chaos and murder and barbarism the region has turned in to? As most old adages, this one is certainly true in this case: Sometimes you are better off with the devil you know. It seems that the much celebrated “Arab Spring” of recent memory, and all the hopes that it carried, have devolved rapidly in to a long cold winter.

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