Layla Anwar wrote a post in defense of Saddam, which is not surprising. But she made some good points, and of course some deceptive ones. She called it "Saddam Hussein's Iraq." As if Saddam owned the country. Well he certainly acted like he owned Iraq.
It's not surprising that Tony of the Palestinian Pundit (a Levantine Christian who moved to California in the 60s, like Sirhan Sirhan) has posted Layla Anwar's entire post. The Palestinians, along with most Sunni Arabs, seem to think Saddam was a cool cat. He safeguarded Iraqi Christians, who have been persecuted since the fall of Saddam. This is true.
Layla: "Did any of the Arab countries safeguard the rights of Arab Christians like Saddam's Iraq did ? The answer is a flat NO."
Here's where the deception begin: "Did any country in the Middle East/Arab world engage as many Shias in the political process as Saddam's Iraq did ? The answer is again a flat NO."
Engage the Shias in the political process? How? By imprisoning them and hanging them? By torturing them?
Layla wrote: "Over 60% of BOTH the Baath party as well as the leadership was Shia."
I've heard this repeated many times, and it's true. But no Shia ever reached Saddam's top brass, who were all Tikriti. There was never a Shia Vice President in "Saddam's Iraq". The current Vice President of Iraq is a SUNNI Arab.
Saddam mass murdered Iraqi Shia, Kurds, and killed any Sunni Arab who dare tell the truth about the criminality of Saddam's govt. And the Arabs kinda like the mass murderer. It is so embarrassing.
Vali Nasr summarizes the Iraqi Shia struggle under Saddam's rule:
"...Shias have never risen beyond the glass ceiling that separates them from the Sunni elite. A few, such as Saddam's last and highly colorful information minister, Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, rose to prominence. But they were tokens in a world where Shia feet never trod the real halls of power. Saddam Hussein liked to make much of the second part of his name before his Shia subjects - especially during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s - but he nevertheless characterized Shias as Iranian lackeys, and he periodically purged the Ba'th Party of its Shia members in order to make sure that the levers of state power and the banner of Arab nationalism remained firmly in Sunni hands. Shia privates filled the ragtag conscript ranks of Saddam's poorly equipped and ill-trained regular army, but the elite Republican Guards and Special Republican Guards were Sunnis almost to a man. "
I might add to this post later...