Other Than the Homeland, What Else Is There?

Take for example the Bashar Assad and Saddam Hussein. Both were and are horrible men in many ways, but there is one thing I always respected about both Assads and Saddam. Both were members of the Baath Party. The Baath Party was one of the few patriotic parties in the Arab World. They stood for the Arabs ferociously against the invaders.
After the US invaded Iraq in 2003, I stood 100% behind Saddam. I remember when a farmer shot down a US helicopter with an old rifle. Saddam paid a visit to him, recorded on TV.
Later during the huge battle for the Baghdad Airport, a man said that Saddam appeared out of nowhere with his bodyguards. He just turned around, and there was Saddam.
Saddam said, “Look, I don’t care whether you hate me or like me or whether you support my government or not. Now is the time to fight for our country. Don’t fight for me. Forget about me. I am not important. Fight for Iraq.”
Then Saddam gave him his gun. The man said that Saddam even moved towards the battle and fired some rounds himself. The man grabbed the gun and ran to save the airport from the invaders who were waging a Nazi-like war of aggression on the homeland, the War Against the Iraqi people.
Then, eight days after Baghdad was conquered and the government vanished, Saddam mysteriously appeared outside a mosque in Adhamiya, a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad. He was soon mobbed by a large crowd of scores of men chanting his name. They hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him through the crowd. It was a brazen display of contempt for the new occupiers, and it was all recorded on cameras. Not only that, but the invaders never figured out where he came from or where he went afterwards.
One of the very first things the invaders did after they conquered Baghdad was to move towards the statue of Michael Aflaq, the founder of the Baath Party. Aflaq was a Christian. The Americans wanted to topple the statue but they wanted Iraqis to do it, not Americans. But they had a hard time finding Iraqis who wanted to tear down the statue as Aflaq is a hero to most Iraqis.
Finally they found some country-sellers from Chalabi’s party to do it.
The Americans wanted to tear down Aflaq’s state first of all since Aflaq was an Arab nationalist, a patriot. There is nothing America hates more than true nationalists and patriots, especially in the Third World. America wants satellite and colonies and little else. Anyone who steps out of line will be destroyed. This was the statement that was made by toppling the statue of Michael Aflaq.
Really, after the love of the homeland, what else is there?

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One thought on “Other Than the Homeland, What Else Is There?”

  1. Dear Robert
    The Baath rulers had several virtues:
    1 – They were secular. Repressive though their regimes may have been, they didn’t persecute people for their religious beliefs. Many Baath people were Christians.
    2 – They provided order, although a repressive one, and also public safety. It was dangerous to be a dissident in their countries, but crime was low.
    3 – They vastly improved education, for both sexes.
    3 – They gave far more rights to women than Islam stipulates.
    4 – They created welfare states.
    To say that Saddam Hussein and Hafez al Assad had only a negative record is quite wrong. Under their rule, Iraq and Syria were anything but failed states. As an example of their religious tolerance, in Syria, Christian civil servants could get Saturday and Sunday off, even though the weekend in Syria consists of Friday and Saturday.
    The slogan of the Baath party was: national unity above religious division. The slogan of Islamic fundamentalists is: religious unity above national division. I rather have the first.
    Regards. James

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