2002 October 05 Saturday
Saddam: Village Chieftain of a State

A lot of people fail to understand a person like Saddam Hussein because they can not imagine just how much differently someone can think than they do. This essay by Mark Bowden from the May 2002 issue of The Atlantic Monthly shows Saddam as an absolutely brutal village chieftain who is a student of Joseph Stalin's approach to ruling:

In al-Bazzaz's view, Saddam embodies the tribal mentality. "He is the ultimate Iraqi patriarch, the village leader who has seized a nation," he explained. "Because he has come so far, he feels anointed by destiny. Everything he does is, by definition, the right thing to do. He has been chosen by Heaven to lead. Often in his life he has been saved by God, and each escape makes him more certain of his destiny. In recent years, in his speeches, he has begun using passages and phrases from the Koran, speaking the words as if they are his own. In the Koran, Allah says, 'If you thank me, I will give you more.' In the early nineties Saddam was on TV, presenting awards to military officers, and he said, 'If you thank me, I will give you more.' He no longer believes he is a normal person. Dialogue with him is impossible because of this. He can't understand why journalists should be allowed to criticize him. How can they criticize the father of the tribe? This is something unacceptable in his mind. To him, strength is everything. To allow criticism or differences of opinion, to negotiate or compromise, to accede to the rule of law or to due process—these are signs of weakness."

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 05 05:03 PM  Axis Of Evil


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