Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, March 28, 2003

A very informative and indsightful letter to the editor at the Times UK.

Sir, Thirty years ago last month, I sneaked into the Kurdish region of Iraq from Turkey to report (for the BBC World Service) on the hill farmers there who expected Saddam Hussein to launch his first war on them.
A year later, Saddam, the Vice-President of Iraq, had wiped out all the villages in which I had stayed, to the extent that I was never again able to trace any of the people whose valour had made a great impression on me.

Despite the atrocities that Saddam inflicted on the Kurds in the next six years until he became President of Iraq in 1979, no one thought that he would become any larger than the average Middle Eastern dictator. We certainly did not expect him to become the vilest mass-murderer in the history of the region since Tamerlane in the 14th century. But we should have known better. He told his first biographer:

I want every Iraqi to think of Nebuchadnezzar every day . . . we could go to Israel once more and bring all the Jews back here in Babylon with their hands tied beyond their backs.

The 35-year Baathist nightmare of Iraq is thankfully coming to an end but with weapons of mass killing being available to any psychopath with sufficient money and determination, should we not pay more attention to local bullies before they become major tyrants? At the very least, we could deny them aid and association early in their careers.

Yours sincerely,

< email | 3/28/2003 09:57:00 PM | link

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