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The Well And Absolute Power

If the crimes the regime committed during 35 years on the behalf of partisans, the opposition, the people, the Iranians and the Kuwaitis, and the destruction of a wealthy country's resources, we would definitely have more questions to ask: was the war really without ground? Do nations despising human rights have the right to claim supremacy under international law?
The Well And Absolute Power
Bechara Nassar Charbel, Dar Al-Hayat, 2003/04/15

The cameras didn't only expose the truth about Saddam's regime; they also exposed the concept of absolute power. Between the scenes of the well, where a number of Iraqis thought their loved ones were buried, and the right of dictatorship to power, there is a revolting relation we can no longer hide, and a coercive cohabitation that no nationalist slogans, no matter how important they get, and no international law based on jurisdiction, can excuse.

We knew the nature of Saddam's regime, but we considered it to be a nation's reality that would eventually come to an end. When Washington talked about war, we said that Saddam was a dictator who had to resign. But the war has no grounds and no international legitimacy; the U.S. administration's hawks led it under the title "the (unacceptable) war of safety."

Until a few days ago, we were glad about the fall of Saddam's regime, reserved about the threats of a foreign occupation on Iraq, and suspicious about the true goals and a democracy carried on the back of tanks. As we celebrated the destruction of statues, we were wondering about the complications that could arise between races, sects and regions, complications affecting Iraq's unity and the region's stability as a whole. We were holding our breaths while watching the demonstrations in Saddam city, with Shiite slogans being raised, and the troops of Moqtada al-Sadr opening the way to conflicts by assassinating al-Khoei; as for the people of Mosul, their hostility towards the Kurds was awakened, not forgetting the looting that spares any no private property or museum.

All the crimes committed by the regime and that deserve to be severely punished are not stopping us from wondering about the fate of an Arab country that is practically falling under a foreign tutorial, while waiting for a nationalist power to win over the tyrant and restore internal order. The crimes aren't stopping us from wondering about the regional role that post-Saddam Iraq will have, if the powerful American control continues to incite further Israeli extremism. We are most certainly worried about this country losing the supremacy it needs to regain a threatened internal unity, and to adjust to an Arab environment where it needs to play an active role.

Until last Saturday, many were a prey of attraction between the ecstasy of salvation from "The Thief of Baghdad" and the fear from the unknown fate of Iraq; between the bitterness of admitting the incompetence of the Arab world to take a courageous move pushing the criminal to step-down and save the country from war, and the academic speech about the nations' supremacy, the refusal of any external interference and the right of the people to change their leader from the inside. Until last Saturday, it was possible for some excited pro-Saddam Arab personalities, newspapers and cable broadcasting channels to talk about "a wasted dignity" or "a new disaster" or "April's reversion." But the horrifying images broadcast on television screens became much stronger than the slogans, the emotions and the speeches of resistance and of expelling the occupation, much more powerful than legal jurisdictions and theories defending the nations' right to supremacy regardless of the regime's nature. These images made us reconsider many facts.

CNN and Al-Manar TV were the first to broadcast the gripping images of people searching for their loved ones, of their relatives in the security centers in Baghdad. We will never forget the looks on the faces of those staring in the well shouting and hoping to hear the whispering replies of some prisoner in the dark underground prisons of Saddam. We will never forget how some tried to dig, in search for secret exits from these prisons. We will never forget the stories, even imaginary ones, telling about voices of people asking: did the regime of the first-born end?

It is enough to see a distressed father holding the pictures of his two sons, whose fate he knows nothing about, shouting in the well hoping they will hear him. It is enough to see a mother holding the picture of her son who disappeared 18 years ago. If these distressful sights are added to the crimes the regime committed during 35 years on the behalf of partisans, the opposition, the people, the Iranians and the Kuwaitis, and the destruction of a wealthy country's resources, we would definitely have more questions to ask: was the war really without ground? Do nations despising human rights have the right to claim supremacy under international law? Would Iraqis be living in the shadow of a regime that has immunity or of a jurisdiction that has become necessary and legitimate to do away with?

After the images of the well, and the echo of people's screams and the cries of the distressed, the speech about a legitimate war and the competence of a nation that didn't respect human rights demanding ultimate supremacy, has unfortunately become appealing. This is happening in full disregard of the humiliated dignities' shrieks, the shifting of international law, and, in Iraq's case, an international jurisdiction, which was used by opportunists and crime gangs.

homepage: homepage: http://english.daralhayat.com/OPED/14-04-2003/Article-20030414-8e09a585-c0a8-01fc-004a-5df97a153f28/story.html

all of the changes 12.Sep.2005 10:05

jane doe

i really hated this site but i would disagree that this should have not happened