Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Saddam Hussein- Martyr?

History has always been that of the victorious. Most of the historical accounts from ancient times has always been from the view point of those whose armies were stronger. The printing press changed that a little bit. You could leave traces and that could be preserved. But inspite of that most of what you get to hear is from the winning side. (A kind of survivor bias). Of course countries like India with trace of formal documentation are even worse with no records. All this has changed in the era of the internet. All you need is someone who is willing to provide a ringside view at the time of war and you have history. The veracity of what is being told is not really a big issue(unless there are blatant loopholes) as long as a audience is hearing you. Be it through blogs, webcasts or plain old e-mails.

In this context Saddam Hussein may end up being a martyr. Yes, that is true. A man responsible for two wars, religious persecution of Shias, chemical warfare on Kurds and a crazy despot would become a martyr, how? Because of his image of defiance. He had taken on America which wanted oil and was hanged through a farce trial only because he was Muslim (sunni). Thats the conclusion most people are bound to make when they look back all the drama that led to his execution. Taking him to a International Court of Justice would have raised uncomfortable questions for US. Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Who provided Saddam with the chemical weapons and all his conventional arsenal? Where are his links to Al-Qaeda? So, the simple solution for to hang him.

Maybe he will be just a footnote. But as long as his image is doing the rounds on the net, his history as a figure who defied US is made. Till an alternative image comes out, the people on the streets of middle east have their decisions already made.

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