John Ray

Saddam Hussein grew up as a cadre in the highly ideological and dogmatic Ba'ath party structure. His speeches, from the time he entered government in 1968 until his demise, had a consistent ideological, pseudo-intellectual character, even if in the final decade a layer of Islamist rhetoric was added. From his first declarations to his last, he always presented the Arabs as the master race, whose history and accomplishments are glorious. He has always had a mystical belief in self-purification through violence, the notion that the soul is elevated through warfare and killing
And who created Saddam's Ba'ath Party? One Michel Aflaq:

MICHEL AFLAQ was born in Damascus in 1910, a Greek Orthodox Christian. He won a scholarship to study philosophy at the Sorbonne sometime between 1928 and 1930 (biographies differ), and there he studied Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, Mazzini, and a range of German nationalists and proto-Nazis. Aflaq became active in Arab student politics with his countryman Salah Bitar, a Sunni Muslim. Together, they were thrilled by the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party, but they also came to admire the organizational structure Lenin had created within the Russian Communist party.

Excerpts from The Weekly Standard.

Jason Soon in his post of December 2nd., 2002 has also taken up this theme and shows that Saddam was in fact thoroughly post-modernist! Excerpt:

In July 2002, Saddam delivered a speech in which he emphasised that all principles, even Ba'ath principles, are relative. "Truth" is determined by the revolution's immediate needs.

And that made him a very trendy Leftie! Truth is stranger than fiction.

And -- need we add? -- Saddam hated Jews too. Europe of the 1930s lives on in the Arab world. Except that Saddam himself said that Hitler was "too mild"! If you have the stomach to read it, there is/was some actual Ba'ath propaganda on the subject here. Excerpt:

Despite the lies and disinformation circulated in the Western press, Iraq is not run by a military dictatorship but by a progressive Arab nationalist government headed by Saddam Hussein, a lawyer by profession. Iraq has a national parliament which is responsible for the day to day functioning of the State and a constitutional framework that places supreme responsibility in the office of the President of the Republic.

And Saddam also had the Messianic delusions normally to be found in a Fascist or Communist ruler. Like Mao, Stalin or Mussolini he made sure his portraits were plastered up everywhere in Iraq. Like Mussolini and Hitler he also sought legitimacy in a pagan past. In Saddam's case he on occasions presented himself as a second Nebuchadnezzar. And a large part of the reason behind such behaviour would seem to be that Saddam was actually brought up in Nazi principles by someone who was a prominent Nazi sympathizer in World War II!

Ever since World War II the Western Left have all claimed to regard Fascism and Nazism as evil incarnate yet they also vigorously opposed to the bitter end all moves to oust Saddam. As Brookes News says:

The silent endorsement of Saddam's war crimes by the fake peace movement is fortunately highlighted by the indiscreet George Monbiot. This Marxist academic not only accused the US of being a war criminal, meaning Bush, but also claimed that "The five soldiers dragged in front of the cameras this week should thank their lucky stars they are prisoners not of the American forces fighting for civilisation, but of the 'barbaric and inhuman' Iraqis"

A regime that beats and murders POWs, uses civilians as shields, fakes surrenders, beheads women, shreds opponents, shoots down protestors and shells refugee is not barbaric and inhuman according to Monbiot. I always tell people who are rightly outraged by the lying likes of Monbiot that we should nevertheless be grateful to them because they inadvertently tell us what the left is really thinking. And it ain't pretty.

And, of course, as Keith Windschuttle points out at length in The New Criterion, that great hater, Noam Chomsky also thought that it is OK to have Jews being blown up left, right and centre but wrong to attack a murderous antisemitic and Fascist dictator such as Saddam.

So as Barry York, an Australian Maoist and former Vietnam peacenik put it:

"It is too late for the so-called Left in Australia to stand anywhere but condemned for its failure to support the successful war to liberate Iraq. It stood on the side of reaction, and the history books must place its leaders alongside the British pacifists of the '30s who, as George Orwell pointed out, gave comfort and objective support to Hitler. The pseudo-Left proved not just that it can be wrong but that in the name of anti-Americanism it can support fascism."

Or as the National Review said:

The left's neglect of Saddam's lengthy track record of hate and intolerance is baffling. Indeed, Saddam is a racist by the truest definition of the word: He hates certain groups, and even tries to murder people in those groups, precisely because of their mere race. Saddam is not a bigot because, say, he opposes racial profiling at airports. He is a bigot because he tries to exterminate entire groups of people based solely on their race. Some of his frightening actions constitute genocidal racism. Nowhere has Saddam's racism been more apparent than in his actions against Iraq's Kurdish minority, where his personal hatred of Kurds achieved horrific dimensions.

And, as Richard Pollock says:

Embedded reporters have filed stories of Iraqi soldiers shooting civilians and forcing teenagers at gunpoint to fight the war. Also, there are published reports of Iraqi women and children being executed by the Saddam-loyal Fedayeen. Such evidence (and more) reveals Iraq's human rights violations and continual breach of international laws that govern warfare. But you wouldn't know it if you listened to the "mainstream" human rights groups. They apparently can find abuses everywhere except in Iraq.

So how curious it all is! It does rather support the point I have made at length elsewhere about the historical affinity between Fascism and modern Western Leftism. Is the Left rediscovering its old prewar enthusiasms (which included antisemitism)? Has the "dog returned to its vomit", as the Bible puts it? No wonder the Western Left hated the idea of us attacking Saddam. He was one of them. They no more cared about his brutality than they cared about Stalin's brutality. Their "compassion" is yet again shown to be a sham. There is a clever article by Christopher Hitchens in Slate about Leftist betrayal of their own alleged principles when it comes to Iraq. His conclusion:

I believe that an armed assistance to the imminent Iraqi and Kurdish revolutions can not only make some durable friends, it can also give the theocrats and their despotic patrons something to really hate us for.

See also here for an account of the large similarities between Islam generally and Nazism.

Why the opposition to deposing Saddam?

But it was not only the hard Left who opposed the removal of Saddam. There was widespread opposition among Leftists of all kinds and degrees throughout the world. Jim Ryan at Philosoblog (post of March 22nd., 2003) became so despairing of the anti-war attitudes in Canada that he said that the antiwar people must be suffering from a mass mental illness.

Loss of reality contact is of course the prime symptom of psychosis and the thought that ANYONE could oppose the removal of one of the bloodiest butchers in history does make you wonder whether the "antiwar" people just cannot get in touch with that sort of reality. The alternative is to believe that they SUPPORTED Saddam's evils. So we are left with mass psychosis or mass sadism to explain the mass antiwar sentiments that defended Saddam even as his regime was tottering. Not a happy choice.

The third reason why "peace" protests in favour of Saddam were so widespread and durable, however, is clearly the most influential: Mass hatred of America. Given the world's long history of hatred towards other nations, that must be recognized as a powerful influence too. Even being the kindest, most ethical and and most generous nation in history (which America is) cannot deflect ancient hatreds like that. It is just lucky for Americans that they are big enough and strong enough to stand up to all that hatred directed against them.

Anyone who has read Helmut Schoeck's (1969) book on envy will understand very well why America is hated. Paradoxically, their kindness probably gets Americans hated even more than they otherwise would be: Because it too shows them up as being so much better than most other people. Quite simply, those with weak egos need to pull down America and American power in order to make themselves feel better. And similar protestors in America itself need to feel that they are wiser and better than those who lead America.

French support of Saddam

And a fourth reason for support of Saddam would seem to be, rather incredibly, his antisemitism. The most fervent protector of Saddam was undoubtedly France and antisemitism in France would appear to be widespread. French Synagogues are regularly attacked and individual Jews are regularly assaulted. And the French government response? They acknowledge verbal assaults only and pretend a booklet will cure it!

France's education ministry last month launched a campaign to stamp out anti-Semitism and other types of racism in schools. Education Minister Luc Ferry acknowledged that verbal insults are becoming common..... He introduced 10 measures to combat the problem, including the creation of a monitoring committee in Paris, the appointment of a team of mediators for the worst cases and the publication of a booklet

The "worst cases" get only mediation? As Cronaca says: "Apparently protecting the victims and punishing their attackers would be an unacceptably simplistic approach.

Just for contrast let us see what Jacques Chirac was saying at the same time about SMOKING in schools:

"I want to insist on one priority: the war on tobacco. The law will be applied without exception, notably in public places. We have got to ensure respect for the principle of tobacco-free schools," the president said.

Summary: You can beat up Jews but don't DARE smoke! The heirs of Marechal Petain and his Vichy government (the Nazi collaborators of World War II) live on and prosper in modern-day France.

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