Thursday, August 21, 2008

House of Saddam

The discipline of history has the therapeutic effect of confronting phantoms, revealing the truths about ourselves and helps to settle differences. It is time now for historians, and especially Iraqi historians, to investigate the moment of Saddam Hussein in their history.
The BBC's four-episode mini-series called "House of Saddam", which dramatises the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein, was a good start.

Questions: To what extent did Saddam fracture Iraq? In retrospect, how many would espouse his melenial nationalism? Was he a megalomaniac with a thirst for absolutism, or was he responding to what he thought were political realities? Was did his hanging achieve? What was his relationship to the United States? Did his tyranny justify the 2003 invasion?

These are some of the many questions that historians need to study to reconcile Iraq to some of the dominant features of its history.


William said...

The thing I noted was how one-dimensional this short four part mini-series was. Characterisation was unsubtle. Saddam was unreservedly evil. Tariq Aziz unreservedly good. I didn't know Saddam but I knew Tariq and he wasn't always Mr nice guy.

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