Yesterday, 06:59 PM
written by neil clark
saturday april 29, 2017
What would have happened had there been no Iraq War in 2003 and Saddam Hussein had stayed in power? Where would we be today?
It’s the 28th of April 2017. Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq, now a member state of the newly reconstituted United Arab Republic (with Syria and Egypt), is celebrating his 80th birthday. There are big processions on a gloriously sunny and very hot day in Baghdad. Among visiting foreign heads of state was Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who joked that if Saddam gave up smoking Cohibas and started drinking herbal teas he might even live to be as old as him. However, Western leaders boycotted the celebrations, with British Prime Minister Theresa May – who says (at least ten times a day) that she supports a “strong and stable government” in the UK, denouncing Saddam as a “despicable tyrant.” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson went even further, calling Saddam “a dreadful mugwump thingymujig.”
State television shows Saddam’s favorite movie, The Sound of Music, on a loop. In his address to the nation, the grey-haired Iraqi strongman, now appearing old and quite frail, looks back at his time in power and identifies the avoidance of war in 2003 as a major turning point. A planned US-led invasion of Iraq was averted by mass public protests, an unprecedented level of civil disobedience in Western countries, and threats of mutinies from soldiers, who refused to take part in an illegal enterprise.