Iraq: March 22, 2004

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Interviews with senior officials of Saddams government reveal that Saddam created his own reality, that differed considerably from what was really going on in the world. Saddam openly proclaimed the 1991 war as an Iraqi victory (because he was still running Iraq), and the expulsion of Iraqi troops from Kuwait was an orderly withdrawal ("we were leaving anyway"). Saddam, and many Iraqis, believed that the UN and especially the United States, had it in for Iraq because Iraqi stood up for Arab rights. Thus the UN embargo was not seen as punishment for Iraq's failure to uphold the agreement that ended the 1991 war, but a UN effort to "keep Iraqi down." Saddam believed, even after American and British forces entered Iraq on March 20, 2003, that his allies (bought with bribes and promises of large contracts) France, Russia and China would save him. Saddam always kept his secret police in top form, and they prevented anyone from seriously contradicting him. Americans are finding that Saddam was not the only Iraqi with delusions. These fanciful distortions of reality are quite common in Iraq, and throughout the Arab world. Not just disagreements of interpretation, but outright invention of motives and events (like accusing Americans of dropping a bomb when a suicide bombers car exploded and did the damage, because it is painful to believe that Americans, not Arabs, did the crime.)

 

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