by MC5, December 15th, 2003
On December 13th, the bourgeois news agencies reported that U.$. troops captured Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq. The rulers of England, France and Germany all heralded this as "very good news for the people of Iraq," as Prime Minister Tony Blair of England said.(1)
82% of the Amerikkkan public thought the capture of Saddam Hussein was a "great achievement" according to a CNN/USA Today poll of 664 people.(2) Meanwhile, Brian Knowlton for the New York Times and International Herald Tribune quoted a political science professor who now thinks George W. Bush is "unbeatable"(3) in 2004 elections without major economic and war disaster. So it goes to prove that the formula of killing Third World people is ever-popular in the imperialist country populations.
Although numerous Republican conservatives complained that Democrats hated Bush more than Saddam Hussein(4), in fact, the Democratic Party celebrated Saddam Hussein's capture. This leaves only hard-line internationalists like us here at MIM asking who is better for Iraqi people, Saddam Hussein or George Bush.
In politics, George Washington warned America not to aggrandize itself at the expense of other nations and he fought against the colonial power England. Those who believe colonialism is not progressive share George Washington's opinion and thus believe that Saddam Hussein is better for Iraq than George Bush. However, let us leave behind the political generalities and look at the facts underlying those beliefs. The question should be whether George W. Bush is better for Iraq than Saddam Hussein or whether the imperialist countries have propagandized themselves into old-style colonialism.
The first thing we always hear Bush say about his justifications for what he does is that Iraq is not a "free country." Now supposedly Iraq is free of a "tyrant." Yet Bush heads a government with more prisoners percentage-wise than Saddam Hussein did. What is more, Saddam Hussein released all his in 2002 except for spies for I$rael and the united $tates (5) and within the united $tates, Texas had the highest imprisonment rate of all states when Bush was governor of Texas.(6)
Those propagandized but ignorant will then say that Saddam Hussein imprisoned people for acts of speech while the united $tates supposedly does not. This is a horribly ignorant view. First of all, the united $tates has more prisoners, and in no capitalist country do the rulers fail to make up an excuse for imprisoning their political opponents. In the social-fascist People's Republic of China, they do not say, "you are in prison for dissident speech." They say you are disturbing the peace, disrupting public order or inciting national hatreds. It's the same everywhere in the bourgeois republics.
Those countries with more prisoners, and especially those with longer sentences as in the united $tates, should be suspected of having more political prisoners. People with scientific integrity will look at the figures first and then ask the rulers to prove their point otherwise. The burden of proof should be on them.
Despite the claims of "patriotism" by the Bush-supporters, the only alternative view possible given the facts is that the Amerikkkan people deserve the world's highest imprisonment rate, because the rulers are so spotlessly clean and would not be imprisoning people for political reasons of an Amerikkkan variety. Mostly what the Amerikkkan rulers do (and British ones too since they lead Europe excluding Russia in imprisonment) is evade the question and spout propaganda.
The next problem for the Amerikkkan nationalist fools who believe the rhetoric about "freedom" is that Amerikkkan occupation forces in Iraq have been shooting and killing people at demonstrations. They have also prevented a free press from forming, going to the point of militarily attacking media that attempt independence in Iraq.(7)
In fact, the whole war on Iraq is organized killing of political opponents. According to Prime Minister Tony Blair's inflated estimate referring mostly to people suppressed or sacrificed during the long 1980s war with Iran and the uprising supported and then backstabbed by Bush Sr. after the 1991 war, Saddam Hussein killed 400,000 Iraqis.(8) In 24 years, that's 16,667 people per year and 46 people per day--again mostly people killed in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the war during which Donald Rumsfeld flew to Saddam Hussein to say he agreed with it.(9) Between the uprising that Bush Sr. backstabbed(10) and the Iran-Iraq war that Reagan and Rumsfeld supported, George W. Bush's party and family are on record agreeing with the causes that led to the vast majority of deaths under Saddam Hussein. That's not to mention that Saddam Hussein got his start killing communists with advice and money from the CIA(11) that Bush Sr. eventually headed.
Donald Rumsfeld (the U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2003) shaking hands with President Saddam Hussein, December 20, 1983.
Even if Bush-supporters agreed with most of Saddam Hussein's killing, it's still possible they would have done slightly less, so let's break down the killing done by the united $tates now in Iraq. According to figures from the Baghdad morgue, the invasion of Iraq has nearly tripled the mortality rate and led to more than 18 more deaths per day in Baghdad alone compared with before.(12) However, Baghdad is one fifth the population of Iraq, so in fact, we can extrapolate that the u.$. occupation is costing (since April when the fighting Bush planned ended) about 90 deaths per day. That is almost exactly double the number of deaths per day that Blair is accusing Saddam Hussein of as ruler of Iraq. However, the data we use would actually be much firmer than the data which groups like Amnesty International try to document in patches but never tally to the 400,000 figure Blair uses. In other words, there are other estimates of the civilian deaths in Iraq,(13) but there is a lot more wildness in Blair's estimate.
Thanks to the economic sanctions of Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr., there is also the matter that even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the united $tates was killing Iraqis without Saddam Hussein's assistance. Indeed, no one denies that Saddam Hussein sought actively to build business and black market ties that undermined the U.$. economic stranglehold on Iraq. According to the United Nations statistical agencies, the U.$. & British sanctions on Iraq caused millions of Iraqi children to go malnourished. Referring to 500,000 deaths, Secretary of State Madelaine Albright put it this way to Lesley Stahl: "I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it."(14)
We sympathize with people globally who in essence aspire to a world government that would not allow a Saddam Hussein. We proletarian internationalists believe such a world government can come about to the benefit of the world's people. However, people hoping for a more peaceful world government of the future should not allow Bush & Blair to sucker them into domination by a handful of powerful nations now. Allowing some sort of international action to replace Saddam Hussein is a case in point. Peace through extermination is the illusion of fascism and it will never work.
13. http://www.commondreams.org/views03/1114-02.htm ; One thing to be careful about in the 14Nov2003 Boston Globe article by Derrick Z. Jackson is that those estimates refer to deaths of Iraqis in less than a full year. To compare deaths with Saddam Hussein, we have to use the same unit of time, as in per day or per year.
See, also, http://www.prisoncensorship.info/archive/etext/rail/impkills.html#iraq
George W. Bush
|Iraqis killed by Saddam Hussein per day vs. Bush occupation (2003)||90||46|
|Number of juvenile convicts executed in the 1990s (2)||6 (USA as a whole)||0|
|% of parliament that is female (2001) (3)||13.3%||7.6%|
|Economic growth rate annually in Texas (1999-2000) and Iraq (1999) (4)||2.9%||18%|
Notes for the table:
1. While Bush was governor of Texas, Texas had the highest imprisonment rate in the united $tates, which is the country with the highest imprisonment rate in the world.
2. Source for execution of juvenile offenders:
Texas executed 12 of 20 juveniles executed in the united $tates in two decades.
Out of 80 on death row in the united $tates, 51 are people of color.
3. Source on females in parliament
In Texas, there have only been a total of 86 female legislators between 1923 and 1999. There were 6000 men. Nancy Baker Jones, Capitol Women. If someone had invaded Texas to speed up the progress of wimmin there, we would have supported that, but maybe Texans should have a little more sympathy for the Iraqi situation.
4. 18% figure from:
Saddam Hussein also posted figures averaging 13% economic growth from 1995-1999.
2.9% figure from: