Jul 28, 2011

Saddam post Arab Spring

I attended the screening of the Iraqi film "Son of Babylon" yesterday at the RFC, it takes you in a journey of a child and his grandmother in the search for her son (the child's father) who has been missing for 9 years, they travel across Iraq to reach the prison where it is believed he is being held, the events take place 3 weeks after the "Fall of Saddam" as the film makers chose to put it. I have mixed feelings about the film itself and what it sparked in me, bear with me..

I would say this has been one of the most shocking films I've ever watched, not because I learned something I didn't know existed before through it, but because it made me realize that I have developed an immunity - especially in the earlier period of the American invasion - towards any news and new discoveries regarding let's say, mass graves found in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. In the film, you see the agony of this woman (who in reality is still searching for her missing husband till this day, she's not a professional actress) and the little kid crossing Iraq to reach an empty jail, with no track of the man they've been hoping to find, the bar is lowered then and the hope is to find him injured or disabled, but luck isn't exactly on their side, the bar is lowered again and Hope becomes "a body in a mass grave", they go through one after another, as the news spread that a new mass grave has been discovered somewhere, they rush to it and keep looking, they don't find him. The bar is so low now, they just want anything, any information any hope of finding him dead or alive, they just want to know, but they don't. Mind you, the families who managed to find their loved ones in one of these mass graves weren't feeling so cheerful themselves. You'd have to be 0% human being not to be moved by that, and I couldn't but think at the time: The Israeli occupation didn't do that, not on that systematic scale at least. How can you not condemn that? How could you still view Saddam as a hero? and how the hell did I manage to look away from these facts all these years?  I guess it's because I was so sad and mad about the fall of Baghdad and the whole American intervention, and the fact that we as a nation -correct me if I'm wrong please- had given Saddam a permanent get out of jail card because of his nationalist Arab stands, for those reasons I believe I didn't allow those crimes to sink in, I didn't even try to comprehend the atrocity, I just refused the "allegations"...  what the fuck is that about.. what was wrong with me!!! Today there is a piece of news with a video of Saddam released to the 1st time posted on Khaberni, go read the comments, it's not only me apparently, although I never thought of him as the Messiah like some of those commentators, neither do I think Iraq is doing okay or any better, neither will I ever be happy about the American invasion and the fall of Baghdad which will remain one of the days I'll never forget in my life, but I always thought of him as two Saddams; Saddam the Arab, and Saddam the Iraqi, I knew the latter was a horrible person, a tyrant, a dictator, criminal, you name it, but then again Saddam the Arab managed to make me look away... I don't know! This man is worthy of long studies, I just can't wrap my head around it! HOW!? WHY?!

I was telling my friend after the screening that I think people will look at Saddam differently post Arab Spring, he's just like Gaddafi and Al Asad, how do we feel about them now? we want them to go to hell, that broken record of freeing Palestine and shit doesn't sell these days, and I would've wanted Iraqis to topple him, but reading those comments today just knocked me off again!! Is it because people feel he was unfairly prosecuted and executed? did he represent hope (to everyone except for his people)? was he Salah El Deen for us? I'm confused, just think of the 100s of thousands still missing till this day, just imagine to find a loved one in a mass grave. But to be fair, people don't give much shit about Sabra and Shatila massacre either.

The film of course didn't blame anything on the Americans for any of the destruction their fighter jets caused, the producer's answer was weak and didn't know what to say when asked about it, it's true we hear a man saying they're dogs, they're pigs, but let's not kid ourselves, those 23049324902314823109482134 international sponsors who filled your pocket with money didn't give you the money to talk about the Americans.

what a cluttered post is this I know! it's a true presentation of my chain of thoughts thinking about this matter!.
What do you think?