Craving for the Untold Stories

During the first couple of days of the war in Iraq, I was following the progress of the war closely on-line and on NPR. I remembered my immense curiosity on what was happening from inside Iraq. Later when I came upon Where is Raed weblog, it moved me deeply. Salam illustrated vividly what happened to the ordinary Iraqis during the bombing and after. Still, I was thinking, someday someone from Saddam¡¯s camp would be writing a memoir detailing the other side of the story. I couldn¡¯t wait! I remembered German general¡¯s accounts of what had happened in the Hitler camp during WWII, so surely someday someone would come up with the full history of this war. Until then, all we knew were just half the story.

Today I read these from Where is Raed:

I want a fully functioning Saddam who will sit on a chair in front of a TV camera for 10 hours everyday and tells us what exactly happened the last 30 years. I do not care about the fair trial thing Amnesty Int. is worried about and I don’r really care much about the fact that the Iraqi judges might not be fullt qualified, we all know he should rot in hell. but what I do care about is that he gets a public trial because I want to hear all the untold stories

Thirty years of untold stories! I thought of Chairman Mao. What would he have told us if he was alive today? How many untold stories were forever lost when he passed away?

The untold stories would be so much valuable and intriguing then putting a bullet to Saddam’s head. All that information that probably only him alone knew. Why did he do what he did? What was his justification? Which kind of person is he, exactly? Wouldn¡¯t knowing that be so much more valuable than revenge? Or am I being too idealistic? He is, afterall, a dangerous man…

3 thoughts on “Craving for the Untold Stories

  1. Gui’s spanish teacher related a (conspiracy) theory of a friend of his: they captured Saddam a while ago but were waiting til xmas to present a gift to the American people.

    Saddam will probably get some form of justice. I wouldn’t hold my breath about truth being revealed. So much information can be considered vital to national security. His transcript will likely be dipped in black ink.

    I know this is not really relevant to your comment. But I like this quote and have been aching to find a reason to use it. So here it is:

    “the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its Superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.” –Samuel P. Huntington

  2. … if he’s even coherent and co-operative. I’ll lend you “Name Dropping” by John Kenneth Galbraith. He relates a story about an American who was involved with the detention factility where the high-level Nazis were held at the end of WWII awaiting trial. He wept after meeting these officers. He said (something like), we fought a valiant and noble fight against this band of lunatics and misfits? He had hoped that the bloodshed and sacrifice had been against an enemy who was dignified in some way.

    Your comments reminded me of a movie by Jean Renoir, called Grand Illusion. The friend who recommanded this movie to me also commented that WWI was the last war fought by gentlemen. From that point onward, the wars were largely going toward cruelty and thugery(sp?), no code of honor anymore.

    I don’t have a strong opinion in this regard.

    I won’t weep if Saddam turned out to be a thug and misfit. Maybe we would learn how far a modern dictator would go toward the abyss, and know for a fact how dark the darkside of human being could be. Either way, it is better to know than not to know. Maybe the current Admin will lock away all the truth. But someday they would get to see the light of day. That’s okay. I think.

  3. Here’s the quote from Name Dropping:

    On the day of which I tell, we were flying down the Moselle after an interrogation session with the high Nazis at Ashcan in Luxembourg. Knowing that he was deeply and intelligently curious about these men, I had arranged with the head warden to have him taken on the morning rounds of the prisoners – Goering, deep in drug withdrawal, and the other decayed, physically dilapidated largely depressing congregation. He returned sad and close to tears. Finally he told me the reason for his grief: “Who would have thought we were fighting the greatest war in history against that bunch of jerks?” I too reflected on this as the vineyards passed serenely below us.

    Thanks for the quote! On second thought, what would POW of Allies would have done if the war outcome was reversed? I mean, both parties believed in their cause, didn’t they? Only the “winning” reassured the winning party that their cause was “Just”. It could very well be the other way around, couldn’t it? Besides the warden didn’t get to meet these generals when they were generals, so really, these “jerks” had better days. He didn’t see them, but that didn’t mean those days didn’t exist, and maybe they weren’t “jerks” then. no?

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