Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Undoing Saddam's Damage

The damage inflicted on Iraq by Saddam Hussein goes well beyond the hundreds of thousands murdered, and the countless others tortured, maimed and brutalized by his regime, as horrific as these crimes are. The psychological impact of the suffocating repression inflicted by Saddam's "Republic of Fear" has been enormous. Despite bringing in over $21 billion in illegal oil revenues, the regime allowed Iraq's physical infrastructure to deteriorate. Even the environment bears the scars of Saddam's rule. In the early 1990's, the Baathists drained Iraq's rich southern marshes, and deported their Marsh Arab inhabitants. A centuries-old way of life was destroyed.

In the two years since Iraq's liberation, an effort has begun to restore the southern marshes. Tuesday's New York Times has a terrific article on the status of this campaign:

For Iraq's Great Marshes, a Hesitant Comeback

Sadly, the marshes can never be restored to what they were. Still, the effort is an important sign that the Republic of Fear is being replaced by a Republic of Hope.


Post a Comment

<< Home