Posted by Sadie from ? (220.127.116.11) on Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 5:39PM :
In Reply to: Bakko: Saddam has changed Iraq for the worse posted by Jeff from d53-237-236.try.wideopenwest.com (18.104.22.168) on Sunday, January 26, 2003 at 2:24PM :
Iraq was an emerging 1st world nation until the Gulf War & sanctions.
1.) "In 1972, Iraq nationalized its oil industry... Before the six weeks of air attacks known as the Gulf War (which ended in February 1991), Iraq’s standard of living was the highest in the Middle East. Iraqis enjoyed free medical care and free education. Literacy had reached about 80 percent. Most Iraqi youth were educated up through secondary school. University students of both genders received scholarships to study at home and abroad" (see the link below). Saddam lead the movement to nationalize Iraqi oil. "In the mid-1980s... Saddam's regime was using much of Iraq's burgeoning oil revenue to improve the daily lives of its people. It even won UN humanitarian awards for its literacy programs. Amatzia Baram, a professor at the University of Haifa, said Saddam's administration improved the nation's infrastructure, such as roads, electrical grids, hospitals, water systems and -- to an extent -- women's status" (from http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/09/30/sproject.irq.regime.change/ ). The revenue from the nationalized oil industry of Iraq was put into public works projects, including improving medical care & educational systems. Iraq, until the Gulf War, was an emerging 1st world nation.
2.) 1988: Women comprise about 25 percent of Iraq's work force. Iraqi women hold professional positions (e.g., doctors, lawyers), as well as positions in education and social welfare offices. They are allowed to vote and serve as elected officials in the National Assembly. (from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/timeline/text/qwomen.html )
3.) Because of the sanctions, "The Iraqi national literacy rate has dropped 22% over the past 12 years." (from http://www.acttogether.org/who&why.htm )
I'm NOT saying Saddam is the best ruler in the world or even a "good" person. However, those things that I listed above are FACTS. & it is incredibly ignorant of ANYONE to disregard those facts & to pretend that the combined effects of the Gulf War, Dessert Fox, & the sanctions have NOTHING to do with the horrendous suffering of poor Iraqis today & are NOT at all caused by US gov't interference - that those things are for the "good" of Iraqis & "improve" their condition because they have a "bad" leader.
* AND, incidentally, did you know that the Baath party was originally founded by Christians?
"The Baath (Renaissance) Party was founded in Damascus in the 1940s by a small group of French-educated Syrian intellectuals. As with many of the Arab world's most radical movements, it was led initially by a Christian, Michel Aflaq, rather than a Moslem. Aflaq hoped that the party's pan-Arabism could provide a secular alternative to Islam for uniting the Arabs" (from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/longterm/iraq/stories/doctrine081290.htm ).
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