Sunday, November 27, 2005

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

When the U.S.-led coalition forces marched into Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein nearly three years ago, the action was hailed by many as the end of a brutal, tyrannical reign of a madman. Human rights abuses would cease. Respect for fellow Iraqis would be the new way of life.

Well, as it turns out, things aren't so much different than they were under Saddam, according to former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi (pictured above). Beatings, torture and murder of enemies of the state by elements within the Interior Ministry show that, just because Saddam is long gone from power, life in Iraq isn't so peachy.

Part of the problem is that the Shia, the majority Islamic religious sect in Iraq, were treated so poorly for so long by the minority Sunnis who held power under Saddam. Now that the Shia have assumed power in Iraq, they seem to be taking their revenge against the Sunnis who held them down for so long. Tit for tat, so to speak, except in this case the tits and tats are torture and murder. Nice.

It's wonderful to see how the deaths of over 2,100 U.S. troops and the injury of over 15,000 others has led to the free, democratic panacaea so many in the Bush administration had promised. Unfortunately - yet all too predictably - things don't appear to be much better than they were before.

What goes around comes around, as they say. And the Middle East remains the same as it ever was: a mess.


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