OxBlog

Friday, March 17, 2006

# Posted 10:22 AM by Patrick Porter  

WAS IT WORTH IT? Normblog reports Iraqi opinion polls that consistently indicate a large majority of the Iraqi population thinks that deposing Saddam was worth the turmoil they have suffered since. According to one poll, 77% say it was worth it, while 22% say it was not. This illustrates just how terrible and widely loathed his regime was. After all the bungled policies of the occupiers, the disgrace of American torture, the disruptions of daily life, the violence and the civil strife, the attacks on religious sites, they still think it was worthwhile. Only the downfall of a truly contemptible regime could inspire such enduring relief in the midst of such chaos. And it discredits the attempts by various pundits, politicians and Saddam's legal team to trivialise the severity of Saddam's rule or deny his unpopularity. Whatever you think about the legitimacy of the war, we should resist the urge to play down the horrific status quo ante in the light of the dangerous current situation. Clearly such results have to be qualified by the fact that Sunni opinion differs sharply (83% of Sunnis questioned asserted that it was not worth it). But even as they might be plunged into a new civil war, many Iraqis remember him this way.
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