An Egyptian point of view from Dr. Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, editor in chief of the Egyptian quarterly Al-Siyassa Al-Dawliya (thanks, James Taranto):

What we, as Arabs, should truly feel humiliated about are the prevailing political and social conditions in the Arab world – especially in Iraq–which allowed someone such as Saddam Hussein to become vice president in 1968–and then, through an unparalleled bloody and conspiratorial path, to assume the presidency in 1979.

We should feel humiliated that Saddam was able to remain in power until 2003, and to single-handedly initiate a number of catastrophic policies that transformed Iraq, relatively rich in natural, human, and financial resources, into the poorest, most debt-ridden country in the Arab world, not to mention the hundreds of thousands killed and displaced.

We should feel humiliated that some of our intellectuals, supposedly the representatives of our nations’ consciences and the defenders of their liberty and dignity, not only dealt with Saddam, but also supported him. Finally, we should feel humiliated that Saddam Hussein’s fall came at the hands of the U.S. and Britain, to protect their own interests. The Arabs should have been the ones to bring down Saddam, in defense of their own dignity and their own true interests.

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