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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Indians and the Invasion of Iraq

I heard a couple of views expressed by Indian friends last night concerning our invasion of Iraq:

1. The United States did ourselves considerable harm allowing Saddam's execution to turn into the banana republic revenge-fest it became. It never occurred to me to watch a video of Saddam's end but apparently a lot of people around the world, including my friends in India, did watch it. The complaint, if I understand the one expressed last night, is that while it may have been necessary to hang the man, civilization demands this sort of thing be conducted - at least when carried out by the U.S. - with dignity. And yes, I know that officially Saddam was hanged by the government of Iraq. But the world justifiably attaches it to the United States.

2. Indians in general opposed our invasion because they liked Saddam. From their point of view, Saddam never did anything to them, and he gave India a break on oil prices.

I am sympathetic to the first point. Heck, I'm in total agreement. On the second point, my feeling is that's just too bad for India they have to pay full market price for oil. But it never occurred to me that someone as brutal and odious as Saddam Hussein would be considered an ally by the most populous democracy on earth.

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