Ed Husain: The Iraq War, The Observer
16th March, 2008


I was in Syria when US tanks rolled into Iraq. I remember the joy among young Arabs that one dictator had been toppled, and perhaps others would follow. Arab capitals would no longer be littered with monstrous statues of brutal, totalitarian rulers. A free press would emerge. There was hope in the air. And then everything changed. American soldiers, who were known for picking up cigarette stubs dropped by Iraqis, became vicious, inhumane occupiers. Their reputation was irrevocably damaged by Abu Ghuraib. Iraq is much worse a place than it was under Saddam. Arab rulers can now justifiably claim that better their tyranny and corruption than US freedom. We are yet to admit that Western involvement is not always a positive development. There are other ways.