Return to Eden (without Saddam)

Scholars say that the idea of Eden was based in the green and lush marshlands of southern Iraq. From the Sumerians, to the Babylonians, Assyrians, Meads, Persians, Romans, the Muslim Caliphate, the Moguls, Turks, Brits and independent Iraq the ecology of the marsh and the life of the inhabitants endured - that is from about 4000 BC until AD 1991 when Saddam destroyed the environment to destroy the people who lived there. He almost succeeded. When the U.S. led Coalition defeated him in 2003, environmentalists feared he had destroyed this ancient ecosystem for good and all. Fortunately it looks like Saddam was removed in time.

A report on NPR talks about the restoration since the fall of Saddam. It is a cause for optimism about the resilience of both the environment and people. Things can grow back when they are allowed.

Environmental destruction was not a major cause of the Iraq war, but there is no doubt that Saddam was among the worst offenders in this area too. His destruction of the marshes was completely wanton. But we should not be surprised. After all, this was the man who set the oil wells in Kuwait, which spread black soot clean around the globe. And this was the man who would have done the same to the oil fields of Iraq itself had the allies not moved as fast as they did.

This is not the only reason that it is good Saddam is where belongs - on his way to a place that is hotter and drier than the drained marshes.

Posted by Jack at August 25, 2005 9:58 PM