Iraqi intellectual Hassan Al-'Alawi said that Saddam Hussein was an honest, decent, patriotic leader, who was kind to the poor but also a dictator. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on Altaghier TV (Iraq) on August 6, 2021. Al-'Alawi said that Arab countries prospered under dictatorship and democracy only got them into trouble. He added that if Saddam was executed, the "traitors" who "stole Iraq and are still doing so" should also be executed. For more information about Al-'Alawi, see MEMRI TV clips nos. 8321 and 5957.
Interviewer: "When you entered Iraq, when you returned to Iraq, and found Iraq without Saddam Hussein, how did you feel?"
Hassan Al-'Alawi: "I wished that Saddam would still be there, because Saddam gave a lot to the Iraqi people, despite his cruelty."
Interviewer: "But you did not find him there? How did you feel about that?"
Interviewer: "You returned to Iraq and did not find Saddam. He wasn't there. How did you feel when you entered Iraq and found a new Iraq, different from the Iraq you knew when you left."
Al-'Alawi: "Saddam Hussein was executed? The traitors who stole Iraq and are still doing so should be executed. Saddam Hussein was executed? Saddam was honest, pan-Arabist, patriotic, a loyal son of the [Arab] nation. Saddam Hussein loved the poor people. Saddam Hussein could not see a [poor] woman on the side of the road without getting out of his car, putting his hands on her head, and kissing it.
"Is it bravery to wait for your political rival to die in order to curse him? Saddam was hanged? The traitors should be hanged! The traitors who rule Iraq should be hanged! Saddam was not a traitor. Saddam was a patriot and one of the architects of the pan-Arab enterprise in Iraq. Saddam was decent, he loved the poor, but he was a dictator. But who was not a dictator? Wasn't the Caliph a dictator? Could someone say no to the Caliph? Was there ever a deputy to the Caliph? Our Arab regimes were all dictatorships. We prospered only thanks to these dictatorships, and got into trouble only because of democracy."