As a liberal and a war opponent, it goes without saying that I’m a big fan of Saddam Hussein. Obviously there’s a lot to like there, but I guess if I had to choose I’d say that his creative, outside-the-box thinking is my favorite trait of his. For example, did you know that during his reign, medical schools were forbidden from issuing diplomas and transcripts, so that Iraqi doctors couldn’t get work outside of the country? I never would have thought of that. It’s that kind of nuance that makes labels like “brutal dictator” so unfair.
Luckily, his legacy is being kept alive by his political descendants, the current Iraqi administration:
BAGHDAD — Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nation. To stem the flow, the Iraqi government has recently taken a cue from Saddam Hussein: Medical schools are once again forbidden to issue diplomas and transcripts to new graduates.
Hussein built a fine medical system in part by withholding doctors’ passports and diplomas. Although physicians can work in Iraq with a letter from a medical school verifying their graduation, they say they need certificates and transcripts to work abroad.
You have to admire politicians who are flexible enough to learn from their predecessors, even if it means taking yet another step back towards repressive dictatorship.
Link thanks to Atrios.