Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Rise and the fall

Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, has been hanged. That’s the first sentence I read last night at http://english.aljazeera.net/. I logged on after learning the death from its television news network. The execution took place before 6 a.m on Saturday at an Iraqi military facility in northern Baghdad. It says that Saddam was convicted last month of the killings of 148 Shias after a failed assassination attempt in 1982.

Saddam's lawyers and human rights groups, however, complained that he had not received a fair trial. The execution was videotaped.

I tried to digest the news with a neutral mind. Whilst I am not happy with the death, nor the unfair trial, but no death will happen if it’s not due yet, and the unfair trial was just a mean of the death. In real politics, the dirty one, you could be found guilty just because you had no power anymore, no strong allies that backed you, or you provide no value or pose a threat to the new establishments.

What about the killing of 148 Shias, the invasion of Kuwait and Iran, and the oppression to the Kurds? They were certainly wrong deeds. Unfortunately it’s not a rare thing in politics where leaders built their names and glory with bloods of their opponents, and the innocents. How many people have died in Iraq to date, and who is responsible for those horrific casualties? Was it Saddam or is it Bush, or their men, women and advisors? It depends where you stand. Only some would say all of them.

A study in The Lancet estimates 654,965 Iraqi deaths (with a range of 392,979 to 942,636) from March 2003 to July 2006, and now hundreds of Iraqis people were still killed every week, compared to 3,239 coalition deaths -- 2,989 of them were Americans as of December 29, 2006, according to a CNN count.

The cost of the Iraq War according to a source may exceed $700 billion, compared to the Vietnam War that cost $600 billion, paid by US tax payers. The question is how much the cost would be for the Iraqis, and whether those who pushed the trigger and got the benefit of the war would be able to sleep well for the rest of their lives.

When you are in power, you can always justify whatever you do, and only a few people dare to tell you the truth and challenge you. But just be prepared when the power is no longer yours, or when you have become liabilities to your allies.

From history we learnt from the rise and fall of Alexander, Attila, Achilles, Napoleon, Jengis Khan, and Caesar. There are also names such as Kennedy, Nixon, Gandhi, Reza Pahlevi, Marcos, Soekarno, Soeharto, Stalin, McArthur, Hitler. Yes, you are right, they are not the same kind of people and couldn't be compared. However, they have all swallowed the bitter pills of their glories.

Alexander was a great man for his admirer, but he was the butcher and destroyer for people in Thebes, in the ex-Persian Empire to the people in Punjab. He was just 33 years of age when he died, possibly because of poisoning.
Attila was found dead on the night after a feast celebrating his latest marriage to the beautiful and young Ildico, daughter of his opponent he killed earlier.

In business world, there are names such as Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca, Trump, Carly Fiorina, who might be heros for some, but jerks for others. Steve was ousted by Sculley, a man he persuaded to leave Pepsi to join Apple. He came back and created history, but it may not be the end of the story yet.

Fiorina, ex-CEO, -president and -chair of Hewlett-Packard, was a Silicon Valley superstar. Some people thought that she could be the next US president, but she was fired after more than five years on the job.

What lessons we can get from the rise and fall of these “great” people? Many things, but I will let the question remain open. However, no matter how dire the consequences would be, never drop the dreams and the toils to be a great man or woman. The very least is that your name will be written in the history of mankind, and people may learn from your greatness as well as your cruelness, your sources of glory and the causes of your demise.

5 comments:

  1. Very nice post,,, Banyak orang menganggap saddam memang pantas menerima hukuman mati atas kejahatan-kejahatannya. Seseorang yang nyolong ayam memang harus dihukum. Tapi ketika hukuman itu dijatuhkan kepada si maling ayam, sementara si maling kambing gak dihukum, ini tentu melukai rasa keadilan, minimal bagi temen2 si maling ayam.

    Itu dana 700 milyar dollar, kalau digunakan untuk menolong Indonesia, wow, Indonesia sudah bisa makmur, membangun infrastruktur yang dibutuhkan, menciptakan lapangan kerja dan sebagainya.

    Apakah keuntungan yang diraup oleh para warmonger dan oil men di white house dan bolo-bolonya bisa melebihi 700 milyar dollar itu ya,,, belum lagi kalau dihitung kerugian yang diderita rakyat irak; hancurnya bangunan2, hampir satu juta nyawa melayang, kemiskinan dan chaos yang akan ditinggalnkan oleh perang irak yang kita gak tau bakal sampai kapan itu berakhir.

    Dan anehnya, kenapa penguasa itu kok selalu keblinger ya,,, bayangkan kalau Amerika yang begitu kuat dalam segala segi bertindak sebagai malaikat.

    Menolong negara2 miskin, bersikap ramah dan santun kepada seluruh dunia. Bukankah mereka akan jadi pahlawan semua bangsa. Dan tentu saja, seluruh dunia akan menyukainya, gak perlu mengintimidasi dan manipulasipun perusahaan multinasional mereka bisa masuk ke seluruh negara dengan damai dan bahkan dipersilakan.

    Ekonomi mereka semakin kuat, politik juga, dan yang penting mereka akan merasakan aman. Tidak seperti sekarang dihantui oleh ancaman teroris, baik Islamis ataupun dari kelompok2 kiri hijau dan komunis.

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  2. I got nightmare after "by accident" heard the last Saddam's breath, however ga pernah setuju dengan hukum gantung .....(memang seh manusia berjalan menuju mati)...rasanya saya ingin melihat dan memandang segalanya dengan tidak memihak ke siapa2....semoga yah..

    selamat tahun baru..semoga semangat baru dan kehidupan yg lebih baik untuk seluruh dunia...

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  3. Saya ngga berani lihat rekamannya.

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  4. Bung Alex:
    Rasa keadilan saya memang terlukai, meskipun saya bukan teman si maling ayam, eh Saddam sekali pun.

    Karena penguasa sering keblinger, makanya perlu penasehat, pengontrol. Nah yang ini dikontrol PBB juga gak mau.

    Sayang memang, lebih banyak pemimpin berkualitas gerombolan yang lebih mengusung kepentingan kroninya, ketimbang pemimpin berkualitas dunia yang pikiran dan tindakannya membawa kebaikan di luar batas2 negara.

    Jeng Amethys
    Sayangnya kadang gak memihak juga jadi bencana.
    Selamat tahun baru juga jeng, pengin denger bunyi burung yg bebas lepas gak terganggu nih, di kayu yg menghijau dan gak ditebangi ngawur2an.

    Budhe
    Gak usah lihat budhe, aku juga gak pengin koq. Doa-nya saja. Smoga tahun baru bawa perdamaian.

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  5. memang terkadang kita emosi melihat kesewenang-wenangan Amerika, walaupun kita bukan temen si maling Ayam..

    setuju sama apa yg dikatakan bung ramses, dalam konteks maling ayam diadili ko' yg maling kambing gk diadili..

    ya begitulah kalo negara super power cuma sendirian gk ada yang menandingi!!! *PBB aja nurut*
    Harus ada negara super power kedua sebagai tandingan Amerika.
    *seperti waktu jaman Uni Sovyet dulu*

    aku membayangkan salah satu dari negara Asia yg akan menjadi tandingannya Amerika atau kalo boleh bermimpi Indonesia yang akan menjadi tandingan Amerika tapi kapan ya??

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