Without the Iraq war, would we now be seeing a Tunisian style revolution in Iraq?

Was Hussein’s grip on the Iraqi people strong enough to withstand a revolution like we’ve seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain? Were the Iraqis persecuted enough to make them feel like such a revolution was viable?

I think Khadafi (or however you spell his name) is pretty comparable to Hussein. If Khadafi falls, then I wouldn’t say it’s a reach to think Hussein would have as well.

If we had kept the no fly zone in place, I think we would have seen something similar. Without the no fly zone, it’s hard to say, but I’d guess we would still see some protests, but I doubt SH would just give in like the leaders in Tunisia did.

This is what I said in an earlier thread on this subject:

I think it would depend on what assumptions you made on alternative history. Is Iraq still under embargo? Are we still imposing a no-fly zone and constant watch? Has Saddam loosened his grip on the Shi’ia and Kurd’s? I’d say that if the same sorts of things that are happening in Libya were happening in an Iraq with no Gulf War that it would be even worse there, as I think that Saddam had even less compunction about unleashing his military on the populace. And we already know that he’d be more than willing to burn his oil fields to further disrupt things. If Libya AND Iraq were both in similar states of rebellion atm I think that the price of oil would be shooting through the roof to record highs.


In regards to Libya similarities, they don’t have a major protagonist (The Iranians) next door to them. I doubt highly the Sunni leadership in Baghdad would just allow these, in their eyes, Iranian inspired protestors to overthrow them.

I’m actually gonna go out on a limb and declare that because Saddam was removed, it removed alot of the rationale for Iranians to be suppressed, and thus paved the way for major protests in Iran. I mean, hey Shias in Iraq have a democratic voice, free press, some forms of liberty, why don’t Iranians have that??

The thread seems dead, but I was reading this article on Time and figured I’d link to it. The author seems to think that had Saddam still been in office we wouldn’t be seeing a Tunisian style revolution (or Egyptian style) in Iraq…at best, we’d be seeing what’s going on in Libya, reading between the lines. Anyway, here it is if anyone is interested:


Almost certainly. While I’m not all that familiar with the demographics of Libya, I doubt that they have anywhere near the internal problems Saddam Hussein had with the Shiite and Kurdish populations. If anything, the tinderbox probably would have flared up in Iraq before it did in Libya.

Yes they’d be having one and Hussein was no more mad and brutal than Gadaffi. And with the established no fly zones it would be easier to succeed.

They’re having their own Day of Rage there now against our imposed system also.

He was no less brutal either (actually, I think he was more brutal, but it’s not worth arguing about). And the Iraqi’s had a much more powerful and consolidated military…especially if it hadn’t been wiped out in a second war with the US. He also had his paramilitary force, as well as his secret police force and, of course, there was the fact that the Ba’ath party itself, regardless of Saddam, was strong and capable.

Do you expect that the no fly zones would still be in effect? :dubious: I mean, what would that have been? 20 years? 21? That’s a pretty long time.

I think the last line in the article I linked to sums that up:


I don’t think there is anything to indicate that Hussein was particularly insane at all. Mean, unpleasant etc., but not barking raving mad like Gaddafi clearly is. The American and UK (Blair) characterisations notwithstanding.

I rather think that if Libya has gone, then Iraq would, given the vast reservoir of Shia resentment.

I don’t think it’s a matter of whether they would have wanted too or not, but whether they would have been willing too. Perhaps enough time would have elapsed since Saddam put down the Shia and Kurds post-Gulf War I. Certainly had the embargo still been in effect the people of Iraq would have been suffering a great deal, upping their resentment factor.

But even if they were protesting and even rioting and rebelling like in Libya I’m unsure the outcomes would be the same. I guess it depends on what transpired in the 8 years since history diverged, and how much of a grip Saddam and the Ba’athist had on the country. Also, what would the Sunni’s be doing?

I tend to agree with the guy from the Times in the article I linked to earlier, but it would hinge on how alternative history played out. For all we know, Saddam may have kicked the bucket and shuffled off, leaving a potential power vacuum that could have been filled by one of his sons or by someone else…or not filled at all as the country fragmented.