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April 16, 2003

Palestinian reformers drawing lessons from Saddam's fall

Winds of change at last possible in ME? See Jerusalem Post piece. With the downfall of Saddam, reform-minded arabs may seek changes
For more than a decade, Saddam Hussein was a hero for most Palestinians, who described him as one of the great modern Arab leaders.

But the swift collapse of his regime has prompted many to change their mind and to finally admit that their erstwhile champion was nothing but a ruthless and corrupt dictator responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the destruction of his country.

Since the fall of Baghdad last week, many Palestinians have joined the increasingly growing chorus of Arab writers, intellectuals, and politicians who argue that other Arab dictators should draw conclusions from his downfall.

The war in Iraq has bolstered Arab and Palestinian reformers who believe that the time has come for real change in the Arab world.

The change, they say, should begin by getting rid of the Arab despots and their corrupt regimes. In the words of one Palestinian analyst, "It's time for the Arab world to turn over the page of repression." [more]