Iraq's Future Without Saddam

This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, December 15, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: When news broke of Saddam's capture Iraqi exiles here in the U.S. took to the streets and celebrated.

Joining us now is an Iraqi-borne cleric with the Karbala Islamic Education Center, Imam Husham Al-Husainy, he's with us tonight.

Sir, how are you?


HANNITY: Very important development obviously, for the future of Iraq. A lot of celebration going on this weekend?

AL-HUSAINY: Yes, sir. You better believe it.


AL-HUSAINY: People enjoying it, and they can't believe it. Thanks to God.

HANNITY: What do you think is going to happen? Now I think one of the big concerns of everybody is, and clearly we've gotten some intelligence that he had some information about those that were engaging in these attacks, especially against our troops.

Do you think that will lessen now that he's gone? Do you think there will be more of a positive response to the Iraqi people, a feeling that he's now never coming back, that they can overtly fight for what America is trying to help them establish there?

AL-HUSAINY: Well, there are so many lessons to learn from capturing Saddam Hussein.

First, you can see how weak he is and how coward he is. So I don't know why he was lasting that long and where were the world to get rid of him earlier. And some people made him like a hero. Here he is, very weak and he chose to bury himself while he was alive. So that's one lesson.

The other lesson...

HANNITY: But that wasn't my question. My question was, do you think people that, perhaps, were reluctant to support the American efforts towards liberty and freedom, now that they know he's never coming back, will there be a push, especially against those that perhaps former Fedayeen, former Saddam loyalists, former Iraqi guard, Republican Guard? I mean, now will they be meeting fierce resistance from the populace?

AL-HUSAINY: Saddam Hussein's case is like a disease. And the disease is going to take time to be healed.

Now we captured the germ in the body of the nation of Iraq, so now we have to heal it. We have to increase the immunity of the national body of the Iraqi people so they can understand, this is a sick man and this man is no good.

But he is like a big devil and he created, like little devil worshipping him.


AL-HUSAINY: It will take awhile -- yes, sir.

COLMES: It's Alan Colmes. Welcome to the show.

How will the opposition forces behave now? The people who were fighting on behalf of Saddam, his agents, what happens to them?

AL-HUSAINY: Well, the opposition of Saddam are very happy and we look at him anyway since the beginning. I've been here for 25 years, I just came back from Iraq. We always looked at him as a little devil and here he is.

And guess what? I have learned that he used to wear a turban and get out in the streets sometimes and walk. That's what I have learned.

So he's a sick man, but anyway, as an opposition, we are very happy, but we have to take advantage of this momentum.

COLMES: Imam, can America build a democracy in Iraq?

HUSAINY: Yes, sir. This nation would love democracy, just like any other human being. They love democracy. Democracy is a natural need for any human being.

But maybe it will be a different color, different taste, different style, according to the culture of the nation.

So yes, we need democracy. We need an election. We need freedom. This is an essential thing.

HANNITY: Can it be true -- whether there are Shiites clerics that are such an important part of the population, can there be true separation of church and state, for example, as we know it in this country?

AL-HUSAINY: I don't believe so. In Islam we don't make it separated. And I don't know. Maybe we shouldn't do that in Christianity. It's not my job to suggest that.

But as you know, so many Old Testament (search) prophets, they were, like King David, Mohammed, they are...

HANNITY: Let me ask you this question. I think it's important.

There's a lot of outside influence. You have people sympathetic to Al Qaeda. You have outside forces from Hamas (search), Islamic Jihad (search), Hezbollah (search), outside forces from Iran trying to influence the outcome of what's going to happen in Iraq.

Are the Iraqi people ready to take up arms and fight those forces?

AL-HUSAINY: Well, let me tell you something. I think we need a new approach. More friendly approach. Believe me, as an Iraqi...

HANNITY: Wait a minute. Wait, I want to get this answered. They're coming into your country to influence the government and how it's going to run. Are the Iraqi people going to take up arms and fight those people?

AL-HUSAINY: No, no. We can take care of our neighbors. We can build up a friendship. Even if they want...

HANNITY: Good luck.

AL-HUSAINY: They will make it, believe me.

HANNITY: We're just out of time. We thank you for your time tonight.

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