Hussein's capture this morning has caused considerable
jubilation, both in Iraq and in the United States.
For his millions of victims in Iraq (the ones
who survived his tender mercies, that is) there
has to be a profound sense of relief. For the
military over there, there has to be the hope
that the right wing spin machine had it right,
and Saddam really was the mastermind behind the
resistance. For those who feel America had no
business being in Iraq in the first place, it's
hoped that the capture of Saddam means the process
of pulling out can be accelerated.
for the administration, which often works at cross-purposes,
not only with the public but within itself, these
same points are sources of concern, and well as
first question the administration has to consider
is now that they have Saddam Hussein, what are
they going to do with him? The soldiers in the
4th Infantry and Special Forces who captured him
reported that despite being hairy, disheveled
and living in a hole, he was garrulous, outgoing,
even cheerful. It doesn't seem real likely that
he isn't going to want to defend himself, and
this administration, mindful of both their own
fabrications against Saddam used to justify the
invasion, and of the involvement of members of
the administration such as Donald Rumsfeld and
Putsch's own father in arming and abetting Saddam
in the 1980s, has to worry about what sort of
damning things he might say.
do they just summarily execute him? Do they have
a "secret trial" and then summarily execute him?
Do they have a Soviet-style "show trial" in which
he's carefully coached to confess his sins and
throw himself on the mercy of the court (and probably
be summarily executed anyway?)
they wait for Iraq to form a new government and
let them handle their former leader? The type
of government the administration wants in Iraq
has little or nothing in common with what the
Iraqis themselves want, and so you would either
have an American Vichy regime putting on a mock
trial, or a more independent minded regime trying
him, perhaps under the Law of Sharia, perhaps
something more secular. In which case, Saddam
may appeal to the anti-American sentiments of
the judges and/or jury.
possible problem the administration has with Saddam's
capture is that of the resistance. As noted, the
administration has been promulgating the idea
that Saddam is the guiding force behind the resistance
in Iraq, and most certainly, if this is true,
then the resistance should show a pretty widespread
collapsed, leaderless and demoralized as it would
problem here is that in six months of tracking
down and capturing resistance members, they've
had little luck establishing that Saddam plays
a significant, or for that matter, any role in
the resistance. The resistance has cropped up,
not only among the beneficiaries of Saddam's tyranny,
but among the groups most victimized by him. And
certainly, Saddam's record as a war leader does
not suggest that the man is a tactical or strategic
genius, one who can mastermind a resistance/revolution
against a vastly superior occupying force.
an answer to this one should be readily apparent
over the next few months. Either the resistance
will collapse, or it won't. If it does, it certainly
improves the position of the administration, both
on the ground in Iraq, and in the arena of world
opinion. If, however, ambushes of American troops
continue, along with shelling of the "Green Zone"
and other elements of the resistance, then the
admin will have lost its favorite excuse for the
opposition it encounters, and it will be forced
to admit that Americans are not welcome in Iraq,
even among those most happy with the end of Saddam
headache for the administration is that the capture
of Saddam presents them with the opportunity to
get to the bottom of the weapons of mass destruction
issue. Saddam is perhaps the one person in the
world who has the true answer to that, and his
statements on the matter could prove a blessing
or a curse for the administration. If, for example,
he mentions a lube and oil change place in Mosul
that has 7,500 pounds of ricin, or 50,000 gallons
of anthrax, or seven or eight tactical nukes,
and they go there and find these very things,
then the admin can claim exculpation on the grounds
that their main raison de combat turned out to
be true after all.
course, Saddam might show records showing that
he had systematically and thoroughly disarmed,
in compliance with the UN, by 1996, and that this
full compliance was why he kicked the inspectors
out. Putsch would find that to be a serious problem.
is one unequivocal beneficiary from all this,
and that's the people of Iraq. Over thirty years,
Saddam executed 300,000 Iraqis, and systematically
subjugated the Shi'ites and Marsh Arabs and Kurds.
He was a vicious thug, and only the people who
now work for the United States in Iraq benefitted
from his rule while he was dictator.
hard to believe, but in the first three or four
years after he seized control of Iraq, he was
actually a beneficial leader, making Iraq a model
of what a 20th century Muslim state could be,
with freedom of dress, religion, and livelihood
for the people, vast public works projects, and
then he turned into a warlord, and then a cheap,
vicious thug. Not exactly an unusual course for
a dictator to take, but maybe the next one in
Iraq won't be so bad.
trash right in America, of course, wasted no time
spinning this. The party line from the Scaife/Moon/Aielles
people is that liberals are devastated that Saddam
has been captured, and this is an unalloyed blessing
for the admin.
as usual, they are flat-out lying and misrepresenting
the views of their political foes, it's possible
that the capture of Saddam may prove beneficial
to the admin. Let's call it the best-case scenario:
resistance in Iraq now collapses, and a government
beneficial to both the Iraqis and the admin can
now form. Further, Saddam reveals large caches
of WMDs secreted in the country, thus justifying
the invasion. Only his fear of Putsch prevented
him from using them.
not saying that couldn't happen. But I wouldn't
bet the mortgage on it.
grimmer, and more likely, scenario is that the
resistance will grow in Iraq, encouraged not only
by the fact that the threat of a Restoration has
been destroyed, but by the fact that the stated
purpose of the American presence in Iraq has been
consummated, and Iraqis want the US out of there
Saddam's presence is a grave embarrassment to
the administration, since if permitted a trial,
he might produce proof that he had disarmed, that
both the Clinton and Putsch administrations KNEW
he had disarmed, and were conducting war against
him for other purposes.
everyone, I'm glad that Saddam is no longer a
threat. Unfortunately, Putsch still is, and just
because one cheap vicious thug knocks off another
cheap vicious thug doesn't ennoble Thug A any.
off the board, and I'm glad for the Iraqi people.
now we settle back and see if this monster, this
thug, this stupid and vicious man, ends up looking
. . . well, perhaps not so bad.
so bad, that is, when compared with the President
of the United States.
Posted: December 14, 2003