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The Capture of Saddam: Now that we've got him, what do we do with him?
by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
December 14, 2003

Saddam 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.

But 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 hope.

The 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.

So 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?)

Do 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.

Another 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 be.

The 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.

However, 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 Hussein's reign.

Another 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.

Of 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.

There 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.

It's 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 general prosperity.

But 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.

The 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.

While, 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.

I'm not saying that couldn't happen. But I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it.

A 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 right away.

Further, 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.

Like 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.

Saddam's off the board, and I'm glad for the Iraqi people.

But now we settle back and see if this monster, this thug, this stupid and vicious man, ends up looking . . . well, perhaps not so bad.

Not so bad, that is, when compared with the President of the United States.

Topplebush.com
Posted: December 14, 2003

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