Man, this turned into quite the rant once I got started. There seems to be something of a conspiracy that Hussein isn’t dead at all. I’ve admitted before that I do like the odd conspiracy but I want to question this one. First, what would be the point in keeping him alive? And second, given the look of that whole arrangement at the hanging, if they did hang a look-a-like, there is simply no way that it could remain a secret for long. I’m having trouble finding links about this on the web, so if anyone knows a good information source about this conspiracy, I’d quite like if you posted it in the comments (thank you). I’m always interested in learning more about such things. I can’t stop thinking about it, actually: the hanging and the effects it will have. This piece reflects a lot of my feelings on the issue:
Saddam Hussein deserves no one’s pity. But as anyone who has seen the graphic cellphone video of his hanging can testify, his execution bore little resemblance to dispassionate, state-administered justice. The condemned dictator appeared to have been delivered from United States military custody into the hands of a Shiite lynch mob. For the Bush administration, which insists it went to war in Iraq to implant democracy and justice, those globally viewed images were a shaming embarrassment. Unfortunately, all Americans will be blamed, while the Iraqi people are now likely to suffer still more. What should have been a symbolic passage out of Iraq’s darkest era will instead fuel a grim new era of spiraling sectarian vengeance.
No, he doesn’t deserve pity, but in executing him the way they did, it’s the western world which looks bad and although the NYT only mentions America, this includes the UK too.
Mr. Maliki’s usual cheerleaders, President Bush and Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, have distanced themselves from this repellent spectacle. Yet the Bush administration again finds that it has little credibility to lecture anyone on the basic dignity due to detainees. The Washington Post reported yesterday on an internal F.B.I. investigation that revealed a pattern of deliberate taunting of the religious beliefs of Muslim prisoners at Guantánamo.
And now they shirk from what they caused. Surprise, surprise. The slimy bastards. — — — — — This too. Very true. Who would have thunk it: Bush and Blair telling fibs!
It was the Bush administration and not Saddam that turned out to be lying about WMDs. As we all know now, there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Amazingly enough, it was Saddam who was telling the truth from the very beginning. Bush was the one who lied to the whole world.
He really did take us all for fools – President George W Bush – and what is even more sickening to me is that he got away with it. Dammit, he was even elected for a second term in office. (Note how I didn’t say ‘reelected’ there because it’s not as if he was elected to office the first time he served there.) I remember in the run up to the Iraq war, and for the first few months of battle, that the issue that stuck in my throat the most was that Bush and Blair clearly believed that their electorates were idiots who couldn’t see through their lies and propaganda and manipulations. We all felt this sentiment, and we were all angry about it, yet neither of these men has had to answer any questions about it. I know that Paxman has probably asked a few questions around this in recent years but I’ve never felt that the issue has been addressed. Why doesn’t anyone ever say, ‘Mr President/ Prime Minister, you treated the people you’re supposed to represent honestly and loyally like they’re fucking halfwits and you’ve never once apologised for the lies you told those people that led to war.’ I dare say they will never be brought to task about this. This continues to make me very angry. — — — — — Oh, and [lastly] this is a very sensible piece about Iraq, which has a little tongue in cheek for good measure. If you can’t see it on the site, it’s posted under the ‘more’.
Jan. 3, 2007 | As the new Congress convenes this week and Speaker Pelosi ascends to the rostrum, you have to wish them all well. These are the kids who got up in school assembly and spoke on Armistice Day and were captains of teams and organized class projects to do good works, a different breed from us wise guys who lurked in the halls and made fun of them, and in the end you want them and not us running your government. Yes, they had serious brown-nose tendencies and a knack for mouthing pieties, but you could count on them to do what needed doing. They were leaders. They weren’t going to swipe the lunch money and buy a keg of suds.You wonder, however, what this earnest bunch can do when things are so far out of whack as they are in Iraq. The gangland-style execution of Saddam Hussein was visible reality, a token of the blood lust and violence that swirls around Iraq, where our forces are mired, sitting targets, aliens, fighting a colonial war in behalf of a Shiite majority that is as despotic and cruel as what came before, except messier. Meanwhile, in Washington, the limousines come and go, memorandums are set out on long polished tables, men in crisp white shirts sit at meetings and discuss how to rationalize a war that was conceived by a handful of men in arrogant ignorance and that has descended over the past four years into sheer madness. Military men know there is no military solution here, and the State Department knows that the policy was driven by domestic politics, but who is going to tell the Current Occupant? He is still talking about victory, or undefeat, like some frat boy on meth who thinks he can step off a roof and not get hurt. The word “surge” keeps cropping up, as if we were fighting the war with electricity and not human beings.
Rational analysis is not the way to approach this administration. Bob Woodward found that out. The Bush who burst into convulsive sobs after winning reelection when his chief of staff Andrew Card said, “You’ve given your dad a great gift,” is so far from the Bush of the photo ops as to invite closer inspection, and for that you don’t want David Broder, you need a good novelist. Here we have a slacker son of a powerful patrician father who resolves unconscious Oedipal issues through inappropriate acting-out in foreign countries. Hello? All the king’s task forces can gather together the shards of the policy, number them, arrange them, but it never made sense when it was whole and so it makes even less sense now. American boys in armored jackets and night scopes patrolling the streets of Baghdad are not going to pacify this country, any more than they will convert it to Methodism. They are there to die so that a man in the White House doesn’t have to admit that he, George W. Bush, the decider, the one in the cowboy boots, made grievous mistakes. He approved a series of steps that he himself had not the experience or acumen or simple curiosity to question and which had been dumbed down for his benefit, and then he doggedly stuck by them until his approval ratings sank into the swamp. He was the Great Denier of 2006, waving the flag, questioning the patriotism of anyone who dared oppose him, until he took a thumpin’ and now, we are told, he is reexamining the whole matter. Except he’s not. To admit that he did wrong is to admit that he is not the man his daddy is, the one who fought in a war. Hey, we’ve all had issues with our dads. But do we need this many people to die so that one dude can look like a leader?
The earnest folk in Congress are prepared to discuss policy issues, to plant their butts in hard chairs and sit through jargon-encrusted reports and long dry perorations thereupon. They’re trained for that. That’s one good reason they’re there and not you or me. But to address the war and the White House, you’re talking pathology. It’s time for 41 and 43 to work something out, and they can’t do it by way of James Baker or Brent Scowcroft. Pick up the phone, old man, and tell 43 you love him dearly and it’s time to think about sparing the lives of American soldiers, many of whom have sons, too.