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[casi] Will Saddam's capture prove to be a trap for Bush?

Will Saddam's capture prove to be a trap for Bush?

15.12.2003 [03:51]

 December 14, 2003—It was pretty much of a shock to learn of Saddam
Hussein's capture so soon. Then again, come to think of it, no! George W.
Bush's popularity is dipping badly and those niggling questions about Sept
11 are now gaining feverish momentum.

This capture comes timely for the incumbent, and the immediate propaganda
value will be enormous. But has Bush walked into a trap? Pretty likely, and
the next few weeks or months are going to be crucial. Saddam's fate must now
either be decided quickly (through an Iraqi bullet to his head?) or be
prolonged long enough after the 2004 elections, through a series of legal
wrangling. If the second scenario works out, there is there every likelihood
of an uncustomary "adherence to international law" with teams of amici
curiae given a free hand to wrangle over his legal rights. It will buy lots
of time, provided the man shuts up.

This capture runs against the grain of obvious logic. Saddam is no Manual
Noriega and he will command far more attention than Slobodan Milosevic. The
video clip of him being examined by a doctor was typical of both US bravado
and myopia. With him in "expert" medical hands, there will be some very hard
explaining to do if anything untoward happened—a death or an unusually
cooperative ex-dictator known for his wily tricks. Maybe a Soviet-style
psychiatric institutionalization might jog his memory, one that will suit
his hospitable hosts.

According to the BBC, Saddam was found holed up in a tiny cellar, not the
secret command bunker we were implicitly led to believe, on and off. An
argument can be made that this 'spider hole' contributed to his elusiveness.
He just needed a food chain, from very few sources. Still, it is not a good
one. For one, it will smash the Saddam in-the-secret bunker image that his
Fedayeen found to be way over-hyped. There is something wrong here. Saddam
may have indeed chosen a six by eight feet hole for safety as he knew only
too well about the pandemic Arab treachery and the US$25 million bounty,
especially after his sons died under a hail of US bullets, and his
sons-in-law earlier, with his own blessings.

In Victor Ostrovsky's book By Way of Deception, a planned Palestinian terror
attack was once thwarted by the discovery of an out-of-place order for
quality beef. The scent of a pre-attack feast was too strong to ignore. With
thousands of US troops—many of them from elite units—combing through Tikrit,
how this genocidal criminal avoided capture until now is a mystery. They
only needed 600 for this operation. No one in Tikrit knew where he was?
Follow the money the trail, follow the food take-aways! There was US$750,000
with him. The trails were aplenty; all were leading to the same man.

This is indeed good news for the Iraqis and bad news for the Americans. Thus
far, he has served the raison d'etre for the war, a tenuous one, it can be
argued. Now what? The propaganda value of a shadowy Saddam, capable of
wreaking havoc was inestimable. Much of that locus standi has now vanished.
The Iraqis can now rise up to say, "The dictator is gone. Thank you, now
please leave . . ." Is this going to happen? No! The US wasn't there for
Saddam, and I don't think it was there for the oil, either. Sabotaged oil
pipelines do create a literal smokescreen and a justification for continued
occupation. Now, we shall see the true face of Iraqi guerrillas—a
combination of nationalists and Islamists that the American media
conveniently blamed on mastermind Saddam.

The euphoria will die down; the pot shots will get more frenzied. A car bomb
killed at least 17 people near Baghdad yesterday. The joyous staccatos seen
in the city just show how many weapons of celebration are around. They can
be trained in a different direction another day soon. Are these the first
salvoes that will shatter the myth of a "liberation" project?

It was in the White House's best interest to have had Saddam killed during
the capture. Maybe US soldiers were still sore after the turkey dinner
fiasco, or they were zealously carrying out their duty. Hardly any sane
person would have wept for Saddam under any circumstances. He could have
been handed over—quite innocently—to the Iraqis for a summary,
Ceausescu-style execution. Gen Douglas MacArthur's quick disposal of Gen
Tomoyski Yamashita in WWII is no longer quite possible. Like Gen MacArthur's
macho posturing during his first meeting with a humbled Emperor Hirohito,
the sight of a medic clinically examining a beaten, disheveled Saddam,
instead of a defiant maniac, was really a bad propaganda shot . . . So, this
was the one who struck fear into the hearts of "freedom-loving" people until
24 hours back?

What can Saddam do? He just needs to open his big mouth, after a shave, a
good brush and gargles with Listerine He will recount all those scummy
collusions with the US, which went right through the Kuwaiti occupation. Why
were those Shi'ites betrayed? Who talked to whom? What was the deal? What
about the other deals? Clips of exhumed bodies from that bloody crackdown
more than a decade back was shown alongside Saddam's ignominious capture on
BBC. Another pictorial blunder for the coalition! Was the BBC acting sneaky
again? Those bodies incriminate Saddam and the Anglo-American alliance.

In fact, the incriminating evidence will be immeasurable. Civilian deaths,
supply of arms, the semi-proxy war on Iran, will all come out of the horse's
mouth. For every allegation, Saddam can retort, "Tu quoque (you too)!" It's
a time-honored legal tactic, valid and destructive to the point that Hermann
Goering was able to put up a brilliant defense during the Nuremberg trials.
The man, much known for his follies and bizarre vanities, was just cured of
a morphine addiction before being marched into the defendant's box. Even
dope heads can pile up rebuttals to every allegation. Goering's statements
are now memorable; they still linger in the minds of those caught in this
New World Disorder. A defense by any tyrant can be slow poison. It can dent
the gratitude of "liberated" peoples for ages to come. The Soviet General
R.A. Rudenko's rape of Poland, and the subsequent Katyn forest massacre can
make many Europeans skeptical about any war of liberation. Nazi war
criminals repeatedly pointed to this famous allied cover up in their
defense. How this led to many of them missing the hangman's noose is a
little uncertain.

If Bush needs to win the next election, he needs to silence Saddam,
Guantanamo-style, in seclusion. That will raise suspicions. Any medical
mishap or anomaly will also raise suspicions. Not a very good situation, is

How are they going to answer their former ally, when every meeting with
Donald Rumsfeld alone is going to be recounted in detail? Bribe and
intimidate all those who can corroborate those shady minutiae? One
possibility but a lot of it is already out in the public domain. If the
dictator was ever that good in understanding power, he would have prepared
for this day long back, with stashes of documents secreted away for his
eventual defense. There is a likelihood, as early newscasts indicate, that
Saddam might be handed over to the Iraqis, neither the ones brutalized nor
the rational ones, but the ones most likely to parade him to the execution
grounds, a brief stop before the onward journey to one of his former
palaces, where, they will set their collaboration with US authorities firmly
in stone. The sands of Arabia are a bit too fickle for that.

There is another possibility that whoever thought this through had done his
homework very well, and the timing was impeccable. If true, students of
propaganda will be using this incident as a case study for decades to come.
Yet, it's too early to say anything for sure . . . We don't know all the
facts yet.

 Источник: Mathew Maavak, Online Journal Contributing Writer

Copyright © 1998-2003 Online Journal™. All rights reserved.

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