Call me a “gloater,” too–that’s the latest epithet for President Bush, who was looking like that cat who got the canary in the papers this morning as honorary Rastafarian Saddam Hussein was having his dreadlocks checked for lice outside his Tikrit rat-trap. But I decided I was chuckling too heartily at the Butcher of Bagdad’s sorry sartorial state (that guy needs a Ba’ath!), so I turned for some predictable gloom and doom to the Cockburn family’s Stalinist website CounterPunch.org, and here’s what I got:
Saddam was neither the spiritual nor the political guide to the insurgency that is now claiming so many lives in Iraq–far more Iraqi than Western lives, one might add–and, however happy Messrs Bush and Blair may be at the capture of Saddam, the war goes on.
In Fallujah, in Ramadi, in other centres of Sunni power in Iraq, the anti-occupation rising will continue. The system of attacks and the frighteningly fast-growing sophistication of the insurgents is bound up with the Committee of the Faith, a group of Wahabi-based Sunni Muslims who now plan their attacks on American occupation troops between Mosul and the city of Hilla, 50 miles south of Baghdad. Even before the overthrow of the Baathist regime, these groups, permitted by Saddam in the hope that they could drain off Sunni Islamic militancy, were planning the mukawama–the resistance against foreign occupation.
For Saddam Hussein his capture is the moment of supreme humiliation. He has always portrayed himself as the Arab hero who would fight to the last bullet and die surrounded by the bodies of his enemies. Instead he has fallen alive into the hands of US troops after successfully evading them for over half a year.
Saddam will wonder who finally betrayed him in exchange for $25 million.
This theory goes that many Iraqis resent and oppose the occupation of their country by western forces, but have shied away from joining the guerrilla insurgency because they also hated Hussein and didn’t want to contribute to his possible return to power. With Hussein removed as a threat, these Iraqi nationalists are now free to join in what could quickly become much more of a genuine national liberation movement.
It will take some effort to remove the memory of the bombings of Iraqi neighborhoods which the US had targeted to try in vain to knock off Saddam Hussien[sic] and his family from the face of the earth based on reports from “intelligence” sources. How many civilians had to die because the US had decided that Hussein was no more an asset but a liability who refused to follow orders.
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