Last December 14th was an entertaining moment in America. Here, splashed on every TV screen, was the former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, clearly having a bad hair day. Ever the ham, L. Paul Bremer (the 'L' stands for 'Lying'), decked in his boring blue blazer and cowboys boots, the two pieces of clothing he seems to only possess, had announced with great theatre that 'we got him', meaning Hussein, even though it could very well become the other way around and even though the Kurds had done the getting and then the negotiating of a deal. The 'we got him' should have been
'we bought him'.
On excited CNN, babbling Paula Zahn was also having a bad hair day. Her insipid co-host, Aaron Brown, every hair in place, had not missed the opportunity to ruminate out loud about the splendor of his own thoughts on the matter and the 'million things' he wished he knew, as if no one had noticed the deficiency. The rest of mainstream media, America's gigantic sewer mouth, shrieked with renewed
racist hate, in full manic mode unseen since the ghoulish display of Hussein's two dead sons. No 'gloating' was the mot d'ordre as gloating went on.
Among politicians, a gesticulating Joseph Lieberman, the whiny US senator from Israel, had put his best dejected face forward to reveal how he, in fact, was the one really responsible for the Capture and how he ought to be made next president of the United States as a reward.
The same clip of Hussein's gaping mouth poked around by a latex-gloved bald guy with a popsicle stick was shown over and over, so much so that after a while it not only became unbearable to watch but it made viewers identify with him. Saddam that is, not the bald dude. In fact, the prisoner looked exactly like the poor homeless souls curled up in the cardboard boxes they call home, near Bush's Conservative Compassionate White House. The clip bore all the marks of
a Pentagon prop: too clean, too easy, too measured, too rehearsed. A docile Saddam looked drugged and it is reasonable to assume that he was.
Then, George W. Bush appeared, hair neatly combed. The president dutifully read what had been put in front of him, a look of panic in the eyes, careful to e-nun-ci-ate every word, particularly 'terrorists' with which he wrestled a bit in order not to make it come out as 'terrrrrrichts'. He may as well have been reading the list of contents of a breakfast cereal box for that matter, as if all this was going well above his head, as usual. But he pronounced 'Iraq' correctly, not 'eye-rack', and, after laborious lip contortions to produce
the required sounds, wrapped up the flat and redundant recitation by asking God to bless the people of Iraq, the
very ones that he, George Bush, was killing, starving and mutilating.
He could have also asked Him to do something about his speechwriters. The tirade was mostly a collection of the usual clichés, crafted for the folks 'back home', what else.
It was no great loss for the Iraqis who know first hand what a Bush promise is worth, regardless of which Bush utters it.
Mr. President raved and raved how he admired their great culture, which is why he could not resist looting and destroying their priceless museums; how he respected their legal right to sovereignty by illegally occupying their nation and planning to dismember it; how Hussein's secret police would never hunt them again because he was training a new and improved one to do just that. In short, George Bush asked the people of Iraq to embrace his pillaging, plundering and ravaging of their natural resources because – well, because. In London, England, the suddenly awaken Poodle yapped approval in echo. All in all, it was a better Sunday morning than the previous one when the head-bobbing eye-bulging Hillary gave a stale rendition of her Pink Shtick Performance.
An all-adolescent smirkish Bush popped-up again the morning after to declare this time that the world was better off without Saddam, notwithstanding the fact that what the world had said, more than once, is that it would be better off without George. The leader of the-greatest-empire-in-the- universe, past and future, then proceeded to elevate himself to Hussein's level when he chided his Papa's ex-buddy in the manner of schoolboys everywhere: 'good riddance, Mis-ter Saddam Hussein'…you dug yourself a ho-le…'
By then the globe was yawning, feeling vaguely sympathetic to Saddam for no one likes a snitch and Tel-Aviv should have remembered that David will always be more attractive than Goliath. Bush's much-touted anticipated surge in popularity as a result of the arrest did not materialize. Wall Street did not burst into the awaited explosion of questionable profits. The Iraqi resistance did not stop resisting. US Forces went on robbing and murdering. Saddam Hussein had gotten a shave and a cut and he still had strong cards to play. One mostly: to tell the truth. His biggest.
Mr. President went on to state, with a straight face, that
he would have the former Iraqi leader tried for crimes against humanity and for genocide, a preemptive warning that a prodigious travesty was already in the making. This from the man who willfully flaunted international laws and turned himself into a war - and perhaps a non-war - criminal and a thief, a man with the blood of tens of thousands Afghans
and Iraqis on his hands, an awful lot of them innocents and an awful lot of them children. Here was the man who ordered the unnecessary and savage bombing of two of the most defenseless, impoverished, nations on earth, one of them of absolute no threat to his own, the one who rained depleted uranium and cluster bombs upon their hapless civilians.
George-the-unmasked-liar who deceived his nation into an illegal war, the US president who may have let 9/11 happen and terrorizes his population into silence, Guantanamo -George who jails his own citizens without cause nor proper legal representation, muddy-boots-George who happily tramples up and down his own Constitution, George- Commander-in-Chief who secretly flew to Iraq on the most revered of all US holidays to bring his bamboozled troops a fake, painted-for-TV, turkey, yes, Mr. Mission Accomplished himself together with his pseudo patriotic neoconery (known in international diplomatic circles as La Neoconnerie) and convicted Ahmed Bankfraud Chalabi, that George is poised to stage Nuremberg-on-the-Euphrate, O. J Simpson style, a hilarious mother of all judicial farces.
Et Tu Saddam?
It is no secret in Washington that Karl Rove, Bush's guru, is desperate to have his limping poulain elected president again in 2004. Not that George matters, but the Republican party does and the Republican party is in deep doo-doo, as the other President George liked to say, precisely because of
this George and his creative destructionist crackpots. With bird-in-hand Hussein, Rove now thinks that the reelection he needs is in the political pocket. Perhaps. It may also be that the capture was too early in the electoral game, the gloating too premature, the world and Americans too fed-up with his Cro-Magnon guys.
An international battle to represent Saddam is already shaping which will, no doubt, serve to push Washington into a further isolated diplomatic corner, the essence of the game. For a public trial will expose America's years of criminal actions against the Iraqis and, horror of horrors, will offer Hussein one last chance to redeem himself, albeit partially, for all eternity this time, by telling the truth and nothing but. The last and most powerful act of an otherwise ghastly show has yet to be played, a sort of final bow to
the ones Hussein owes it most – his people – but also to
the peoples of the world and to History.
Indeed, the doomed captive who always said that he would fight to the end must fight to the end. He must tell about the long love fest with Washington, about Ronald Reagan
and best pals Rumsfeld, Cheney and George's dad, about the Iran-Iraq war and April Glaspie, the US Ambassador. The world wants to know about the invasion of Kuwait because the story had not yet been told and about the US-backed Shi'ite upraising in the early 90's. Please do tell about Reagan's secret and still classified pro-Iraq directive aimed against the Iranians. Was not the perfumed Richard Perle one of your best links to Washington? Did Brent Snowcroft not know that Kuwait was illegally pumping oil out of your country, billions of dollars worth?
Can the world really believe that Yitzhak Shamir offered to sell you arms, any kind of arms and as many as you wanted? Do you recall the names of the US Admirals who physically fought on your side against Teheran in 1998? And can you explain how you went from best US friend to the incarnation of evil overnight? The old Bush regime heaped enough praise upon you all these years, even right after the Halabja disaster took place. "A source of moderation in the region" they called you, not 'man of peace' exactly but close enough. Why, Bush the Elder had also signed another secret directive to tighten the bond you two had. How can such deep affection turn so quickly into rabid hate?
But most of all Mr. ex-President, the world wants you to clarify the issue of your weapons of mass destruction. Enough information is in the public sphere for most to conclude they had all been destroyed during, or following, Gulf War I, and that the demand to surrender them was a macabre charade to justify the genocide-like sanctions against your people, sanctions that the Clinton administration was happy to maintain and even increase.
The sanctions were also enthusiastically supported by the grotesque Madeleine for whom '500,000' of your dead children was 'worth it'. Do you know what the 'it' was? And why did the Anglo-Americans continue to drop bombs on your powerless country day after day, at least 100,000 of them, for another decade if there were no weapons left? Albright had to know that your WMDs did not exist just as the impeached Bill Clinton, his wife and his vice-president, also had to know.
In fact, the entire Bush-bis cabinet had to know, president included, unless the father lied to the son and the son does not talk to anyone but the father. There is, in addition, the pending matter of chemical components, insecticides, anthrax and other deadly viral agents, high-speed computers, aluminum tubes, the overall paraphernalia of death shipped to you by the friendly Rummy, the same Rumsfeld who recently begged amnesia under Senator Byrd's related questions.
There is so much to ask, so much for you to tell, all the way to earlier days even, that it will take years for you to walk us through it all. Fortunately, George, Dick and Don and their imported Iraqi 'leadership' will help you do just that. They have already promised to organize the fairest of public trial for you, based on the most stringent of international legal standards, cross their heart and hope to die.
(A Dulles NOW member's opinion)