Now That Saddam Is Gone Why Is His Double Still Around?

How ironic it all turned out to be. It was Saddam, the dictator himself, who was Iraq’s ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction !! See how he managed to get Iraq destroyed. A country – once one of the richest in the entire Middle-East, a bulwark of Arab nationalism, the very cradle of human civilization itself – sacked and handed over to foreign invaders.

But hey, wait ! The task is not yet over. Can someone ask the Colonial Forces (alias `Coalition Forces’) to get rid of that other WMD menacing our planet- Saddam’s double? No, not the one we saw walking the streets of Baghdad the other day but the 800 pound gorilla who happens to be the President of the United States?

You want to know what `Little Bush’ (as the late Iraqi regime so fondly called him) has in common with Saddam ? Simple, just consider these facts.

a) Both are creations of Papa Bush: I am referring, of course, to Bush Senior’s role and that of the CIA he worked for much of his life in the conception, nurture and rise of Saddam from junior military officer to coup leader to dictator to pet Monster. How can we forget Bush senior’s hand, as vice-president under Ronald Reagan, extending the US government’s not-so-covert support to Saddam’s invasion of Iran. Or the butchery that ensued, largely with the help of US-made weapons, including surprise, surprise the very same WMDs that have now become an excuse to bring the Iraqi dictator down. When Saddam gassed the Kurds in 1988, guess who was President of the United States- trying to propagate the claim that it was the `fanatical’ Iranians who used chemical weapons and not `our very own bastard’.

We will never know for sure whether it was Bush Senior himself who encouraged his Iraqi progeny to invade Kuwait in 1991 or that was just the adolescent Son rebelling against his Father. Or indeed why, Papa Bush’s `Read My Lips’ became `Bare My Teeth’ all of a sudden. But the brutal audacity of the event, the greed, the venality, had all the DNA marks of a true Bush Family Horror Show.

As for Little Bush, of course, all of us know who his daddy is. Or do we ? (can’t trust anyone these days, especially with so many Doubles around)

b) Both are guilty of War Crimes: Sure, Saddam is a war criminal because he invaded his neighbouring countries twice without reason, gassed the Kurds, killed civilians indiscriminately and so on. All with US government endorsement of course, but a war crime is a war crime is a war crime. No excuses. And the man deserves all the punishment he gets.

But Little Bush, tell us, why have you waged war on a country 5,000 miles from your shores in violation of all international law and destabilized the world for decades to come ? Your armed forces have bombed hospitals, destroyed civilian infrastructure, used cluster bombs and depleted uranium, massacred non-combatants, assassinated journalists and are about to steal another nation’s sovereignty and valuable resources. And today as Bagdhad and other Iraqi cities descend into anarchy your trigger-happy soldiers stand around shooting ‘suspicious’ civilians while refusing to stop the looting. All this in fact makes you worse than a war criminal, but for the time being we will not quibble over words, and call you just that- a WAR CRIMINAL. (remember the spelling Dubya, it will come handy some day when justice is done)

c) Both hate democracy: Saddam, never probably had a democratic moment, in his entire career. Killing political rivals, establishing dynasty rule, suppressing the media and buying loyalty with money came as naturally as the smirk on Bush Junior’s face . Not surprising really, given the feudal social and political background Saddam was a product of, not to mention the `education’ in ruthless realpolitik he got from his American mentors.

But what about you Little Bush ? Are you not part of a feudal dynasty- the Royal Bush Family? Are you and Jeb not the Uday and Qusay of the United States- carrying on Papa’s mission to conquer the world ? And you have your own little neo-con ‘fedayeen’ too, die-hard loyalists of the new American Empire.

You claim to believe in democracy and yet you steal an entire election to become President ? Do you not buy loyalty with money – or is it that you merely sell it for money ? You have subjected the American people to the worst abuse of democratic rights in living memory. And as for those who are not US citizens no ‘human rights’ apply to them because they don’t have Christian names and are therefore not human at all.

Talking about controlling the media- what a brilliant strategy you have Little Bush- EMBED some, SHOOT some ? You have the same genes as Saddam, but the latter simply does not have the same guile. (You learnt something at Yale, after all. Or was that the guiding hand of Uncle Rumsfield ?)

OK, that leaves just matching Saddam’s record of murdering political rivals. Little Bush, we all just witnessed your forces trying to kill the only person who can rival you in everything that you do- Saddam himself. Pity, you failed. Smart bombs, dumb Commander-in-Chief I guess.

d) Both are born-again believers: If there is anything that really set Saddam’s dictatorship apart from that of other Arab regimes it was the fact that his was a ‘secular’ tyranny and not a religious, fundamentalist one. But in 1991 after being beaten back from Kuwait and losing heavily to the US-led global posse Saddam turned born-again Islamic warrior. The new Iraqi flag after Gulf War One had the words ‘Allah is Great’ inscribed on it in Arabic while Saddam made it a point to be seen praying at the mosques of Baghdad and appealing to fellow ‘Muslims’ to come to his aid against the ‘infidel’ Americans.

Bush Junior, did not need anything as momentous as losing a war to convert him from spoilt, playboy son of the US President to quasi-evangelist, born-again Christian. Maybe a pretzel stuck in his thorax was enough. I am not sure, and I don’t care why he turned to ‘Faith’ all of a sudden. But there is no doubt that he has benefited politically and financially from the support of the hordes of Christian warriors who form the extreme rightwing of US society today. And just like Saddam’s cynical use of Islam, Little Bush too mirrored the Iraqi despot- whipping up fundamentalist passions to go to war against the ‘Terrorist Muslims by ‘embedding’ none less than God Himself as part of the US lynch mob.

e) Both love having domesticated creatures around them: No, Saddam was never known to have a pet dog. But there were enough number of loyal canine around the dictator – ready to kill at his command – to qualify him President of any Rottweiler lover’s club. The secret police in their secret kennels torturing Saddam’s foes. His two sons, snatching meat from the mouths of hungry Iraqi children. His spokesmen, telling outrageous lies in public to hide the dictator’s problems or boost his ego. There were plenty of them- the big MAN’s best companions and the common Iraqi’s worst enemies.

But Little Bush, none can match your choice of a four-legged friend- and one that actually gives long, insincere speeches- Tony `Poodle’ Blair. We have all seen the pure love in your eyes and that of the poodle- broadcast live – from the Summits, the Retreats and the Pow Wow (Bow, bow ?) sessions that you always hold together.

Trusty Tony, always at your command, always barking up the wrong tree (also at your command) and always ready to bite more than he can chew (that comes as part of the pedigree). It never gets better with these sort of things Little Bush. You just don’t know how lucky you are. You wag the dog and the dog wags you back. But some friendly advice, never let your poodle anywhere near North Korea. There are a lot of very hungry people there waiting to have some dog soup. Be warned.

f) Finally, as Jay Leno said- `for both Saddam and George Bush Jr. English is a second language’: Is that a serious crime ? Sure it is. In a world dominated by `mad cowboy’ Anglo-Saxons – that deficiency alone is enough reason to be branded `EVIL’. Just ask anybody from `old Europe’, or Syria, or Iran, or Libya, or Sudan, or ———-wherever.

Satya Sagar is a freelance Indian journalist covering South-East Asia and based in Thailand. She can be reached at

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