Finally the democratic deed is done. The benign imperialists have set Iraq and the world on the road to peace and justice.
They may have â€œhandedâ€ him over to the Quisling regime, but, forestalling all potential risk, hung him within the precincts of the â€œgreen zoneâ€ where the marauders hide from the wrath of the Iraqi people.
They hung him even as muslims in the Arab world celebrated the Bakr Eid that recalls the sacrifice of his son, Issac, made by Abraham to God. The unseemly haste in dispatching him was not owing only to the Quislingâ€™s fear of holding him safe from the insurgents for any length of time. It was in pursuance of an evil, imperialist design.
The murder was made to coincide with Eid as a malicious insult to Islam. It betokened the declaration that the issue between the Bush regime and Saddam and the Arabs had nothing to do with Weapons of Mass Destruction or Palestine, but with underlining the nature of the â€œcrusadeâ€ of which Bush had spoken after the collapse of the twin towers at the hands of a dozen Americans of Saudi extraction.
Eid was chosen to emphasise that, whatever the world may think, the Bush regime was certainly involved in a â€œclash of civilizationsâ€â€”the Christian and the Islamic. Consider that just today the Bush spokesmen have characterized the conflict in Somalia as one between the â€œChristian Ethiopiansâ€ and the Somali â€œIslamists.â€
That Saddam seemed finally to understand this is reflected in his letterâ€”his last testamentâ€”to the people of Iraq. In that he was to draw a pointed parallel between the sacrifice made by Abraham and now by him.
Be it noted that Saddam was not murdered for what may have been considered his most major excesses. And for a reason. Here is how Robert Fisk has put it:
â€œWho encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed for it led to the deaths of a million and a half souls? And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? We did. No wonder the Americans, who controlled Saddamâ€™s weird trial, forbad any mention of this, his most obscene atrocity, in the charges against him. Could he not have been handed over to the Iranians for sentencing for this massive war crime? Of course not. Because that would also expose our culpability.â€ (Truthout, Dec.,30).
No. A thorn in the American side for refusing to play the politics of sectarian divisions in the middle-east, for running a secular state, for his old-world nationalism that kept Iraq unified, for his principled support for the Palestinians and his unambiguous hostility to the Zionists in Israel, and, most of all, for his willingness to trade his oil wealth for Euros rather than Dollars, the charge that he was hung for had to do with the killing of a hundred and some Shias in Iraqâ€™s Dujail province. This was construed into a â€œcrimes against humanityâ€ offence by accusers in Washington who, alongwith many predecessor American regimes, are commonly known to have piled such crimes upon the world in mountainous heaps. Just in passing, Chile, Nicaragua, Ecaudor, Grenada, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, all have this story to tell. Not to repeat the fact that Saddamsâ€™s own worst offences, as Fisk points out, had had the blessings and much material support of the accusers themselves! Consider also that, after all, the Pakistani airborne massacre in Baluchistan was not so different from the Dujail event. And yet the strongman in Rawalpindi need fear no chargesheet, at least not till he has his uses.
Does it also not seem rather monstrous that those who invaded Iraq on false pretencesâ€”for which they have been so comprehensively exposed and derided by the American people themselvesâ€”and killed off some one million Iraqis in the process should have the gumption to have hung Saddam for the Dujail killings? Where Saddam had no WMDs, the imperialist invaders thought nothing of using genocidal weapons like cluster bombs, white phosphorus, and dirty uranium in pursuance of a Christian crusade ordained by God many thousands of miles from Manhattan.
And, where the Bushies have been shown to have been in close oily embrace with the Bin Ladens for decades, (do recall that only one airplane was allowed to fly out of America after 9/11; it carried the entire Bin Laden clan!), Saddam not only had no trek with Al Qaeda but was proved, by none other than the CIA, to have actively kept them at bay.
Good-natured people are now busy asking, â€œso what is done is done, but will the Saddam hanging help matters in Iraq?â€ The naivete here is touching. Let it be recognized thatâ€”the new Congress notwithstandingâ€”the Bush administration does not for a minute wish things to settle down in Iraq or the Middle-East, not until all challenge to American Corporate control over the material resources there is established, and not until it has ensured for the Ziionists an unchallengeable sway as the sole arbiter and hegemon in the region.
That being the case, fresh waves of violence that undoubtedly will ensue from the Saddam murder will suit the imperialists just fine. They can turn around and say â€œlook we told you; there can be no reasoned or quick end to terrorism; thus the â€˜war on terrorâ€™ must go on.â€ And did not Schindler once say that nothing suits business as well as war? And will not that other expansive and insidious industry benefit likewise from that occurrence, namely, the religion of the right-wingers who wish â€œvaluesâ€ to be missioned out to the fallen world?
Remarkably, till this moment, neither CNN, nor BBC here in India have carried any news of what, if anything, the Russians or the Chinese have had to say on the Sadddam murder. But our own astute and forward-looking government has given evidence that it is indeed learning the tricks of how to be a superpower. Not by adhering to any noble principles or loyalties (remember that Saddam alone in the Middle East always supported the Indian cause in Kashmir, even in meetings of the Organization of Islamic Countries where not a second country spoke for India), but by practicing expediency, even if of an abject and supine kind. Our government finds the killing of Saddam â€œunfortunateâ€ and is â€œdisappointedâ€ that it should have happened. That it did not move a lttle finger to persuade the United Nations to intervene in the larger world interest, including one might add, Indian interest, is obvious enough.
Some well-known and influential political commentators here have taken the view that, after all, saying anything stronger could have risked our relationship with the present Iraqi government and put a spanner in our interests in Iran. That is indeed begging a whole lot of questions. It can only be a hopelessly myopic travesty to call the present government in Iraq either as a government chosen by the Iraqis, or as a government with any prospect even in the near future. As to Iran, the disingenuousness is breathtaking; it seems to have been forgotten that already India has twice voted against Iran in the IAEA on gentle American behest.
If indeed any â€œdisappointmentâ€ has been expressed, or if the Congress Party as a political forum has mustered courage to â€œcondemnâ€ the Saddam murder, these forked procedures have, alas, much to do with the forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh where Muslims have decisive vote in many constituencies. Had that not been the case, and had other parties like the Samajwadi Party that now rules the state not been already more than strident in calling Bush a murderer, we may indeed have heard nothing even of â€œdisappointmentâ€ at what has transpired in Iraq. Rather a time for one to hang oneâ€™s head in some shame. In olden and unfashionable times, people were executed for what was called â€œequivocationâ€ by the law. A famous instance that comes to mind is that of the Jesuit who was found culpable for the Gunpowder plot (the Guy Fox event). Now, be it Bush (Saddam has WMDs) or us, â€œequivocationâ€ makes for enlightened realpolick. Never mind what our idealistic education systems teach in schools about truth, courage, and honesty. All that is for the serving classes.
What, then, are the prospects in Iraq and the world?
Clearly, from Morroco to Turkey to Indonesia, many â€œspontaneous combustionsâ€ ought to be expected. That clerics everywhere will ply the Eid angle is already in evidence. Indeed, one can hear many perfectly liberal muslims express indignation at the timing of the murder.
In many places today people have come out in numbers to express that indignation, however hopeless it may seem. Within India it is encouraging to note that secular and leftword analyses of what has been happening since 9/11 have persuaded large swaths of Indian muslims to see the contest as not being between â€œcivilizationsâ€ but between the imperialist project and common resistance to that project. Clearly this understanding will need to be driven home in other parts of the subcontinent and the Asian and West Asian regions.
Yet, if something qualitatively decisive has to happen, it is from the great American people that concerted initiatives must come. Without that happening the recent Congressional rebuffs to the Bushies may amount only to a pyrrhic occurrence. That rebuff needs to be built upon day in and day out. There is news that the good old fake Florida victory is up for Congressional enquiry. The world takes heart from such a turn, but it is the drive for impeachment which must now be seriously pursued if the world is to be spared further destruction. After all, any lookback at the depredations wrought by the neocon regime in moral and material terms worldwide must put poor old Nixonâ€™s misdemeanours into petty and forgiveable relief.
As to Iraq, things may now be only beginning. What happens to the Middle-East in the coming days is simply a frightening thought. Meanwhile, let not the Shias and Ahmedinejad gloat at the happening. It could be anybodyâ€™s turn next.