- "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."
- 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"
- 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
- 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,
- 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.
- Copyright © 2003 Mathew Maavak
From J B Campbell
- Saddam's capture assures Bush's re-election? But what
if Saddam speaks? The Bushes must be very uneasy right now. The trial
must be delayed till 2005. By then Saddam could get stomach cancer or
a brain tumor.
- Will Sanchez send him to Guantanamo? Of course, after
living in a spider hole, Camp X-Ray might seem quite comfy, even with a
bag on his head.
- Saddam's capture rather than killing could become very
awkward. Where would the UN keep him until trial, and what is UN's authority
or standing to conduct such a trial? What will the charge be? Underpricing
his oil? Using American biological and nerve weapons against Iran? Anti-Semitism?
Not fighting hard enough against our wonderful boys?
- They can't say he lied to the FBI about his weapons,
or that he helped attack the World Trade Center with his drones of death.
I think his meanest weapon - in theory - was the trailer-mounted biological
weapon which was masquerading as a gas bag inflator.
- If CIA was tracking Saddam, as you suggest, and chose
to capture him rather than wipe him out, this may be a CIA coup against
the Neo-cons, to remove their stooge from power and thus, them.
- Saddam on the witness stand cannot help Bush or the Zionists
who run him. Surely, a war crimes trial is not in the deck of cards. Maybe
exile to Madagascar - if he promises not to say anything.
- JB Campbell