America Bags The 'Jackal Of Samarra'By Ben Roberts
December 17, 2003
We have been saturated, satiated, numbed, and waterlogged with screaming newspaper headlines and late breaking TV exclusives of the capture of Saddam Hussein. There was such a surge in news transmission of this man's being apprehended that we have to assume that aliens billions of light years away knew about it promptly. Whilst back on earth, I had to hear of it via an early morning jangling phone waking me from deep sleep. A call from a dear friend as she breathlessly told me to quickly turn on my TV to witness events of the capture.
I like to refer to Saddam Hussein as the Jackal Of Samarra. To understand why run don't walk to your favorite bookstore, or let your keyboard transport you to any of the well known Internet book portals, and find a fiction novel with just that name, 'Jackals Of Samarra.' You will certainly find it quite revealing, in light of the war in Iraq, the recent headlines of the alleged huge firefight in the town of Samarra in Iraq, and now even more so with the capture of Saddam. On hearing of the capture my first response was 'Yikes! What now?'
It was incredulous not hearing that Saddam Hussein was captured, but rather that he was captured alive. My reasoning has always been that were Saddam to be found he would be promptly killed by American forces because he would be such an embarrassment to our government. It might very well be that George Bush's decision as Commander In Chief to keep Saddam alive turns out to be a bonanza. But a bonanza for who? Clearly Bush has to be thinking that he will be lauded and exonerated by American citizens for attacking Iraq by presenting them with the gift of Saddam Hussein. They in turn will give him what he desperately wants. A four year extended tenant lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. See Bush never does something for nothing. What could be better for Bush re-election prospects than Saddam Hussein on display in a trial just as he is asking for us to re-elect him? Just about every pundit and analyst, including David Corn of The Nation newspaper, has arrived at such a conclusion, as he did this week while on the radio show To The Point with host Warren Olney.
My take is completely different. The display of Saddam Hussein in mock (and I do mean mock as in mockery) trial will be an embarrassment for Bush, that will send his election prospects down the drain. It is nothing short of laughable and ironic that it will be the despised dictator Saddam Hussein who will have to come to the rescue and save Americans from Bush II. Let's face it, Saddam probably came out of hiding just to be a part of the gala. Get this. Bush deposed Saddam by military means without the consent of his American constituency or the world community. Now Saddam has a chance to be on the world stage using his mouth to depose Bush. Saddam thrives on the world stage. Bush, in keeping Saddam alive, has misstepped badly, and his re-election chances do not look good. Bush realizes this, and is furiously backpedaling, trying to recover from this huge miscalculation. One look at Bush and his entourage clearly demonstrates this.
For the Bush Team, confusion reigns. Within hours of Saddam's capture there was a huge explosion in Iraq as a US military official and the media were analyzing the event to death. Their theme was that attacks in Iraq would cease because of Saddam's capture. Remember Bush has been telling us all along that such attacks were due to Saddam loyalists, thugs, dead-enders. Then the attack happened. The TV newsman then changed to a new tune. He said, 'Well you can't be too sure. Things are not safe and there are still violent people out there.' The man looked so embarrassed with egg on his face. With Saddam in custody the attacks should cease if he and his minions are responsible. The fact that there was an attack even as the soothsayer was telling us that they were over proves two things. First, it proves that regular Iraqi citizens, incensed that America has invaded their country, are fighting to defend it. Many such fighters have said this but have been dismissed. Secondly, it proves that foreign fighters are very much involved in these attacks. This means that the Muslim world views America as being engaged in the 'crusade' that George Bush foolishly described in his war on terror speech on the night of September 11, and they are fighting back with a global jihad. Vietnam quagmire? Much worse. This is a battlefield nightmare for American forces. The Bush Administration has gone to great pains to keep us ignorant of these two developments on the ground in Iraq.
In a Sunday interview with Leslie Stall of CBS, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked about the category under which Saddam was being held. Was it as a war criminal, a terrorist, or a brutal dictator? Rumsfeld, usually combative and on point, seemed to be fumbling and at a loss as he rambled on about the Geneva Convention. He seemed to be making up stuff as he went along. So unlike Rumsfeld. Are you a betting man? The media is now feeding us headlines of mass arrests in light of Saddam's capture, implying that he is feeding valuable information on collaborators. Of course this is a ploy designed to make the Iraqi resistance feel that they have been fingered by Saddam, their leader, and that they should throw in the towel. Wanna bet that right now Saddam is not fingering those in long-standing opposition to his regime, as he feeds their names to US interrogators. Saddam must have a sly grin on his face about now because he, the Jackal Of Samarra, is back in business.
The desperation in Bush, at a living and breathing Saddam Hussein, is almost palpable. First Bush said that Saddam should be tried by the people of Iraq, and he would keep his thoughts to himself as to the man's fate. Then the reality sank in. Iraq has no death penalty. The American hand-picked Iraqi Council were trying to implement democratic and judicial changes but such undertaking were ground under the heels of the boots of US Overlord Paul Bremmer and the Bush Administration. So now they have outsmarted themselves. The Council does not truly represent Iraq. America saw to that. So it would be difficult to try Saddam in a narrowly focused strictly Iraqi trial which Bush would want because it would not allow Saddam an international forum where he could discuss how America facilitated his excesses against his people with arms, intelligence, and business transactions. Personally Bush would cringe at this. The names of Bush Sr., Donald Rumsfeld, and many others, would come up. Moreover, the prospect of Saddam being put to death does not look good in such a trial. Not a good outcome for Bush. An alternative is for Saddam to be tried in an international forum. Problem there. The world communities of the European Union and the United Nations oppose the death penalty. They would have to be an integral part of any such trial. So once again Saddam does not get the death penalty. A real bummer for Bush, who needs Saddam dead to appeal to American voters. What a wacky world. And guess what. Bush & Co. dismissed the newly formed International Court as a non entity. No help there. See how a senseless foreign policy can come back to haunt you? Totally up the creek without a paddle. A desperate and befuddled Bush came out yesterday with a new tune. Now he asserts that 'Saddam is a monster and should be put to death for his crimes.' Notwithstanding Saddam Hussein's brutality toward his fellow citizens, how disconcerting that the leader of the free world, and allegedly the most civilized nation in the world, is out in the forefront frantically calling for the death of another human being. What will our children make of such monstrous behavior?
Opinions fly fast and furious as to Saddam Hussein. One scholar from Ohio University Law School insisted on a radio show that Saddam had to be tried before an international forum for attacking Kuwait, and 'upsetting the peace' by attacking Iran. Does she know about Saddam's meeting with US Ambassador April Glaspie on the eve of his mobilization into Kuwait, when her boss James Baker was strangely unavailable because he had, believe it or not, gone fishing? Does she know about the bogus testimony by the young Kuwaiti woman claiming that Saddam's troops were throwing babies out of incubators? She was later found out to be the Kuwaiti Ambassador's daughter. Does she know that the US supplied Saddam with satellite intelligence in his war with Iran, because at the time Ayatollah was the resident monster? She rattled on that Saddam should be indicted for his global crimes. When her host commented 'But is he not innocent until proven guilty,' she was embarrassed. Trying to recover she said, 'Oh I misspoke. Yes, he is innocent until proven guilty.' How about that for American justice. Then there was a Mr. Feldman who, if memory serves me correct, was in some way connected to the UN. He said Saddam should be tried before his people for brutalizing them. There was Mr. Feldman bright eyed, shiny faced and well groomed on TV telling us what should happen to Saddam for being such a brutal dictator. Maybe Mr. Feldman would like to explain why dictators who chronically brutalized their people, such as Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and Baby Doc in Haiti, were allowed to pack up their valuables and pots of gold and given free passage and had room and board seen to by the United States. I await with bated breath the next scene in this comedy drama. Some will not be pleased with how this presentation plays out, but of one thing I am sure. Saddam Hussein, in his leading role as the Jackal Of Samarra, will be thrilled to death.
Ben Roberts is a newsletter editor, freelance writer and published author. His book, Jackals of Samarra, was published in January 2001.
Ben can be contacted by email at: email@example.com
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