Monday, November 06, 2006

Saddam as symbol

Of course the Bush administration released the Saddam Hussein war crimes verdict two days before the mid-term elections. No surprise there. The Bushies have been bending the Iraq to their own needs since day one. From Mission Accomplished to Last Throes to Bring it On, the Great Decider in Chief has viewed Iraq first as a political cudgel, and then as a place where real people die. And therein lies the reason the US is about to lose its second war in 40 years.

Iraq is really three countries: Shiite, Kurd and Sunni. Shiites are the majority, and a group with good reason to hate Saddam. They are thrilled that the Butcher of Baghdad will one day face the noose. The Kurds are strong, confident, pro-American, and safely tucked away in the north of Iraq. They hate Saddam, and would gladly spring the trap door. The Sunnis are a harder sell, though most will not be grieving when Saddam is sent to that special corner of Muslim hell where the couscous is rancid all the virgins look like Lynn Cheney.

But the timing of the announcement is not going down well in Iraq. Once again, Iraqis are made to dance to Bush's tune. Iraqi blogger Riverbend, who grows more and more dispirited, says
It’s not about the man- presidents come and go, governments come and go. It’s the frustration of feeling like the whole country and every single Iraqi inside and outside of Iraq is at the mercy of American politics. It is the rage of feeling like a mere chess piece to be moved back and forth at will. It is the aggravation of having a government so blind and uncaring about their peoples needs that they don’t even feel like it’s necessary to go through the motions or put up an act. And it's the deaths. The thousands of dead and dying, with Bush sitting there smirking and lying about progress and winning in a country where every single Iraqi outside of the Green Zone is losing.

Once again… The timing of all of this is impeccable- two days before congressional elections. And if you don’t see it, then I’m sorry, you’re stupid. Let’s see how many times Bush milks this as a ‘success’ in his coming speeches.
Winning hearts and minds, let alone the war, is so far from Bush's mind that it is, quite literally, criminal. This was never a war against terror - it was a war for Republican dominance. Look at Riverbend's quote one more time. Replace "Iraqi" with "American". Americans and Iraqis have shared the same fate for the last four years. It's just the Iraqis that have paid the price.

Don't forget to vote.

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