Bullet points are the last refuge of the lazy writer; a cheap way to distribute ideas quickly, without the need for serious writing style or finesse. But it’s New Years, and I don’t care. Besides, the execution of Sadaam Hussein is such a predictably-bizarre episode in the four-year, carefully-designed Iraqi nightmare produced by the Bushies that, at some point, you just throw up your hands and go – wha?
- Puppet Strings: Raise your hand if you think the Iraq “government”, such as it is, had anything to do with the ritual slaying of Hussein, much less the timing. Ever since he was discovered in a rabbit-hole three years ago, the U.S. has kept Hussein in their custody, so that a show trial could take place and, eventually and quickly, the trap door could drop at a politically opportune time. Had he been delivered to the Iraqis sooner, he would have been summarily killed by rival factions earlier or, just maybe, spirited away to a safe house in Tikrit to spend his last days peacefully with his mother, or whatever. But we delivered him directly to the gallows, no doubt with troops at the ready if any upstart Iraqi decided to try some funny business.
- Legally Illegal: Wanna have some fun? Google “Sadaam indictment” and see what happens. Can you find the indictment that resulted in his execution? No? Well, what the hell was he charged with? And how did the charges fit into any Iraqi law that existed at the time of the offenses? The fact is that, if Hussein indeed committed “crimes against humanity”, these are the sort of things a) that are not against the criminal code of any nation I’m aware of (if so, let’s work up something on Junior Bush immediately) and, b) if prosecuted at all, should be run by an international court (a point made by many at the time the circus began). Milosevic’s crimes in Bosnia were not prosecuted by the ultimate victors or, in that case, the internationally-favored victims – it was left to an international tribunal to decide whether he broached the very generous outlines of strongman behavior. Letting Hussein be tried by the U.S.-approved (and trained) stooges of the Iraqi “judiciary” was like handing Bush over to a bunch of Democrats in a dark room after the 2006 elections. Sure, it would be nice to have happened, but, no, it shouldn’t. Forget whether he was guilty of anything. In the legendary words of Woody Allen (not coincidentally, in “Bananas”): “This trial is a travesty. It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.”
- Who ARE Those People: The news coverage of the execution was an embarrassment by all concerned. Fox News, natch, went Death Watch at the bewitching hour, hardly concealing their glee.*** But Fox wasn't alone -- all the cable and other networks got ponderous and ridiculous, playing into the Rove playbook by using the murder of Hussein as an excuse to remind us what a bad guy he was. Well, duh. Most obnoxious, though, was the “coverage” of staged celebrators, in Iraq and Dearborn, Michigan, who, once the camera lights go on, dance badly and pretend to be happy about the whole thing. If you compare footage from other such events – the falling statue, Hussein found in rabbit-hole, whatever – you will find the same well-paid actors. It’s a sectarian fight. Guess what: Shia and Kurds happy; Hussein’s Sunnis, not so much. Big deal. It's about as spontaneous as a GOP convention, and orchestrated by the same people.
- Leave It to Russia: Once again, a Bush-led outrage is met with silence by the leading Democrats. I mean, who could be against the execution of Sadaam Hussein? Well, if there were a real opposition party in this country, lots of people would be, or at least would have a voice in the Permanent Government to ask some questions about what the hell is going on. The execution should be an opportunity for righteous outrage about the whole Bush scheme, all the lies and the ultimate isolation of the United States from the norms of international community. But, no. Ask a Democratic political consultant whether you should criticize the Hussein execution and watch him roll on the floor in laughter. In the meantime, entities such as Russia stake out the higher ground by condemning the outrage. Better them than any of us…I guess…
- Who's Next?: Sadaam Hussein was the way he was because that is the way it has always been in Iraq -- ruled by the meanest son-of-a-bitch in the land. As we have seen in that grim land all this year, killing is not a crime as much as it is a way of communicating. For all the exaggerations made about Hussein to justify the war and his hanging ("hundreds of thousands" in mass graves? Well, not quite.), I hope someone's keeping score on the crimes of all the pretenders to the throne in this gruesome game of King-of-the-Hill, so we'll know who to charge with what next time.
One of the sad aspects about all of this is that the violence created by the vengeance killing of Hussein is sure to cause the death toll of U.S. servicemen to rise to and above the 3,000 threshold, probably before the year is out. Sadaam’s bloody, broken neck notwithstanding, the questions remain:
*** I deleted a part here that I had written about Alan Colmes, and offer apologies if it was inaccurate. I wrote the phrase "the repulsive pretend-liberal Alan Colmes almost offering to put the noose on the guy himself." at the end of this sentence. Colmes himself wrote to me about this (you never know if people really are who they say they are, and it's hard for me to believe someone like Colmes is one of my seven readers, but I'll believe it if you will), and says that he was offering an opposing, anti-execution/death penalty message on that night's show. I can't say I watched all of it and, if I was stretching the interpretation of Colmes usual passive stance (at least while I was watching) as acquiescence to the rabid Hannity and their various right-wing guests, I apologize.
As for the "repulsive pretend-liberal" conclusion, although I am not the first one to challenge Colmes for his enabling of Hannity -- not to mention frequent offensive guests like Ann Coulter, Dick Morris, Ollie North, etc. -- he really does seem to be concerned that he is not taken seriously as a progressive voice on the Red Planet of Fox News. More about that later -- I am going to take him up on his offer to watch and listen to him more. Call it one of my many New Years resolutions.