Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fools of war and fools of propaganda. Raghd Saddam Husayn is taking an increasingly political role. She thinks that her tyrant father has left her with a dynasty. I was quite disturbed to hear her talk on Al-Arabiyya TV this morning, commenting on her father's performance, and praising him as a "lion." She said she was proud of him. Is she also proud of his massacres and murders? Was she proud of him when he used to order mass killings of his opponents, and even people suspected of disloyalty? There was something disturbing about her expressed pride. But make no mistake about this. Those who foolishly took this country to war, are also managing the most foolish propaganda campaign ever. With every appearance, Saddam's standing among some in Arab public opinion seems to go up, not necessarrily because of any skills of his, and not because people admire him, but because the people the US brings as his judges are either buffoons or incompetent lawyers who are easily intimidated by Saddam. As far as the show is concerned, Saddam performs better than those lousy judges the US brings to confront him. And just by appearing, mereley appearing, to stand up to US occupation enhances his public standing. This is not like Goring during the Nuremberg Trial when Goring wanted to make his last stand and to mobilize is Nazi audiences, and wanted to intimidate the rest of the Nazi war criminals. But the fact that Saddam comes across as strong and unrepentant, the fact that he challenged the court, scored points in his favor among some in Arab public opinion, especially among the vulgar Arab nationalist segments. A headline in one Arab nationalist newspaper said "He put them on trial, before they put him on trial." Now Saddam, in my opinion, deserves every humiliation that is visited on him, and more. But let us face it: there is no justice and no fair election under occupation. Saddam needed to face real justice in a free Iraq. That opportunity is missed with this brutal and foolish occupation that has in fact increased the standing of this dictator among some Sunnis largely due to the murders in the streets, and the dangerous sectarian game played by this occupation, especially as sectarian Kurdish and Shi`ite militias are allowed to roam the streets of occupied Iraq, and as Zarqawi kooks were permitted to slip into Iraq after the US occupation started. The Iraqi people deserved a chance to seek justice, and to put Saddam on trial for his crimes. But under US occupation, every step and every move is seen as suspect, and US earned the right to be distrusted in everything it does in Iraq, and elsewhere. People in Iraq and in the Arab world are wondering whether Saddam's trial (under occupation) will ever reveal the real relationship between Saddam and his former close allies and military suppliers, in the West and in the Arab world. But the US has its consideration. US officials think that they are being smart in arranging those public spectacles, in order to distract US public attention from the quagmire, and in order to send a message of "progress" to the US media. Ash-Sharq Al-Aswat reported that Saddam rushed and dyed his hair before he appeared in court. He always cares about his appearance, even in detention. He thinks that he is still leading the Iraqi people. You look at Saddam and realize the quality of those who (mis)led the Arabs over the last several decades. Those leaders were the best asset for Zionism. And to think that some even imagined that they would help liberate Palestine.