by Sam Hamod
July 29, 2003
In their obsession to kill Saddam Hussein, American troops yesterday, killed over 13 Iraqi civilians, set fire to cars, killed children, cripples and mothers in the Mansur area of Baghdad—all with their usual heavy handed, clumsy, almost cruel and ignorant method of dealing with the Iraqi people. Clearly, more Americans will lose their lives for this terrible blunder; Iraqis will kill at least 3 Americans for each of those killed in this bungled raid.
It is not simply GW Bush’s obsession with Saddam, it is also that of Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle and Cheney. They had all disobeyed the wisdom of George Bush Sr. who, in his book of 1998 had explained why it had been wise not to invade Iraq, nor to chase Saddam down and take Baghdad. Now, with the invasion successful, but the “war” itself being lost, with more American casualties every day, over 215 since the “war” was officially “over” in May—- Rumsfeld, Cheney, GW Bush, Wolfowitz and Perle are trying to focus on the killing of Saddam’s sons and the killing of Saddam himself in order to proclaim victory. They believe this will absolve them of their lies and the deaths of the allied soldiers and Iraqis; no one else believes this will be any form of absolution, just another deception and misdirection to keep the truth of the situation from coming out.
But only a fool would believe the killing of Saddam's sons or Saddam will end any of the hostilities; it is clear by now that the Iraqi people are not fighting on behalf of Saddam, nor for his dead sons, but for their own independence. As I pointed out over two months ago, the Iraqis want their independence and want no more of dictators or colonialists and they will die, if necessary, to accomplish their ends.
To this day, even with photos, many in Iraq and in the rest of the world do not believe it was actually Saddam’s sons who were killed. The make-up and cosmetic work after these deaths make many wonder; add to this that the farmhouse where they were killed is now being destroyed in-toto means that the “evidence" itself is being destroyed, being wiped out so that no one can know the real truth. Most of us who have worked in intelligence do not believe in Centcom’s words; we know this is but a propaganda wing of the military. We also know that Karl Rove and those close to Bush needed a victory last week to keep the heat off of GW Bush-- so they trotted out Jessica Lynch, “our heroine” who is just another victim turned into actress, and added to it by claiming the killing of Saddam’s sons and Saddam’s 14 year old grandson. Always, when in a jam, Karl Rove pulls rabbits out of hats to save his crumbling president. In this case, it is just another possible lie, just like the known lies about the WMDS’s,IBM missiles, Saddam’s atomic weapons and Saddams’ ties to Al Qa’ida. With so many lies already in the open, why should we believe any of the things coming out of the mouths of Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice or anyone in the Bush crew? Only a fool would trust their words at this time.
But, by focusing on this continued obsession with killing or capturing of Saddam, the Bush team hopes to take the focus away from the real failures of America in this invasion and occupation of Iraq. It has done America no good in the world, in fact, it has alienated most of our real allies, aside from England; even those governments that allegedly support us in Asia, are looking at us with askance and thoughts of America becoming power mad. No one can blame them; even many Americans believe Bush is power mad. Leaders in Indonesia, the Philippines and China are wondering aloud how far Bush is willing to go with his war "against terrorism." Even in Japan, one of America's closest allies, the Prime Minister barely stood his ground against a rebellion that was caused by Japan agreeing to send in occupation troops into Iraq.
Bush is also upset that all the words of Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney, about Iraqis coming into the streets with flowers, those lies that were fed by the Pentagon’s stooge, Ahmed Chalabi, have dissolved into angry Iraqi protests, snipers firing at our soldiers, ambushes on the highways, ambushes at the guard posts and blistering sermons at the mosques telling the Americans and British to go home on their own, or go home in body bags. Bush’s dreams of being the conquering hero are being blown to bits in the same way that our HUMVEEs and Bradleys are being blown apart in ambushes every day. Thus, Bush focuses on killing Saddam, as if Saddam is the enemy. On the contrary, every rational person knows that Bush was the enemy of Saddam, Bush attacked Saddam and Iraq — he must now must pay the price for his foolishness. It's a shame he didn't have the patience or ability to read his father's book; if he had, he might have known better.
But in the meantime, our troops have been turned into savages — breaking the legs and arms of Iraqi prisoners, shooting up whole neighborhoods in a desperate quest to kill Saddam or Iraqis, and have shot up cars with children and mothers in them because they didn’t slow down fast enough at checkpoints. It sounds as if our military is becoming like that of Israel in Palestine; losing its humanity, losing its war and shaming the entire nation in front of the world by killing unarmed civilians, as if they are an enemy army. This leads to a kind of paranoia in the troops so that they no longer use good judgment; thus, they create more enemies every day, even among those who might have been cooperative or moderate.
What has happened to our nation is that the Bush crew’s obsession with quelling Iraq and killing Saddam has led to a type of self-destruction of all that which our nation stood for before this obsession began-- before Bush and Powell lied to the UN, lied to the US and the world, defied the UN and ended up making brutal animals of fine young men and women—all this so that Bush and Cheney’s friends at Bechtel and Halliburton could become richer.
There is also that pathetic line that Bush used in one of his speeches that shows his infantile mind, “Saddam tried to kill my daddy.” Strange, Bush Sr. never uttered such absurd words, he knew, as a warrior, that he has tried to kill Saddam and destroy Iraq and that he was fair game for Saddam; that’s what happens when warriors go to war. Somehow, GW Bush never understood that—either that or he wanted to “show his daddy” that he was actually "a man"—something that many of us doubted and is now confirmed. Clearly, even if he kills Saddam, it will make no difference, we will still know Bush is a liar, that he has no morals and that he will do anything to anyone to achieve his nefarious ends.
For shame, for shame, for shame.
Sam Hamod is an expert on the Middle East and Islam; a former advisor to the State Department, professor at Princeton & Michigan, editor of Third World News, Director of The National Islamic Center of Washington, DC; he publishes often on Counterpunch.com, Informationclearinghouse.info and todaysalternativenews.com; reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org