Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Plenty of Conspiracies, But Not This One

Many are saying that the decision of the Iraqi courts that Saddam Hussein's execution "must" take place within the next thirty days is politically motivated to bolster George Bush's presidency somehow, as it will take place shortly before the State of the Union Address.

I simply cannot agree.

For one, there's no evidence.

Second, I believe that the bloody, grinding, terrifying horror of national disintegration currently playing out in Iraq is beyond any human being's ability to control, and that includes the thuggish bullies of the American Right who started this thing in the first place.

The carnage simply dwarfs everything knowable and I don't believe that the Iraqi courts are thinking about U.S. politics right now; they're just hoping for their verdict to be applied as fast as possible so that they can take what's left of their lives and skins and run like Hell as fast as they can for the nearest patch of safe ground, which will not be in Iraq, I can tell you that.

Third, it should be painfully obvious that killing Hussein, aside from maybe the small thrill of actually knowing (for a change) that this particular corpse was guilty of something, will not change a single thing in Iraq, except to perhaps cause the civil war to escalate.

Saddam Hussein has nothing to do with the civil war in Iraq, except that his iron-fisted control and brutality prevented it from occurring naturally for decades. Harnessed to the same plow, Sunni and Sh'ia lived together; once untethered from Saddam's yoke, once relieved of the atrocities of his secret police, they were freed to resume the dance of sectarian violence begun centuries ago.

I once thought it would be impossible to remember Ronald Reagan or the first president George Bush fondly. And point of fact, fondness isn't exactly the right word, though it will have to do. They were corrupt, to be sure, and hostile to civil liberties. They cared not a whit for the poor, enthusiastically encouraged unrestrained, unaccountable corporate greed, and in general worsened the lives of ordinary Americans measurably. They also allowed religious fanatics to gain political power, a development all reasonable Americans can agree is a mixed bag at best.

But they weren't insane. They listened to their generals and their intelligence people, not auditory hallucinations of the voice of God, as our current pickled-squash president claims. It's amazing to say that Reagan could be reasoned with, because it seemed impossible at the time. But brother, has it gotten worse.

Back to my central point, that the U.S. no longer has the power to use Iraqi national events to flim-flam the people back home, and that no amount of spin will ever cover up the realities on the ground again. In short, as the GTL mused several months ago, friction has killed the spin machine, or if not killed it, damaged it beyond a simple fix.

No one in America will be able to say Saddam's death will be the end of any bad thing or the beginning of some new wonderful thing.

So, dear friends, what goodies can the The State of the Union Address possibly hold that will undo the present disaster, and the disasters yet to come?

"My fellow Americans, I've just signed legislation that will ban Iran forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

Peace to you in the New Year!

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