Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bush Changes the Subject

You have to give credit where it is due. Bush and his cronies know that Iraq is looking worse by the minute so they change the subject. We are back to the evil dictator. Today the Iraqi Governing Council announced a war crimes tribunal. How convenient. U.S. troops are fighting house to house in Fallujah, which anti-war critics predicted, U.S. mercenaries and other contractors are being kidnapped and killed, and Spain says adios. What a perfect time to talk about the evil Saddam.

Because Bremer and company make the situation worse with every decision (closing al-Sadr's newspaper) I am sure that there is some unintended consequence of trying Saddam in court. Even Iraqis who hated Saddam now hate us. We are the ones who can't keep the lights on, drop bombs on their houses, shoot cilinians during cease fires, and keep 12,000 Iraqis in detention without charging them with crimes or giving them access to attorneys or their families. Saddam is now a memory. You know what that means. Selective amnesia will set in. People in an honor based culture will be angry that their former leader is being humiliated. Putting Saddam on trial changes the subject in the U.S., but it will only make things worse for us in the Arab world.

I wonder if the tribunal will discuss the Reagan era alliance with Saddam. When Hussein was killing Kurds and Iranians with chemical weapons he was our friend. He and Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy for Reagan, had a great meeting 20 years ago. Remember this photo when you hear about the evil dictator.