Obviously, everyone is riveted to their TV sets right now with the news that Saddam Hussein has been captured. He was reportedly found hiding in a hole in a bunker near his home town of Tikrit.
However, a few quick points.
The unnecessary war
First, the capture and eventual trial of Hussein doesn't change the fact that this was an unnecessary war. This cowboy run into Iraq has depleted our financial accounts, weakened the status of our military by spreading it too thin, to a dangerous level where available soldiers are at a minimum and where our reserve units are exhausted, and taking away resources from the real war on terrorism: The Afghanistan operation and going after Osama bin Laden - the actual perpetrator of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Second, his capture doesn't change the fact that - so far - we have lost hundreds of American soldiers and many thousands more injured - losing their arms, legs, etc., and all for what? For some two bit dictator who was no threat to U.S.? This doesn't take into account the thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens killed in these operations, never mind the millions of Iraqi women and children who died during the sanctions put in place after the first Gulf War.
Our fave thug
Third, all of this doesn't change the fact that Hussein was America's favorite dictator. I hope when he is finally brought to trial - televised for the entire world to see - that he gets himself a really good lawyer. In his testimony, Hussein should talk about the years of support he received from the American government. He should talk about the years our government didn't do jacksh*t while he was maiming, torturing, raping, gassing, and killing his own people with arms he got from U.S.! I keep saying this and I will keep saying this: We know Hussein had weapons of mass destruction because we sold them to him!! Military apparatus flowed to Iraq after Donald Rumsfeld, an executive and board of director for numerous defense contractors, met with Hussein in 1983. I hope Hussein owns up to his evil behavior, however, he should place part of the blame where it is deserved: By exposing the fact that he spent years doing this with the approval and financial assistance of President Ronald Reagan and all the rightwing thugs that controlled the White House at the time.
So what does the future hold for Iraq? To start, let's be honest: There is a good chance Iraq will never become a "democracy." More than likely, it will become a police and natural resource slave state for our gluttonous obsession with foreign oil. In fact, if you look at the background of at least one thug who the United States has put in control of the country, this is a serious possibility.
Dr. Ahmed Chalabi - who has a history of corruption, ties to spooks, and financial swindles - is the head of the Iraqi National Congress [INC], a dissidents group funded by the CIA. Chalabi reportedly helped rip off $150 million in CIA funds with the help of a PR hack named John Rendon, of the Rendon Group, who one leftist Web site called, "not only a puppet of war-mongers, but also as woefully corrupt and unaccountable - a double deceiver of the American people."
In 1991, Chalabi formed a bank in Jordan called Petra Bank. However, when the bank went bust, Chalabi quickly fled Jordan - robbing thousands of shareholders of $500 million. A year later, according to writer Eduardo Galeano, a Jordanian court tried him in absentia and sentenced him to 20 years of prison and hard labor - the same year that the INC was formed and Chalabi was crowned the head of the Hussein opposition.
Chalabi later grabbed the ear of Richard Perle, then-CIA head James Woolsey and Bill Kristol to help write the plans to overthrow Hussein between 1997 and 1998, according to Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony. It should be noted that yes, Woolsey and Kristol are the same people you see on FoxNews talking about how great the invasion is going, invasion plans they helped write.
Now, Chalabi is leading the Governing Council. However, when will he be extradited to Jordan to serve for his crimes? Will the "coalition forces" allow the Jordanian military or law enforcement to go in and grab Chalabi and bring him to justice like we have done with Hussein? Doubtful. It should also be noted that Chalabi is also an American, Australian, and British citizen but hadn't been in Iraqi since 1958 before the invasion. So where do we get off deciding he should have any role in the new Iraqi government?
However, let's take a more positive track for just a second. There could be hope for "democracy" in Iraq. I like to joke that unlike the people of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia - our other royal dictator allies in the region who happily and regularly torture their own people while we do nothing about it - the people of Iraq know about voting and know about elections. Iraq did have elections - granted with only one candidate, Saddam Hussein. Sh*t, if you think about it, the United States supposedly has a "democracy" and we are only allowed to seriously consider two candidates! Often, these two candidates are basically the same, backed by the same financial interests, campaigning for the same things, much to the chagrin of millions of Americans who know the process is rigged and decide to not even bother. Bluntly, our "democracy" is barely one step above what the Iraqis' had under Hussein. Our government is spying on people, rounding up Americans and unconstitutionally holding them without counsel or trial. And we hold ourselves up as examples to the world? Come on. In the end, if the Iraqis actual get a chance at "democracy," they will at least know what it means to actually cast votes, unlike our other allies in the region.
America's future and the current regime
Lastly, politically, the American people have a lot to worry about. Sure, it is 11 months until the general election. Anything can happen. And that is just it: Anything can happen. And don't be surprised if some strange things happen.
Some pundits have already started talking about an "October Surprise" - a terrorist attack or major event [capturing bin Laden?] that will be used to solidify President George W. Bush's reelection campaign. It is pretty shocking and frightening that the mainstream press would actual speak in such a conspiratorial manner about a sitting president and yet, at the same time, flog Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean when he repeats a theory that Bush might have had advance warning about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks - a much more believable theory. Of course, many people in the media and country read about Gen. Tommy Franks telling a cigar magazine last month that if a weapon of mass destruction were detonated on American soil, the military would take over the government. Great. Can anyone say dirty bomb? Could Hollywood write a better script? Let's make sure we keep letting those trucks come in over the Mexican border unregulated, shall we? Fools.
But back to the election. More than likely, Bush's CREEP will make sure that Hussein's trial is strategically broadcast some time after the political conventions so he can use it as fodder for his reelection campaign and because the American people are distracted, tired, worried about their jobs, and allowing the fear-mongers to run their lives, they will march to the polls and keep the warlords in place.