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U.S now looks for another Saddam Hussein

U.S now looks for another Saddam Hussein

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney Australia

Everything went wrong in Iraq since the US-led forces invaded Iraq except the elimination of Saddam Hussein who was finally hanged in the green zone – centre of Baghdad heavily guarded by US forces - on the ending hours of 2006. The man who committed the first murder when he was only 14 years old had always been backed by the US during his tyrant rule until his attack on Kuwait.

Captured by US forces in December 2003, Saddam Hussein was kept alive avowing to bring him on justice through a special Iraqi tribunal court whom many called as 'flawed and unsound'. Nevertheless, fate of Saddam’s life was already defined by the US President George Bush during his interview to ABC News network’s journalist Diane Sawyer, in December 2003, when he said, ‘Saddam Hussein deserves the "ultimate penalty" when he stands trial in Iraq’.

Highlighting his political enticement, in a television interview with John Simpson of BBC in Nov 2006, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal Al-Maliki had also unabashedly avowed that Hussein was to be executed before the end of 2006. In November (2006) referring to Maliki’s remarks , the New York Times wrote, ‘According to Iraqi court officials, nothing in Iraqi law would prevent Mr. Hussein being executed before the Anfal trial ends’.

During the countdown of Saddam’s remaining days of his life behind the bars the situation in Iraq growingly reached to an absolute turmoil in the last 3 years. Now many analysts are predicting that the ongoing bloody sectarian clashes between Sunni and Shia are leading Iraq to breakup. My point is that would the break-up of Iraq into 3 or 4 smaller states be in US interest? My answer would be – ‘No’. US will not accept another independent Shia State, bordering with Iran and Syria. Nor, US would like to see any religious government will take control of Iraq.

The only option for US to protect its interest in Iraq on permanent basis is through Iraqi government of pro-western single-party style headed by another dictator like Saddam who can protect the US vested interest in Iraq and provide US relief to take out its more than 150,000 forces back home. One should not forget that prior to the Gulf crises in 1991, Saddam Hussein had been the closest friend of US and his dictatorship rule with a secular slogan was fully blessed by the United States.

In a statement on Saddam’s death, US President said that the death of Saddam would not stop the sectarian violence in Iraq. It is commonsense to understand that ongoing chaos in Iraq will provide a good excuse for US administration to impose another tyrant leader on the people of Iraq.

US might want Saddam alive until the current situation got worst and the people of Iraq would eventually have been looking for anyone who could provide them peace. And that would have been a right time for US to proceed for negotiation and conciliation with any other hardliner or escaped leaders of Baath Party. On the other hand, US administration might not bear another blow to President Bush’s continuously decreasing public support in US on Iraq’s occupation had Saddam Hussein opened his mouth and exposed US support for his regime in the war against Iran and operation against Kurds where he used chemical weapons during another (Anfal) trial. Therefore, it is quite understandable why Saddam was hanged before he was brought before the Anfal trial [A trial in which Saddam Hussein and his companions are accused of genocide and mass murders of at least 50 to 100 thousands Kurds].

The responses to Saddam's death echoed larger reaction across the Middle East with his enemies rejoicing and triumphing on his demise while his defenders challenging for revenge and calling Saddam a martyr. While Iranians and Kuwaitis welcomed the death of Saddam who led wars against each of their countries, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the execution prevented exposure of the secrets and crimes the former dictator committed during his brutal rule. His day of execution was chosen on the day of the Feast of the Sacrifice in Islamic calendar [Eid Al Adha]. Why this day was chosen, will probably be detailed by historians when documenting the stories which yet remain ambiguities.

It is quiet clear that on the name of reconstruction of Iraqi civilian and military facilities, private and government agencies of US have received billions of dollars of contracts. At present, there are more that 150,000 US army, navy and air force personnel are already in Iraq for which US is loading millions of dollars of Iraqi oil per day on US ships. Therefore, continuous control of Iraq is in the absolute benefit of the United States.

Advocating on democracy around the world, totalitarianism suits US in most of the Muslim states especially in the Middle East region barring Israel. The fact of the matter is that United States needs autocratic friends rather than democratic leaders in the Arab World. The people in majority in the Muslim World hate United States. So, obviously if there is a true democracy in any Muslim state US will loose its control in that state at the government level. The best example is the last parliamentary election in January 2006 in Palestine when US administration refused to accept democratically elected Hamas government in result of the historic victory of Islamic militant group Hamas. To forcibly throw out Hamas government, United States asked its allies, close friends and European Union to stop Palestinian aid.

One must remember that Iraq has always been in the control of Briton and then US. Iraq remained a British colony until the revolution in 1958. The Iraqi monarchy was a British creation. The Iraqi army was not founded until Briton helped in 1931. Iraq's borders were drawn by Briton. Iraq’s natural outlet to the sea, Kuwait, was made an independent country and a British protectorate. The Bush family oil company did a lot of work for and has close ties with Kuwait.

The historians of the West and East may describe Saddam as the Beast of Baghdad who committed obscene atrocities during his 24-year rule. During his rule he attacked Iran and engaged Iraq into 8 years of bloody war where according to reports more than a million people died. Again, Saddam was fully assisted by the US with military arsenal and economic benefits. According to the National Security Council staff member Howard Teicher during former US President Ronald Reagan; during the Iraq-Iran war, Ronald Reagan signed a national security decision directive calling for the US to do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq's defeat in the Iran-Iraq war. The Director of Central Intelligence William Casey at that time personally led efforts to ensure that Iraq had sufficient weapons, including cluster bombs, and that the US provided Iraq with financial credits, intelligence, and strategic military advice. The CIA also provided Iraq, through third parties that included Israel and Egypt, with military hardware compatible with its Soviet-origin weaponry. The United States provided Iraq with satellite intelligence photos and financing for the (Iran-Iraq) war through government guaranteed agricultural credits for food imports through the Atlanta branch of the Bank Nationale di Livorno, which were ultimately diverted to arms acquisition.

Nonetheless, when Saddam Hussein turned his back on US he was no more of their use and it was necessary for US to finish him. Well, this was the actual agenda of US President George Bush and Briton Prime Minister Tony Blair invading Iraq – ‘just to get rid of Saddam Hussein’. So, the mission accomplished. As for as the democracy in Iraq, the people of Iraq may not see for another 50 years but may be another Saddam Hussein for the coming decades.

*************

(The writer is a Sydney-based journalist and a media analyst).

ENDS

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