Saddam Hussein, despite all his faults, was viewed in the Arab/Muslim world as a symbol of resistance against the US and Israeli aggression. Being the only Arab leader to attack Israel with Scud missiles earned him that distinct reputation. Nonetheless, the norm is that Arab leaders in general excel in internal repression, and Saddam was no exception. Now that Saddam Hussein has been finally captured, as have most of the senior members of the Bath party and government, will the US troops finally leave Iraq and the region (Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) as a whole? Not just a ‘reduction’ in their presence, but to leave the area completely. As the original pretext of the threat posed from Saddam exists no more, nor does the threat of the mythical WMD, as none have been found to date. The answer is unli! kely, simply because, the war was not about the threat of Saddam or disarming Saddam of his mythical WMD or bringing Saddam to justice on behalf of the people of Iraq.

The US government knew very well that Iraq had no WMD capability that could constitute a threat even to its immediate neighbours let alone the US itself. Collin Powell and Condaleza Rice openly broadcasted this on TV, well before the war. They even bragged about Iraq’s significantly reduced conventional weapons, whilst defending the US policy of containing Iraq for a decade through the imposition of sanctions and the no-fly zone (See John Pilger’s TV documentary). The disarming of Iraq’s alleged WMD was the ONLY legal ‘justification’ given by the coalition forces for invading and attacking a sovereign country without any provocation. The issue of WMD has now been conveniently reduced to WMD ‘programme’. Which the politicians, commentators and analysts on FOX, BBC and CNN use as a fig leaf, when they are questioned on the subject. Remember the 45-minute threat alleged by the dossier (plagiarised PHD thesis) of Tony Blair? It must have been a typo; perhaps it should have read 45 months or years. The other pretext of the 9/11 connections with Iraq has been dismissed by the anti-war camp, since no clear evidence of such a link has been produced. However, the Bush administration is telling the truth from its own point of view. One needs to read between the lines. There is a connection between Iraq and the alleged 9/11 perpetrators, which is that they are both part of the Islamic civilisation, or as the more crude Yanks would say, they are all rag heads. Hence, Iraq war was a form of collective punishment dispensed to the Islamic world in return for 9/11 (other reasons are discussed later). This needs to be inferred, as it is unacceptable to use such language in the diplomatic arena.

Then comes the issue of bringing Saddam to ‘justice’ on behalf of the Iraqi people, as Saddam’s crimes were largely committed against his own people and its neighbours but not the Americans. So, why does that automatically give the Americans right to attack Iraq? By that principal, any of the Arab countries can also attack Britain as she has been oppressing the Irish population for centuries? Could America itself not also be attacked for the numerous genocides carried out, ever since the European colonisers moved to settle in the US? The war with Iran was instigated and supported by the US. The convenient explanation is, that at that time, with the cold war climate along with the threat of Islamic fundamentalism from Iran, the US was ‘forced’ to pursue such a policy. When Halabja was gassed in 1988, it did not even make the news headlines, nor did it arouse passion amongst those in the Whiteh! ouse, who are now constantly bragging about their lofty moral principles. On the contrary, US companies with the direct support of the White House continued to supply lethal chemical and biological materials, knowing that they were profiting from the blood of innocent victims in Iraq. So much for their innocence! No wonder, the US wants to bring JUST Saddam to ‘Justice’ and not his accomplices who have sustained his supply line for decades. The SUDDEN desire of the US to bring Saddam to ‘justice’ is not due to genuine love for the people of Iraq but an attempt to give some sort of ‘moral justification’ for the invasion and the subsequent carnage, as it had no legal basis in the first place. Why did the US not have sudden affection to remove the apartheid regime in South Africa? Was it because it reminded her too much of Israel and the nostalgia of her own apartheid system, that was eventually removed by the civil rights movement! Why ! does the US not have the same affection towards the Palestinians and bring Israel to ‘justice’? The few Arabs/Muslim who are applauding the US at this moment ought to think away from their narrow vision, and contemplate on the US track record and her intention in the region. It is certainly not benevolent. Capitalist nations are not charitable institutions.

Where is ‘free’ Iraq now? Her economy has been opened up by the US (rather then the ‘free’ Iraqis) to the foreign companies (including Israel), in a manner that even ‘free’ America would not do to its own economy. Where are the ‘free Iraqis’ that are authorising the likes of Halliburton and Bechtel to make use of Iraq’s oil and other resources? What happened to the billions of dollars worth of oil revenues, that is unaccounted for? Bush and Blair are constantly announcing their agenda on behalf of the ‘free’ Iraqis but yet they are unwilling to give them a voice by holding free elections. It is amazing how a foreign nation can speak on behalf of another nation without legal or moral authority. Iraq is not ready to be ‘free’, simply because the climate is not yet suitable for preserving US interests. Grooming a suitable puppet can take a while. A cursory glance at the small numbers in the demonst! rations being held in Iraq reflects what the Iraqis truly think about the capture of Saddam Hussein. Not that they love him, but many realise that the US has ulterior motives. Just like when Saddam’s statute was symbolically toppled, rather than giving an aerial view that clearly showed how few the actual number of people present were, a close-up was telecasted, which presented a misleading impression of that events. In fact, the mass demonstrations held in the Sunni area in support of Saddam after his arrest may not be awesome but certainly larger then the support for any of the US appointed members, within the Iraqi governing council. Now, the other figure that continues to rise is of the victims in the mass graves. Perhaps the numbers will reach six million, when it becomes an indisputable fact that gets televised constantly. Sounds familiar? What about the victims of the US and its coalition forces as a result of this illegal war? Who will bri! ng them to justice for their heinous crimes? What about the cluster bombs and the depleted uranium that continues to kill and poison Iraq? The ordinary Arabs/Muslims and most of the world know who are the real war criminals.

For those who are already clear about the hypocrisy and the lies of this illegal war, they will shout “oil” as being the reason for this invasion and occupation, and most certainly it is a factor. The US (not ‘free’ Iraqis) had no qualm in prohibiting the war opponents (Germany, France and Russia) from bidding for the war booty. Which left no doubt about “oil” rather then “liberation” as being one of the primary factors for the invasion. Remember, the oil ministries were never hit unlike every other building in Iraq, and it was the first thing that was secured well before other less significant places like hospitals, water plants, electricity etc.

Apart from oil there is another reason for this occupation, something that many of the simplistic minded Arabs/Muslims are failing to comprehend due to their short-term vision of the situation, as well as being seduced by the propaganda that constantly emanates from the Whitehouse. In the mean time some are knowingly lining up with the US, hoping to get a slice of the cake from the victor. Of course they will also continue the tradition like previous and other Arab regimes, of using their positions to inflate their back accounts, build palaces, torture chambers and buy endless amounts of weapons to ‘defend’ themselves against their own population. Lets face it; Iraq is not the only place in the world or the Middle East where the torture chamber existed. Try looking into Saudi Arabia or Turkey or Egypt but of course, that is inconvenient at the moment, as they are all good US allies. As for the US the war is not about Saddam, billions of pounds are not spent with the loss of lives just for the sake of one tin pot dictator. They have a clear vision. As Condoleezza Rice and Bush, stated many times, democratising Iraq would be an example for the rest of the region. The implication is that its fate has already been decided by the US rather then being left to the Iraqis, who may not aspire for such a model as the early signs clearly indicated. No wonder the US is reluctant to hold free elections at this moment even though it brags about ‘free’ Iraq.

Then comes the interesting issue of Saddam’s trial. The US as usual is using Hobsons logic. If Saddam states what the US wants to hear then he is telling the truth, otherwise it is a lie. The US is already very apprehensive about the Hague, as it is a European institution and may not be able to control what Saddam spills out. Therefore, he most likely will either be tortured by the US, or by proxy the CPA will do an excellent job. Eventually a show trial will commence, where only selected information is likely to be leaked to the public or he may commit ‘suicide’ like that of Dr David Kelly! What everyone also expects is the possibility of some sort of deal with Saddam, whereby he acknowledges the possession of WMD and then its transfer to Syria and/or Iran. That would be really magic, as it would vindicate Bush and Blair for going to war and also gives the green light to the Neo-Cons, chicken Hawks to! prepare their tanks to roll into Damascus and/or Tehran.