Friday, December 29, 2006

an event so momentous, we have to do it in secret

In what will be the mother of all Friday night news dumps, US forces are hastily coordinating with the nominal Iraqi government to hang Saddam Hussein before the dawn start of Eid al-Adha—the Muslim feast of sacrifice.

It goes without saying that executing a brutal dictator proves nothing and heals no one, and it seems equally clear that the Shiite dominated government has neither the will nor the authority to allow for a fuller airing of evidence against the former Iraqi leader or a more international legal process that might promote some reconciliation between the major ethnic and religious populations of the region. Further, the execution will end the current and other soon to start Hussein trials and silence the voices that might have served to continue to remind Iraqis about the bad old days under Saddam, allowing them to focus on the present bad days under American occupation.

But what is most striking, perhaps, is that the death of Saddam, something you think the Bush administration would have wanted to trumpet, promote, and even celebrate, is being rushed and pursued in a cloud of intentional obfuscation and utmost secrecy. Coming, as it will, not only before Eid, but before a weekend, and a New Year’s Holiday weekend, at that, AND a holiday that is to be followed with a state funeral and national day of morning for Gerald Ford, it is abundantly clear that the Bush administration wants to bury the bitter strange fruit of its Iraqi “victory” strategy.

It is probably appropriate to end the year with one more wrong and wrongheaded move on the part of the Bush Administration that will accomplish nothing except most likely to make the situation even worse, but it is still a little amazing that the “war president” that so proudly and publicly continues to send American men and women to their deaths in Iraq is so very embarrassed about the purported dividend of their sacrifice.

Amazing and disgusting.

(cross-posted to Daily Kos)

Update: Saddam Hussein was executed, "on schedule," at approximately 10PM EST. Bush and his gang hang one; meanwhile, the rest of the Iraqi people and the coalition soldiers are left to twist in the wind.


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