Thursday, January 04, 2007

Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Is anyone remotely surprised at the diabolical mess the Iraqi government made of the execution of Saddam Hussein?

They had him under their control for one hour, and that was enough for him to be abused, filmed, and the film leaked to the world media.

In an instant transforming him from oppressor to oppressed, and actually giving him a chance of achieving his goal of going down in history as a martyr rather than a dictator.

It takes a special brand of incompetence to make a murderous despot look good - but they managed it.

In a few frames of grainy camera phone footage, we were treated to a concise summary of why the entire Iraqi campaign has been a pointless waste of lives and resources.

The Iraqis are incapable, and unwilling, to form a democratic government. They may say that's what they want, but clearly it isn't.

Instead of a totalitarian regime headed by a single tyrant, we will soon have a shambolic oligarchy, which in time will likely subdivide in the manner of The Balkans, into smaller states arranged along religious or ethnic lines.

Which will contribute further to instability in the region, and strengthen the hand of Iran and Syria.

Meanwhile Turkey will hardly thank The West when the almost inevitable Kurdish state is founded on their border.

No wonder Bush and Blair are so reluctant to expose themselves to direct questioning. They are likely counting the days until their respective escapes from responsibility.

Were they to be questioned, would they find it within themselves to state the unstateable? Things were better with Saddam than without.

Which is not for a second to deny the enormity of his crimes; but are those of his successors any less?

Some countries are incapable of governing in a democratic manner. Evicting Saddam from power was like firing Super Nanny as head of your local nursery for being too strict, and replacing her with Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire, in a conflict which will continue to claim many lives for a long time to come.

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