Monday, January 01, 2007

Today's Cartoon: Saddam Hussein Execution

The execution of Saddam Hussein kind of reminds me of the part in the movie “Goodfellas” when Henry Hill describes the manner in which wiseguys are whacked and how it is usually their best friend that ends up doing it. Well, to Saddam Hussein, there was no better friend than the United States. Oh sure, he committed heinous atrocities during his reign and was more than deserving of justice; but it was the emboldening and the enabling of America which permitted him to become the tyrant that he was.

It seems to me that much like with Bin Laden, it wasn’t until after Saddam had used up his usefulness that he suddenly became a burden and an embarrassment to the United States. Despite being supplied with American weapons and intelligence, Hussein was unable to defeat Iran during their eight year war and had basically bankrupted his country in the process. And after unsuccessfully trying to convince Kuwait to help pay his war debts and OPEC to raise the price of oil, Saddam decided that he would take matters into his own hands, a move which ultimately lead to the first Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein was an ally of the United States up until he invaded Kuwait. Prior to that point, everything that he did went unopposed by the White House, basically because he was still fighting Iran for them. But after the war was over, the American government could no longer turn a blind eye to Saddam; especially since he was threatening other allies. So, using the atrocities that he committed (with American weapons) while he was still considered a “friend” to rally the American people against him, the United States Government set in course their plan to remove Saddam Hussein.

To me, Hussein seemed a lot like Joe Pesci’s character “Tommy DeVito”, a ruthless enforcer who used brutality to serve his handlers, but as soon as he stepped out of line and could no longer be controlled, he became way too dangerous for his bosses to keep around, so… WHACK! And much like the scene in which “Tommy” is taken out, the “hit” was disguised as something else. In “Goodfellas”, it was a mock initiation ceremony, while in Iraq; it was a mock trial for “Crimes against Humanity”.

The rush to execute Saddam Hussein comes ahead of his trial for the 1988 chemical attack on Halabja; however, had he been able to testify, it was suspected that the finger would have been pointed at the United States, for supplying him with the weapons. While the exact extend of Saddam’s deals with the U.S. is not clear, it is definitely something that Washington would much rather forget; and the easiest way to do that is by preventing everyone else from finding out.

So, I guess this now means that Kurds who desire the full details of Saddam’s crimes against them, might as well just…“forgetaboutit”.

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