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View Diary: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (459 comments)

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  •  Re: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (3.33)
    Steve -
    Love your posts, but that is just silly.  

    This is good news. Period. The failure to capture Saddam could only been an enormous symbol of American incompetence in Iraq. I am certain the failure to capture Saddam embolden resistance fighters.   The Baath regime was based on one person.  As long as that person remained at large, his party remained a factor.  

    I fail to see how this can be anything but good news for Bush.   If, as you say, organized elements call for the US to leave (and a lot of them are NOT calling for that yet)- this will help Bush accelerate the withdrawal of US troops before the election.  

    The big question in Iraq in the long term is what the "resistance" is.  Is it nationalist?  Is it Islamicist?  Or is it only the remnants of the Baath regime?   This is a hard question to answer, since most the reporting and analysis doesn't really try to look at the facts but simply makes assumptions based on the writer's ideological preconceptions.   For the left, the US war is illegal, and hence its opposition must be nationalist.   For the right, the US is being attacked by the remnants of the hated Saddam regime.    The truth is, I don't think anyone really knows much about the people conducting the attacks against US troops - it is hard to get an interview with a suicide bomber.   Though if the attacks were by nationalists, I would expect that attacks on US troops occur everywhere - but instead they seem centered in areas where the Baath regime was strongest.  

    •  Re: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (none)
      Where do I get the cool aid?

      Why did the US invade Iraq? WMD? Saddam was a bad man? To promote democracy in the Middle East?

      It is simple. We invaded Iraq to establish a permanent military presence in the ME oil fields!!!! What the hell is so difficult to see here? All the rest is just psyops shit for an increasingly brain dead US electorate!

      The immediate goal is to set up a ruthless, authoritarian proxy government that can maintain order and provide legitimacy for long term US miilitary involvement. The WSJ is for it. The boys that meet in Davos, CH every year are for it. The thugs that planned this operation sort of stepped on their dicks but where there is a will there is a way. The Pentagon and State Dept have decades of experience in Central & South America which are both brimming over with democracy ushered in by US funded death squads. We can do this!

      In terms of the real world consequences nothing has changed except Bush gets a bump in the polls. Sadam was completely ineffective at preventing the US ground offensive from rolling over his 3rd rate army. It is likely he has played no role in the resistance since. Iraq is still a bastard state with 3 tribal constituencies that are unlikely to ever get along in any meaningful way.

      The long term forecast is escalating violence in Iraq, escalating US involvement, rapidly escalating federal debt and long term crippling economic outcomes. In short decades of misery for our people and the Iraqis. But as Molly Ivins recently pointed out, Republicans don't want to govern, they want to rule. And fear is the one tool that they know how to use.

    •  Re: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (4.00)
      No, we have a better idea than a few months ago. And it's clear that it's a nationalist-based, cross section of groups, mostly Sunni, but some Shia and Kurd, some religious based, but mostly nationalist.

      This is only good news for Bush if the war starts to wind down. Considering most of the guerrillas loudly proclaim that they hate Saddam, that is not likely. If the capture of Saddam does not lead to a reduction of force and violence, and instead, as I suspect, pushes things to open conflict between the Shia and Sunni, the resulting disaster will dwarf anything we've seen so far.

      Saddam's escape was not seen as anything but cowardice by many Iraqis. He wasn't a rallying figure for most people. People laughed at his video tapes.

      And you're dead wrong. Fallujah and Samarra were places opposed to Saddam and his rule. Both cities had suffered under his rule and had rebelled. The news media uses the misleading term Sunni triangle to describe the region where 40 percent of Iraqis live.

      The same places and people who gave Saddam problems are giving the US problems.

      Capturing Saddam is wasn't relevant in practical terms after April 12. Once anarchy took over, resistance was bound to explode. Now, after months of humiliations, random imprisonments and shootings, there is more than enough reason for Iraqis to resist US rule.

      •  Re: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (none)
        I am surprised by the reaction of your note and the one's below.  
        Saddam was a symbol - as long as he remained free - he was a symbol of American impotence. Symbols in politics, as I am sure you know well, are dammed important.  In this sense it doesn't matter that Saddam ran the resistance; only that he was able to evade American forces.  I am arguing only that this his capture is very much a good thing - I opposed and still opposed this war.

        You write "Considering most of the guerrillas loudly proclaim that they hate Saddam, that is not likely."  Where are your sources (I am really asking here).  As I wrote earlier, I don't really think anyone knows very well - though it does appear that the "resistence" is almost entirely Iraqi and not some sort of terrorist all start team from Gaza, Iran and Syria.  It also appears at this point not to include a large segment of the majority Shia in the south.  

        The central question in Iraq is not if the nationalist and Islmacist movements develop, but when and how.  The current level of violence - as bad as it is - does not seem to me indicative of a large guerilla movement.  This suggests for the time being that the political players still think the political game is the one to play.  This will inevitably change - the trick is to get out before they change their mind.  

        FWIW - I belong to the small group that believes Bush went to war not for US Imperialism, or WMD, or the war on terrorism.   This was mere window dressing on the son's effort to get the man who tried to kill has father.   Now that he has got Saddam - I think we will find he gets out faster than people think.

    •  Re: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (none)
      "The failure to capture Saddam could only been an enormous symbol of American incompetence in Iraq. I am certain the failure to capture Saddam embolden resistance fighters." writes fladem.

      I agree with Steve. Saddam hasn't been a "major" element of importance in what does or does not occur with the Iraqi Resistance for months. Though his capture, and thus certainty that he is out of the picture, is likely to actually encourage the Shia clerics to proceed with "their" own agenda, now that the U.S. has for sure taken care of their nemesis, and once the U.S. goes, is unlikely to return to haunt them. (Though the U.S., as I think about it, is almost certain to keep him alive as a "threat value" and "just because, you just never know", in a certain bargaining environment, in future place and time, he may "yet" have a role in the U.S. scheme of things. As a precautionary measure, if nothing else.)

      Of course, we are all going to have to wait and see, to know for 100% certain. My instincts say though, that with Saddam now out of the way, and "little to zero" likelihood of his return, unless... there will in fact be a flow of new and encouraged elements into the Iraqi Resistance.  There are no WMD, and even the other "professed" U.S. objective, Saddam is gone, so now, in the interests of "Iraqi democracy", the U.S. should quite naturally be chomping at the bit to head for home.

      No!?!?

      What other reason can there be for them to stay any longer? They are certainly not there for reasons of oil and empire. Their hands are clear, and pure as the driven snow. :)

      Yes?  

    •  Re: Saddam Captured; What's Next? (none)
      "The failure to capture Saddam could only been an enormous symbol of American incompetence in Iraq. I am certain the failure to capture Saddam embolden resistance fighters." writes fladem.

      I agree with Steve. Saddam hasn't been a "major" element of importance in what does or does not occur with the Iraqi Resistance for months. Though his capture, and thus certainty that he is out of the picture, is likely to actually encourage the Shia clerics to proceed with "their" own agenda, now that the U.S. has for sure taken care of their nemesis, and once the U.S. goes, is unlikely to return to haunt them. (Though the U.S., as I think about it, is almost certain to keep him alive as a "threat value" and "just because, you just never know", in a certain bargaining environment, in future place and time, he may "yet" have a role in the U.S. scheme of things. As a precautionary measure, if nothing else.)

      Of course, we are all going to have to wait and see, to know for 100% certain. My instincts say though, that with Saddam now out of the way, and "little to zero" likelihood of his return, unless... there will in fact be a flow of new and encouraged elements into the Iraqi Resistance.  There are no WMD, and even the other "professed" U.S. objective, Saddam is gone, so now, in the interests of "Iraqi democracy", the U.S. should quite naturally be chomping at the bit to head for home.

      No!?!?

      What other reason can there be for them to stay any longer? They are certainly not there for reasons of oil and empire. Their hands are clean, and pure as the driven snow. :)

      Yes?  

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