All the Progressive Punditry in One Simple Saddamania Compilation
Every pundit, blogger, correspondent, presidential candidate, reporter, scam artist, and all of their mothers, have something to say about Saddam. Here's our roundup of what they're spouting: from capture to trial to conspiracy theories, it's all here (well, a lot of it anyway).
First, the most important article out there is Bill Davis, writing for Common Dreams, comparing Saddam with the evil wrestler you love to hate in Wrestlemania. The capture, he writes, is a blockbuster hit, 'Like throwing a piece of red meat to a hungry crowd.'
Nothing can compete with the image of Bush and Saddam in the ring but Wrestlemania can't compete with this week's Saddamania all over the front pages. Regardless, just as Davis writes, 'It's irresistible, satisfying and climactic -- but the Iraqi narrative will continue,' progressives from Alternet to the Nation to Britain's Independent have declared the capture 'Yesterday's news.' Or, as the headline to Andrew Buncombe's Independent article reads today, 'Meanwhile, in Iraq the Slaughter Goes on.' The standard liberal line reads that the capture does not solve the violence in Baghdad nor the pressing need to get the country healthy after destroying it. Arab Media Watch director, Sharif Hikmat Nashashibi, notes, 'The resistance will continue, and Bush and Blair will be left to find another bogeyman, another sorry excuse for the chaos they have sowed.' Or, as David Corn writes, in his Capital Games blog for the Nation, 'the apprehension of Hussein does not justify the war. In a way, it is the least that Bush could have done, after invading under false pretenses.'
Indeed, how could we forget the misleading and lies. Many have not forgotten, which may be one reason for all the conspiracy theories. Greg Palast writes, 'Various television executives, White House spin doctors and propaganda experts at the Pentagon are at this time wrestling with the question of whether to claim PFC Jessica Lynch seized the ex-potentate or that Saddam surrendered after close hand-to-hand combat with current Iraqi strongman Paul Bremer III.' On a more serious note, Danny Schechter, in his Daily News Dissector for the MediaChannel, lays out five conspiracy theories reported in the news, including: Saddam was already a prisoner, he was captured last week, the ex-wife's revenge, Colonel Mustard with the candlestick, and my favorite -- from Michael Moore -- it is just a reunion: 'Thank God Saddam is finally back in American hands! He must have really missed us.... America used to like Saddam. We LOVED Saddam. We funded him. We armed him. We helped him gas Iranian troops.'
Thus, the trial, if Saddam doesn't have a case for innocence, surely he has a case for mutual guilt with the supposed prosecutor. As Paul Knox writes for Canada's Daily Globe, 'Saddam may have another ace up his sleeve: the power to embarrass the West.' So the question arises if there even could be a fair trial and some have suggested a possible Jack Ruby in the works. As Barry Lando writes for Salon, 'This may be exactly what Saddam now craves: the chance to publicly implicate other leaders and countries in his own brutal past. It won't be difficult.' Still, many questions remain. Where will he be tried? Who will be the judge or judges? And so on...
Finally, after a short and highly unusual moment of silence from presidential candidates, Dean provided the first volley with, 'the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer.' Lieberman railed against Dean's remark and soon all of the candidates were back into standard cat-fighting mode. Not surprisingly, Dennis Kucinich, speaking with common sense, was once again ignored by the mainstream media. The Sioux City Journal reported him saying: 'Now that Saddam Hussein has been captured, it's the perfect time for U.S. troops to leave Iraq.' In all likelihood, the Bushies will do more back-patting, more sickening smiles of victory, and more promises -- as the New York Times reported Bush saying -- 'to stay the course until the job is done.'
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