Saddamania!!!

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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