[Marxism] Iraq is a scene from hell

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Tue Aug 3 16:23:16 MDT 2004

  Iraq to Explode
Can't Blair see that this country is about to explode? Can't Bush?

Robert Fisk, The Independent

Bagdhad: The war is a fraud. I'm not talking about the weapons of mass 
destruction that didn't exist. Nor the links between Saddam Hussein and 
al-Qaida which didn't exist. Nor all the other lies upon which we went 
to war. I'm talking about the new lies.

For just as, before the war, our governments warned us of threats that 
did not exist, now they hide from us the threats that do exist. Much of 
Iraq has fallen outside the control of America's puppet government in 
Baghdad but we are not told. Hundreds of attacks are made against US 
troops every month. But unless an American dies, we are not told. This 
month's death toll of Iraqis in Baghdad alone has now reached 700 - the 
worst month since the invasion ended. But we are not told.

The stage management of this catastrophe in Iraq was all too evident at 
Saddam Hussein's "trial." Not only did the US military censor the tapes 
of the event. Not only did they effectively delete all sound of the 11 
other defendants. But the Americans led Saddam Hussein to believe - 
until he reached the courtroom - that he was on his way to his 
execution. Indeed, when he entered the room he believed that the judge 
was there to condemn him to death. This, after all, was the way Saddam 
ran his own state security courts. No wonder he initially looked 
"disorientated" - CNNs helpful description - because, of course, he was 
meant to look that way. We had made sure of that. Which is why Saddam 
asked Judge Juhi: "Are you a lawyer? ..Is this a trial?" And swiftly, as 
he realised that this really was an initial court hearing - not a 
preliminary to his own hanging - he quickly adopted an attitude of 

But don't think were going to learn much more about Saddam's future 
court appearances. Salem Chalabi, the brother of convicted fraudster 
Ahmad and the man entrusted by the Americans with the tribunal, told the 
Iraqi press two weeks ago that all media would be excluded from future 
court hearings. And I can see why. Because if Saddam does a Milosevic, 
he'll want to talk about the real intelligence and military connections 
of his regime - which were primarily with the United States.

Living in Iraq these past few weeks is a weird as well as dangerous 
experience. I drive down to Najaf. Highway 8 is one of the worst in 
Iraq. Westerners are murdered there. It is littered with burnt-out 
police vehicles and American trucks. Every police post for 70 miles has 
been abandoned. Yet a few hours later, I am sitting in my room in 
Baghdad watching Tony Blair, grinning in the House of Commons as if he 
is the hero of a school debating competition; so much for the Butler report.

Indeed, watching any Western television station in Baghdad these days is 
like tuning in to Planet Mars. Doesn't Blair realise that Iraq is about 
to implode? Doesn't Bush realise this? The American-appointed 
"government" controls only parts of Baghdad - and even there its 
ministers and civil servants are car-bombed and assassinated. Baquba, 
Samara, Kut, Mahmoudiya, Hilla, Fallujah, Ramadi, all are outside 
government authority. Iyad Allawi, the "Prime Minister," is little more 
than mayor of Baghdad. "Some journalists," Blair announces, "almost want 
there to be a disaster in Iraq." He doesn't get it. The disaster exists now.

When suicide bombers ram their cars into hundreds of recruits outside 
police stations, how on earth can anyone hold an election next January? 
Even the National Conference to appoint those who will arrange elections 
has been twice postponed. And looking back through my notebooks over the 
past five weeks, I find that not a single Iraqi, not a single American 
soldier I have spoken to, not a single mercenary - be he American, 
British or South African - believes that there will be elections in 
January. All said that Iraq is deteriorating by the day. And most asked 
why we journalists weren't saying so.


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