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Saddam's Capture and the Media Circus

by Gary Sudborough Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003 at 5:06 PM

A few thoughts on Saddam's capture, the corporate media reaction and whether or not it will diminish Iraqi resistance to colonial domination.

I believe that with millions of other Americans, I am going to be bombarded with television images of a beleaguered, tired and bearded Saddam Hussein submitting to a dental exam nearly as often as I saw television images of the twin towers coming down on 9-11. Didn't the US government criticize the Iraqis during the invasion for continually showing degrading pictures of American prisoners of war and maintaining that it was a violation of the Geneva Conventions? The cable news networks 24 hour coverage of this event certainly disposed of the Kobe Bryant, Laci Peterson and Michael Jackson stories for a time. If this rampant media cheerleading of an event with obvious propaganda value for the Bush administration doesn't show their complete subservience to government power, I don't know what will. Somewhere around election time I suppose I will see further images of George W. Bush delivering the turkey to the troops and the Saddam Hussein dental exam, illustrating the glorious capture of the embodiment of all evil on Earth. I wonder how the US soldiers felt about George W. Bush cutting their combat pay and disability benefits among a variety of other disagreeable things he has done to their welfare, while at the same time he fed them turkey.

However, is the capture of Saddam Hussein really that significant? Let's put the shoe on the other foot and suppose that the United States had twice been invaded by Iraq. Suppose over 200,000 American soldiers had been slaughtered by air power or buried alive in trenches by bulldozers in the first war. Some of these Americans would have been in full retreat and defenseless and turned into so-called crispy critters by airplanes firing rockets. Imagine that in both the first and second invasions of the United States by Iraq, tons of depleted uranium and thousands of cluster bombs had been used. What if thousands of American children had developed cancers and birth defects from the depleted uranium? Picture American children picking up cluster bombs thinking they are toys and being blown apart or losing limbs or their eyesight. Imagine that Iraq had kept a twelve year embargo on America that led to the deaths of over a million Americans, 500,000 of them being children. Imagine that Iraq had deliberately bombed America's infrastructure and embargoed the repair parts to fix the infrastructure, leading to contaminated water and sewage in the streets. What if Iraqi troops kicked in the doors of American homes and put hoods over people's heads and kept them shackled in uncomfortable positions for hours or took them away from their families to undisclosed locations? Suppose Americans realized that Iraq was occupying our country for its natural resources.

The American people would surely organize a resistance movement, and it wouldn't matter if George W. Bush was captured by the Iraqis or not. That chicken hawk obviously doesn't care to fight in wars anyhow. He'd much rather send someone from the working class to fight for him. Anyhow, the resistance would continue until all Iraqi soldiers left the United States.

From this analogy I think it is apparent that the resistance movement in Iraq springs from many factors other than Saddam Hussein and that his capture means very little for the course of the war. He certainly didn't have a command and control bunker in his tiny spider hole. The resistance will intensify and more American soldiers will die, become disabled or suffer the poisonous effects of depleted uranium. It is a continuing tragedy for the ordinary people of Iraq and the United States, and the only reason for rejoicing would be the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Let this country of Iraq with rich natural resources and an educated population solve its own problems.

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