Beginning a new history in Iraq

Before we all throw in the towel on Iraq, leaving the people to fend for themselves, after we’ve managed to kill 30,000 of them, destroy their country’s infrastructure, and psychologically terrorize those people, who by the way, were never considered our enemies, nor a threat to US national security until we invaded their country, let’s do one last conspiracy theory about Iraq.
Back when the case was being made for war, did anyone notice that there was several theories on what should happen to Saddam Hussein once the invasion took place? The hardened haters among us wanted him dead, or dead, and there was no getting around that. In their minds, Saddam could not co-exist with democracy in Iraq, and so he had to go if there was to be any hope that one day there would be a representative government in Iraq. The theory was that so long as the former dictator lived, the people would never take sides with the US, or take up arms against Saddam and his army. Those who held this view believed that since the people had been psychologically conditioned over the years to fear him and his cronies, who routinely carried out his bidding, they would not take any chance at freedom, if there were any chance that Saddam might return to power. Then there was also the idea that Saddam and his ministers should be captured and shipped to the Hague and put on trail for crimes against humanity and war crimes, similar to the Nuremberg trials. This suggestion was based upon the fact that Saddam had committed serious crimes against humanity that had hurt all of humanity, and not only the Iraqi people. This theory was based upon the belief that the Iraqi people should play more than a passive role in bringing him to justice, yet to overcome the fear and other emotions that might prevent us from having a serious trial; Saddam should be tried in Europe, and not in the Middle East. It also seems that many of those who held this view worried that a trial for Saddam in Iraq would be little more than a mockery of justice, and that the Iraqis would not be able to find the will to hold him accountable. This seemed to be especially true, considering that a greater and more treacherous enemy continued to occupy their country. It’s one thing to form a police troop to protect Iraqi people, and another to put on trial and then to execute, or even imprison your former leader to the satisfaction of Israel. Does it seem reasonable to us that the Iraqi people would be willing to create a media frenzy and circus over the conviction and death of Saddam Hussein, thereby giving the neo-conservatives a victory, while occupation troops are still busy fighting Iraqis, and the country is near civil war?

Today, more than a little distracted by the larger challenges facing Iraq, we no longer even talk about the impact that Saddam Hussein’s fate might have, or may actually have, on the outcomes we are, or might witness in the future. This topic seemed a very important consideration prior to the war. For some reason, Saddam’s actual capture, and the impact of his trial, his presence in Iraq, his performances at the trials, along with the murders of several Iraqis associated with the judicial process, are not even being discussed.

It’s interesting to some people that Saddam’s decision to accept exile escaped media attention. It would have been big news in my opinion, since it would have ended the entire drive to war. It would have also created a legal pretense, and legitimized whatever political arrangements were made to prevent chaos in Iraq while we waited for an election. As I have written earlier, it was the Arab League that dropped the ball, and prevented Saddam and his family from enjoying the safe exit to another country that had been offered by the Bush administration prior to the invasion. We were all told that Saddam had refused the offer of exile, and had decided to die as a martyr fighting along side his people. Poor Saddam. Someone decided his fate for him, and instead of leaving Iraq and going into exile, or dying as a martyr, he was found in a hole in the ground, humiliated by the Western media, and now performs regularly at his trial, calling the procedure illegitimate, illegal and part of the neo conservative’s efforts to justify their illegal actions inside Iraq, the most dangerous of which was of course the invasion, and then the disbanding of the Iraqi army, or maybe we should say the redeployment of the Iraqi army to the villages from where they organized along with other Arab nationalists, the insurgency that was fighting against coalition troops and the Shiite, yet who managed to kill many more Shiite civilians than they did coalition troops. The Arab League’s convenient mistake left Iraq without a government to enter into, or to facilitate a legal conclusion to the conflict through a formal surrender or abdication of power, and it is this glitch along with the presence of Saddam Hussein as a living martyr, ready to retake power once coalition troops have withdrawn that is spurring the insurgency, holding the Shiite back, and preventing a real trail for Saddam.

If any of this makes sense, rather than negotiating with the Sunni insurgency behind the backs of the Shiite, Ambassador Khalizad should be negotiating either a surrender or resignation of power from Saddam Hussein. That done, then there should be a ceremony declaring the transfer of power from the Baathists to the newly elected Iraqi government. The US and others who might be interested in remaining in Iraq for humanitarian purposes, or to help rebuild Iraq can make their case with the new government who can award contracts, work out diplomatic arrangements, treaties etc, that would describe these new relationships, and provide the necessary funding. The insurgency, that is no doubt being inspired by the presence of Saddam will realize that the war is over, and also the Islamic law that prohibits Muslims from fighting against a legitimate and popularly elected government will by force of Islamic, be compelled to enter the process, and to work along with others to get Iraq back on its feet, and to end this perpetually destructive war.

Someone hoped to make Iraq a battlefield not only in the war on terrorism, but also in the clash of civilizations. Placing blame is not the priority now, but at some point, the whole truth will come to the surface, and they will be held accountable. Not only Israel was involved in the Clean Break strategy that took us to war in Iraq. We can defeat these interests, yet to do that, we must utilize the law, and end these novel, and poorly thought out escapades aimed at undermining international law and creating a troubling and dangerous precedent of an arbitrary preemptive strike policy as a tool for regime change, and warmongering with no end in view. Preemptive strike may have its place in defensive war tactics, but we have learned that it cannot be used successfully as a method to change regimes by force when there is no popular support among the indigenous people for such a change, or for the use of that technique among international allies and neighbors. Quagmire is not the right word for what we have now in Iraq. What we have in Iraq is a prime example of the lack of honor among thieves, who all went to war together, and then began to fight one another for the spoils.

If we want to end the war in Iraq and get our troops home as soon as possible we might consider implementing the following steps:

  • 1. Negotiate a surrender or voluntary abdication of power from Saddam Hussein, and offer him prison time in lieu of capital punishment for any crimes for which he is found guilty, in exchange for his cooperation.
  • 2. Have a national ceremony to announce Saddam’s abdication of power, and the legitimacy of the duly elected Iraqi government, where Saddam is present.
  • 3. Saddam Hussein must issue a statement calling for the end of the insurgency.
  • 4. Begin negotiations between the US and new Iraq government on the possibility of a United State’s peacetime mission in Iraq, its proposed goals, its time frame, its cost, and method of payment.
  • 5. Withdraw as many US troops as is reasonable.
  • 6. The Iraqi government should nationalize its oil industry and make it a priority to get it up to 21st century standards, pumping and selling enough oil to pay for part of Iraq’s restoration, including creating jobs for the people of Iraq in the oil and its subsidiary industries.