US Enemies strengthened: By overthrow, capture of Saddam Hussein
While the capture of Saddam Hussein last month was certainly an impressive victory for President Bush that has been a cause for much celebration for most Iraqis and for our troops, it will likely cause the Shiites to be emboldened to become increasingly more militant and may soon spark a general rebellion in the Shiite south of Iraq. In other words, the capture of Saddam may result in a gradual transfer of the leadership of the resistance from the Baathists to a potentially even more dangerous threat—the radical Shiites who are supported and in league with the mother of all terrorist states–the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is they who are the most radical of all Iraqi groups in addition to being predominantly Islamist and anti-American in outlook. In fact, the immediate past interim President of the Iraqi Governing Council, Abdel-Aziz al-Hakim, is the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is the umbrella group for the radical Shiite organizations controlled by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saddam, himself a brutal, murderous dictator, has been a longtime opponent of these Islamist terrorist groups and ironically served as an important proxy for the US in furtherance of its war against Islamist terrorism in the 1980s when he invaded Iran with US support.
The Bush Administration and supporters of the current US war in Iraq have repeatedly attempted to forge an unfounded and unsubstantiated linkage of murderous secularist dictator Saddam Hussein to Islamist terrorists. This is the case despite the fact that last January, in a failed bid to appease the Bush Administration which was dead set on war with Iraq, Saddam ordered the assassination of the nefarious Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal who was responsible for the deaths of scores of Americans in the 1980s. In fact, with the sole exception of the death benefits which he sent to the families of PLO terrorist suicide bombers, Saddam’s Iraq has long served as a bulwark against the spread of Iranian and Al Queda-sponsored Islamist revolution throughout the Middle East. According to the January 14th edition of the Washington Times, CIA interrogators have already learned from the top al-Queda officials in custody that, before the U.S.-led invasion, Osama bin Laden had rejected requests from some of his lieutenants to work jointly with Iraq. This is not surprising since Iraq was then led by a secularist dictator who bin Laden repeatedly referred to as “infidel” whom he wanted to see overthrown.
In fact, Saddam killed tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Islamist extremists during his 24-year reign over Iraq. During the 1980’s, he invaded the Islamic Republic of Iran, fighting an eight year long war against Islamist terrorism in an effort to depose the Shiite Islamist revolutionary leaders of Iran. In this war, Saddam was supported by the Reagan-Bush Administration. In fact, visionary conservative President Ronald Reagan vowed in a national security directive not to let Iraq lose the war. At that time, the United States saw Hussein’s government as an important ally and bulwark against the militant Shiite extremism seen in the 1979 revolution in Iran. Washington was worried that the Iranian example threatened to destabilize friendly monarchies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan as it is currently doing with the assistance of its Al Queda proxy. The Reagan-Bush Administration sold military goods to Iraq, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological agents. It also undertook discreet diplomatic initiatives, such as the two Rumsfeld trips to Baghdad, to assure the Saddam Hussein government that the US was serious in wanting to establish closer relations with Baghdad despite their use of chemical weapons against Iran.
Once a paid CIA assassin back in the late 1950’s which he spent killing Communists (for which he was briefly imprisoned) and assassinating Iraq’s Marxist strongman, General Qasim, Saddam had done America’s dirty work for many years. Saddam also spent a considerable time in an Iraqi prison for killing his Communist brother-in-law. After spending decades fighting the Communists, in 1980 he initiated a pre-emptive war against the Islamic Republic of Iran and subsequently killed tens of thousand Shiite extremists and potential terrorists. With this scoundrel gone, Iraq is now ripe for takeover by Shiite extremists supported by the mother of all terrorist states, Iran, who seek to transform previously secular Iraq into an Islamist Republic modeled on Iran. Such a takeover would present a far greater threat to the US than Saddam ever did and would represent a stunning defeat in America’s just war against Islamic terrorists. It may be the case that the imposition of democracy by the US would be too dangerous in Iraq. Perhaps it would better serve the U.S. national security interest to set up a “benevolent autocracy” consisting of non-Baathist Sunnis and moderate, more secularist Shiites to lead Iraq and stand guard against a takeover of the country by radical Islamist, terror-supporting Shiites by democratic or other means.
Watching Fox News the morning the capture of Saddam was first announced, I noticed that one of the video takes being showed repeatedly was of a group of Iraqis waving about two dozen red flags, which I immediately recognized as the flags of Iraq’s Communist party complete with hammers and sickles. These pictures also appeared on the front page of the December 15th edition of the Washington Times alongside the headline, “‘A hopeful day has arrived’ in Iraq.” Only the Israeli newspaper, Haaratz managed to note the fact that these much showcased red flag waivers were not those of Iraqi patriots, but those of Iraqi Communists.
In this repeatedly showcased video footage, members of the Iraqi Communist party, long persecuted, banned and killed by Saddam who was a lifelong opponent of the Communists, brandished copies of the Iraqi Communist Party daily proclaiming Saddam’s capture. The Communist party newspaper was the first newspaper to be legalized by CPA head and US proconsul for Iraq, Paul Bremer, in one of a long series of blunders on his part, for which he should have long ago been fired. I found this footage highly symbolic of the fact that those that are likely to benefit the most from the capture of Saddam are extremist groups such as the Iraqi Communist Party and the radical Shiite Islamist organizations that ultimately are likely to prove substantially more threatening to the US than Saddam ever was. CPA head, Paul Bremer inexplicably decided to grant the Iraqi Communists a seat on Iraq’s 24 member Governing Council in opposition to U.S. interests to ban or at least marginalize them. Bremer, who had been rumored to be on his way out by some sources, seems to have succeeded in saving his job for the interim thanks to the success of this operation, however, given that the resistance will sharpen once again very soon, his days are probably still numbered.
Reliable data on Iraqi Communist Party membership is unavailable. One 1984 estimate was 2,000 members, but other foreign sources indicated a considerably larger ICP membership. Because it has been a clandestine party fighting for the overthrow of the Baathist regime, the ICP’s true membership strength may never be known, especially because it has directed its organizational efforts through the Kurdish Democratic National Front (DNF).
The capture of Saddam, who was reportedly so busy hiding had no opportunity to direct resistance attacks, will likely result in a spike in resistance attacks following a brief downturn as its mostly Baathist leaders retaliate for his capture and show that they plan to continue the fight. Fox News has repeatedly referred to the cancer-stricken Al Douri as being in charge of the Baath-led resistance despite the fact that multiple analysts have expressed their belief that he has been too sick to do so. Subsequent reports, which may have been planted by the coalition to discourage resistance fighters, indicating that Al Douri may have turned himself in to coalition authorities proved false.
According to Garrett Jones, a retired Army Colonel and former case officer with the CIA in the Middle East, “the circumstances of Hussein’s capture strongly indicated that he had little or nothing to do with the insurgency. There was not even a pretense of a command-and-control apparatus around Hussein, and his reported mental condition suggests he was in no condition to track, much less direct, a nationwide resistance movement.” He concludes by saying that this “strongly suggests the clearly coordinated attacks against multinational forces are being directed and coordinated by an outside organization, such as Al Queda.”
Many analysts worry that the resistance has been acting separately from Saddam and may be sufficiently well-financed and organized for the long haul. Even CPA head Paul Bremer has predicted an increase in attacks in coming months. US military analysts predicted several weeks before Saddam’s capture that the US had approximately six months to defeat the insurgency before it mushroomed into a more broad based nationwide rebellion. This prediction is probably still accurate. The history of guerilla warfare suggests that the chances of the resistance succeeding in exacting casualties so numerous as to force a US withdrawal from Iraq are quite good.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”