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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

18 December 2003

Of all Saddam Hussain’s capture stories, Rasheeda Bhagat’s opinion piece in Business Line reflects my views.

Dictators are there everywhere and not all countries are democracies. Big Apple doesn’t go up in arms in every nook and corner of the world where there are innocent people suffering in the hands of tyrants. Why then Iraq?

Oil, Oil and Oil may be the real motive behind the façade of saving the people of Iraq and also the world from a tyrant. But at the end of the day, it is the people of Iraq who are paying the price, Rasheeda comments:

“The people are facing severe shortages of food and oil in a country blessed with both in plenty. Their sick continue to be deprived of decent health-care facilities, their number of unemployed is rising , their homes are still raided, their roads are blocked by coalition forces' armoured trucks, and their lives remain miserable.”

What if Saddam is telling the Truth that he didn’t have WMD? Or what if he turns around and admits that yes; he had plans to manufacture WMD? Then the Iraq war will have its legitimacy established. But will the people of Iraq be happy ever after? Will they enjoy freedom and prosperity under a puppet rule? Is Afghanisthan prospering? Questions for which answers are remain to be seen.
Rasheeda asks,
“Opponents of the attack against Iraq and the entire business of regime-change kept asking the one question that had no answer: How did the Saddam Hussein regime hold out a threat to the US or any of the coalition partners?
While al Qaeda links had been established to the 9/11 and other terror attacks, and Osama bin Laden was still at large, why was it necessary to go after Iraq? Well, the simple answer to these questions is Iraq's oil wealth and its strategic geographic location — bang in the centre of West Asia , and with neighbours like a recalcitrant Iran and a powerful Turkey.
Mr Hussein might have come to power in Iraq in 1979 in the first place with American blessings. But over the years he had turned increasingly defiant and there was no way he would have played along to benefit big American conglomerates' oil interests or the superpower's political interests.
With his removal and the installation of a puppet regime, there were limitless possibilities for the lone superpower in the world to grow even more powerful.
But, then, unfortunately for Messrs Bush and Blair, democracies have their nuisance value and people in a "free country" tend to ask too many questions.
Worse, they revel in taking out protest marches and, much worse, speak their mind in popularity ratings. And when an election is in the offing, a continuing stream of negative ratings tends to take its toll on the prospects of a presidential candidate.”

And she ends her piece with this: “Meanwhile, in a delightful spoof on Mr Hussein's capture, titled "Jessica Lynch Captures Saddam: Ex-dictator Demands Back Pay From Baker," Greg Palast (well-known columnist and author of the bestseller The Best Democracy Money Can Buy) has this comment to make: "While lauding the capture of Mr Hussein, experts caution that the War on Terror is far from over, noting that Osama bin Laden, James Baker (former US Secretary of State and Mr Hussein's erstwhile friend) and George W. Bush remain at large."

Well, did I hear you say, ‘tongue-in-cheek’?


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