The Let’s-Pretend War

December 30, 2006

On the hanging of Saddam Hussein, Josh Marshall speaks for me and a lot of other people:

The Iraq War has been many things, but for its prime promoters and cheerleaders and now-dwindling body of defenders, the war and all its ideological and literary trappings have always been an exercise in moral-historical dress-up for a crew of folks whose times aren’t grand enough to live up to their own self-regard and whose imaginations are great enough to make up the difference. This is just more play-acting.

These jokers are being dragged kicking and screaming to the realization that the whole thing’s a mess and that they’re going to be remembered for it — defined by it — for decades and centuries. But before we go, we can hang Saddam. Quite a bit of this was about the president’s issues with his dad and the hang-ups he had about finishing Saddam off — so before we go, we can hang the guy as some big cosmic ‘So There!’

Marx might say that this was not tragedy but farce. But I think we need to get way beyond options one and two even to get close to this one — claptrap justice meted out to the former dictator in some puffed-up act of self-justification as the country itself collapses in the hands of the occupying army.

As a chaser, here’s Robert Fisk on the country that helped make Saddam, a point you won’t hear very often during the gloating over Saddam’s execution.

We’ll just have to shelve terms like “War on Terror” until after the Bush administration is flushed out of Washington D.C. You don’t use that term to describe a “war” in which the mastermind of 9/11 is still running around free and known terrorists are invited into the Iraq government coalition, while hapless clowns are arrested and charged with fomenting grandiose conspiracies that collapse under the pressure of skeptical questioning.

This is the Let’s-Pretend War, the signal accomplishment of the Let’s-Pretend Administration. The only surprise is that Bush didn’t have the execution delayed until the end of his term, when it could have served as a distraction from the nauseating spectacle of the pardons King George II will be selling off to the highest bidders.

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3 Responses to “The Let’s-Pretend War”

  1. Nordette Says:

    Hey, Steve. I didn’t comment on the execution at my blog because while I’m no Saddam fan neither was I pro-Iraq war, and when I see the video clips all I think is they went after him because they couldn’t or wouldn’t catch Osama. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth. What’s there to say to this mess? ~~Nordette


  2. One day, this will make a great movie, but today it is our tragic reality.


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