Monday, May 03, 2004

Two Plus Two

After fetching the Saturday morning’s newspaper from the driveway, I pulled that day’s paper from the blue plastic bag The New York Times is delivered in. There, on the front page, was a picture of the former Republican Guard general Jasim Muhammad Salih. From the red beret to the khaki-colored uniform to the distinctive black mustache, this man set-off alarms of “Saddam Hussein! Saddam Hussein!”

Why? On Thursday, the same paper ran a front page story that cited Pentagon intelligence papers that stated the killers in Fallujah were being directed by Saddam Hussein’s secret service in plans set before the freeing of Iraq. From these two articles published only two days apart, I am led to conclude that the U.S. has just helped reconstitute the Saddam Hussein regime.

My next thought was one of concurrence with the Bush-Is-an-Idiot crowd (and there are a lot of them. It seems the publishing industry cannot get out enough polemics devoted to this myth. Of course, once the election is over, all those books won’t be worth the hourly-wage that will be paid to the book store clerks to mark then down and dump them in the discount bin!)

But after some dissonance-soothing reflection, I saw an additional facet to this recent development. Given the Shiite majority in the country and its connections to the Iranian theocrats across the border, could the CPA, and by extension, the Administration, be putting in place system of checks-and-balances that is the hallmark of our own government? The Kurds in the north of Iraq aren’t going to give-up their current form of government, No-Fly Zone-nurtured democracy, and the Shiia in the south will have the power of mob democracy. What the Administration needed was to give the Sunni’s something to preserve against the mob of Shiia. A reach, but given the fact we do not know everything that occurs in foreign policy, there must be some undisclosed reasoning/intelligence that would lead the CPA to take this course of action. Why The New York Times would put that photo on the front page is understandable given their anti-Bush bent.

But could the Bush Administration have been as stupid as the combination of these two articles makes it appear? Or could this be a deliberate action on the Administration’s part that will come back and bite the Left in the ass and make them look as if their insults of Bush’s intellect were nothing more than the classic Freudian defense mechanism, projection?

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