Thank God for historical ignorance -- or amnesia, or just the feeling that you really don't give a fuck. For without this constitutional right ("Congress shall pass no law suggesting that citizens understand current events" -- 28th Amendment), most Americans could never get through the day. And with the ongoing chaos and general madness surrounding Iraq, this political detachment has become even more necessary.
The announcement this week by Reformed Ba'athist Iyad Allawi that Unreformed Ba'athists would begin facing War Crimes trials was as bald as an imperial gesture could be. You'd have to be either completely Party Line or simply unconscious to keep from laughing (or crying) at the utter hypocrisy of this. The idea that a US-installed regime, populated with former thugs of the old ruling order, can pass objective legal judgment on those who once served US regional designs is farcical, if not obscene. This assumes that current US players like, oh, say, Donald Rumsfeld,
were always opposed to and appalled by Saddam's brutality, which of course is horseshit. So, will we see Rummy on the stand for his contribution to crimes against humanity? How about Reagan's Sec. of State George Shultz and Sec. of Defense Frank Carlucci? They were in the pro-Saddam saddle when the Beast was gassing Kurds and Iranians. How about George H.W. Bush, who as president turned on Saddam when the regional client exceeded his role by invading all of Kuwait (as opposed to "straightening the border"), only to grant Saddam permission to crush the 1991 Shi'a uprising, which led to those mass graves that suddenly became a concern? If Poppy gets subpoenaed, then it's only fair and just to do the same to James Baker and Dick Cheney, who also backed Saddam's tyranny when it was convenient. Put 'em all on the stand and have them explain to an Iraqi jury why they supported Saddam at his worst.
Well, you see where I'm going with this. As my father likes to say when I rant about what a just world might look like, "That'll never happen."
Indeed. In order for these sham trials to take place with any degree of seriousness, domestic commentators must ignore the Iraqi blood dripping from US hands, and insist that Saddam's crimes took place in an alternate universe. 'Course, most Americans won't care one way or the other, not with so many pleasant diversions to choose from this holiday season.
In other Free Iraq news, Allawi has announced the start of his election campaign, though what kind of public appearances he plans to make are I'm sure still hour to hour. Can't wait to see him make campaign swings through Fallujah and Mosul. And if he can find babies who haven't been blown apart, incinerated or too severely maimed to kiss, we're talking photo op bonanza, American-style. Another step taken in spreading Our Values.