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Sunday, December 14, 2003


TARIQ ALI: In fact, if Saddam Hussein died a natural death or was captured and killed or whatever, the resistance far from dying down would actually increase, because many who are not coming out at the moment fearful that Saddam might come back, would then join the resistance. I have absolutely no doubt of that. So the notion if we just captured the headman, classic colonial talk, capture the head man, get rid of him and the natives will be on side.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: But nobody is saying that.

TARIQ ALI: No, no. Lots of people have been saying it. The key problem is to capture Saddam and destroy him. That's not going to work. I do think it's without importance that Saddam Hussein be brought to justice. I very much hope that you, like me, wish to see him on trial. In fact, it's one of the vices of the coalition policy, one that I have pointed out myself several times that no indictment of Saddam Hussein was ever issued. Though, the ingredients for the indictment
could be wheeled right off the shelf in Cambridge.

from the Democracy Now Debate between Ali/Hitchens

SADDAM HUSSEIN CAPTURED. First, good riddance. I have nothing but contempt for corrupt American puppets. I hope he gets a trial where he can talk at length about his relationship with the United States. He'll probably get a trip to Gitmo. Remember: The Bush admininstration only rarely doesn't do the most evilest worstest thing imaginable. Like Tariq, I also think that his capture actually helps the resistance. Now, you can't say it's some insidious Baathist plot hatched by Saddam in his underground lair. I would hope that now your usual crew of jingoist, objectively pro imperialism, pro communist (a big faction of the coalition government's coalition) Sullys and Instapundits could define the resistance as being home grown. Subsequently, we should address their valid concerns. Give them a vote if they ask for a vote. Give them control of their oil revenues. That's what decent people and countries do. Don't fantasize and call people with legitimate concerns evil doers or "terrorists". We're a country that used force to get what we want. The "terrorists" have the same right. There is no high ground here.

By the way, if you're playing the Imperialism 2003 Home Game, here's how you decide whether you should or should not take up arms against the occupation government. Do you have a right to vote? Do you have any say over the mechanisms of the vote, such as census taking and the writing of the constitution, which will determine what kind of "democracy" you will end up with? Does the occupying country have a long bloody history of supporting dictators and killers and thugs at the expense of democratic institutions and to the favor of the United Fruits and Halliburtons of this world? Are Iraqi companies allowed in the bidding process? Is it clear that the occupier is resorting to death squads, a tactic that was very successful in El Salvador at wiping out all meaningful democratic opposition? Does the occupation use nonlethals or do they shoot anything that moves? Has the occupation set up its exit strategy as part of its reelection strategy or are they clearly concerned about "democracy"? Does the occupation respect any aspect of international law or the rule of law period?

Now, if you find that the US is on the wrong side of most of those questions, you should have an understanding as to why the resistance fights. Let's see what happens in the next several weeks. As always, we'll be watching.

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