Alexandrovna Guest Op-Ed:
Saddam’s Execution and the Campaign Against Iran
Saddam’s Execution is about Iran
When someone does something obviously egregious, we tend to look past it because it is our nature to believe that people are naturally sane, good, and honest. We cannot imagine that anyone would willfully destroy their own country, violate their own laws, trample on their own people, and do it with such naked bravado while the world looked on.
But people have done it and do it even still, because there is also a darker side to human nature. Those of us who see the good in people look past actions that appear to be willfully evil not only because it is in our nature but it is also a foundation of our culture, as Americans, we believe guilt must be proved.
So we do not see what is going on before our eyes and directly in front of us. We look past it, around it, through it, but not at it. We cannot look directly at it, because if we do, we lose the vision of our beloved America and see something so sinister, that our minds would rather collapse than accept it.
But chess forces us to abandon our preconceptions and emotions. It pushes us to think in terms of cause and effect and it forces us to consider each action and counteraction in terms of the whole game. That is to say, chess forces us to think beyond our own present and fixed position, forcing us to reason every possible outcome of each action and counteraction.
Furthermore, chess teaches us to calculate not against a person, or a group, or a nation, but against a strategy that has no inherent religious, moral, or human characteristics. Master players can suspend their fixated self at will. Sadly, I am no master, and so I continue to struggle in seeing the game despite my human nature as an obstacle.
But sometimes, it just happens, something sets it off and there you are, inside the board, walking each action out in your mind and seeing the whole from beginning to end.
QUESTIONS AND SEEING THE BOARD
Sometime this morning, all the various and truly bizarre events the Bush administration has been engaged in recently with regard to troop levels and surges suddenly crystallized for me, as though I were sitting at a chess board and seeing the entire strategy unfold before my eyes.
This is of course my opinion and I may very well be wrong. In fact, I hope I am wrong. But the news that Saddam Hussein would be executed soon, and then the news that it would be in the next 48 hours, boggled my mind. Why on earth would anyone want to set off an ideological bomb during an already chaotic situation? I do not defend Saddam Hussein, not by any measure. But when Iraq is falling into total chaos and civil war, and as American troops continue to die, why would anyone want to add fuel to that fire, enough fuel to destroy what is left?
Suspend your emotions and think strategically. Now look at the question again and in context.
The administration is stalling as it supposedly weighs its Iraq options, when in fact they have already made their decision. How do I know they have made their decision? One need only look at the slow leaks coming out, not the least of which was Joe Lieberman’s op-ed in the Washington Post, to understand that we are going to be sending more troops to Iraq. So why does the administration wait to tell us this?
In the meantime, naval carriers are deployed to send Iran “a warning,” as though the threats thus far and the passing of sanctions are not warning enough. Add to that the detainment of Iranian diplomats invited to Iraq by the Iraqi leadership. Why is the US arresting diplomats invited to a country that the US claims is a sovereign nation governing itself?
And what about those sanctions, which ultimately mean nothing and sadly mean everything? The sanctions are so watered down as to have no real effect on the Iranian population or economy. Why even bother passing them?
Why censor Dr. Leverett’s opinion piece on Iran when the CIA already cleared it?
Now given this entire context, ask yourself again why Saddam Hussein is being executed now, during Hajj even? What is the urgency?
THE UGLY STRATEGY I SEE
This is what I think may be playing out, my opinion of course. And yes, the strategy is so brazenly obvious, arrogant, and antithetical to everything America is supposed to be and stand for that it will be difficult to digest.
What the Bush administration appears to be waiting for, stalling for, while they allegedly mull over the Iraq question, is for the naval carriers and other key assets to fall into position. This will happen in the first week of January. Saddam Hussein is being executed (and I would not be surprised if every major network aired it) to enrage tempers and fuel more violence in Iraq. This violence will justify an immediate need for a troop surge, although I think it will be described as temporary. Remember too that the British press has for the past week done nothing but report that Britain will be attacked by the New Year. Clearly they are preparing themselves for a contingency, and that contingency is the massive violence that will erupt across the Muslim world as they watch (and I really believe it will be televised) Saddam’s hanging just before the New Year.
Why is the rush to execute Saddam Hussein not account for Hajj? Or does it?
The carriers will be in position. I imaging there will be an event of some sort in Iraq, or the violence will spill into friendly (our friends) territory. It will be dramatic, even more so than the immediate violence.
The attacks will be blamed on Iran, with the help of the Saudis and Pakistan. Iran will be blamed for something that happens in Iran. The naval carriers, again, will be in position. The sanctions, as watered down as they are, have given the administration the blank check they needed from the world (and they still have their blank check from Congress) to order aerial strikes. The surge troops will be in position, and I estimate that ground support will begin around late February, early March.
Saddam’s execution and the violence will also be a convenient cover while the administration moves pieces into position.
But what the planners in the administration don’t seem to realize is that the Persians are the most expert of chess players, and they are a patient, strategy minded opponent. They are watching this develop, all of it, and they too are planning their counteraction. They know better than to strike first, because in doing so, they would lose the moral argument in the eyes of the world, as well as the advantage of counteraction. The US has a superior air force, but Iran has a formidable navy, and while the house of Saud will fuel this, the fallout will be fatal. Why?
Here is why: Because the US is too stretched to be able to protect Israel, and Israel cannot sustain a long term attack. They can sustain a few hits, but they will not be able to sustain a full blown attack.
If you have any doubt, go back to the recent war with Lebanon. The British will pull out, despite promises of support. Blair is on his way out, and the British public will not tolerate support for Israel, because of its help in supporting US imperialistic aggression. Whatever terrorist cells lurk in the US, and make no mistake, our administration has done little to address this issue, will be activated.
Also consider that the house of Saud is not prepared to defend itself against an uprising, and that the US cannot protect it while simultaneously operating on three different fronts and covertly in god knows how many. Despite the various sectarian differences in the Muslim world, there are two enemies that they all agree to fight and die fighting against: the US and Israel. This attack will set off a Muslim counterattack so large, that nothing will be able to stop it or contain it.
But our leadership does not see this, because they cannot think strategically and won’t think in human terms, so they are left with nothing but arrogance. And we ae left with a world ablaze. ‘
Larisa Alexandrovna maintains the blog At-Largely and is Managing Editor – of Raw Story.