From Saddam to Zarqawi, Bush Jnr's parallels with Adolph which serve to brutalize the Muslim world Print E-mail
 Pakistan Monday June 19, 2006 -- Jumadi-ul-Awwal 22, 1427

All of Uncle Sam’s nephews

Farooq Sulehria

What the effect of killing Abu Musab Al Zarqawi will be in the massive terrorist apparatus that has been created by the Bush-Blair invasion, one can only guess. The invasion was an enormous stimulant for terrorism, as was anticipated by Noam Chomsky.

Robert Coulondre, French ambassador to the Third Reich, met Adolf Hitler just before the outbreak of the Second World War. While boasting of the advantages he had recently obtained from Joseph Stalin, Hitler drew an ostentatious outlook of his future military triumph. In reply the French ambassador appealed to his ‘reason’ saying: “You are thinking of yourself as the victor but have you given thought to another possibility ­ that the victor may be Trotsky?” According to historian Issac Deutcher, on hearing this, Hitler jumped up (as if he “had been hit in the pit of the stomach”) and screamed that the threat of Trotsky’s victory was one more reason why France and Britain should not go to war against the Third Reich.

The conversation escaped Adolf Hitler’s well-guarded office and travelling across Atlantic reached Leon Trotsky, exiled leader of the Soviet Opposition. Soon to be hunted by Stalin, an isolated Trotsky might have felt elated at Hitler’s remarks but his comment did not betray any elation: “They are haunted by the spectre of revolution, and they give it a man’s name.”

Similarly, today the American Hitler and his British buddy, haunted by the spectre of resistance, give it a man’s name. First, the resistance was given the name of Uday Hussain and Qusay Hussain. In July 2003, when both these dreaded sons of Iraq’s dreaded dictator were killed in a shootout, we were told by President Bush: “Saddam Hussein’s sons were responsible for torture, for maiming innocent citizens, and for the murder of countless Iraqis. And now, more than ever, the Iraqis can know that the former regime is gone and is not coming back.”

To make sure that the regime didn’t come back the Americans even removed the Iraqi flags from the graves of Uday and Qusay Hussein. The resistance, however, did not stop. Now the resistance assumed the name Saddam Hussain. He was, for months, alleged to be leading his disgruntled Baathists from a hide out. One day, a force of 600 American soldiers captured Saddam Hussein, from Tikrit, hiding at the bottom of an 8-feet deep hole. On his capture, in a nationally televised address from the White House, President Bush said: “In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.” His “brave” defence minister made an even more candid statement: “Here was a man who was photographed hundreds of times shooting off rifles and showing how tough he was, and in fact he wasn’t very tough; he was cowering in a hole in the ground and had a pistol and didn’t use it and certainly did not put up any fight at all. In the last analysis, he seemed not terribly brave”. True, but the statement sounds bizarre when shot from Rumsfeld’s mouth. Also, Rumsfeld failed to mention that Saddam Hussain, besides rifles, also lent a photo session opportunity to Rumsfeld himself when he visited Saddam Hussain in Baghdad.

With Saddam Hussain in chains, resistance got even fierce. Now it was given the name Abu Musaab al Zarqawi. Faced with a growing resistance compounded by domestic unpopularity of the war, the Bush administration needed a respite. A big catch could do. Hence Zarqawi. An elated President Bush declared: “Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again.”

Let’s wait and resistance will get another man’s name. Osama bin Laden perhaps. But hold on for a moment. Every time, a terrorist spinning all the trouble is caught or killed, the western mainstream media go for the Second World War all over again. What is missing in empty TV talk shows and newspaper commentaries that follow every such catch is close links between the catch and Uncle Sam. From Saddam to Zarqawi, all were once Uncle Sam’s adopted nephews. Saddam Hussain and his Baathist gang was a useful contact in Iraq in 1960s when Iraq was seen by Washington as a country ready for embracing Moscow. It had the Arab world’s largest communist party. The bloody coup that removed Adbul Karim Kassim in 1963 led to the massacre of the communists in their thousands. The dirty job was done by Saddam Hussain and his gang and the lists were provided by the CIA. Later, when Tehran grew beard in 1979 it was Saddam Hussain who fought a US war against Iran for eight years.

The gassing of Kurds did not bother any conscience either at 10 Downing Street or at the White House. Nobody was concerned about the Kurds’ fate. A fateful meeting was held in 1990 at the presidential palace in Baghdad where Saddam misread US ambassador April Glaspie’s gestures and invaded “plucky little Kuwait”. Now he became a Hitler.

Similarly, the Tora Bora resident, before he became useless for the CIA, was hailed for his heroic adventures in Afghanistan. Ironically, in those days Uncle Sam was upset that Afghan women were shedding their burkas under Afghanistan’s “infidel” PDPA regime. Later, when Osama returned to Afghanistan on Taliban’s invitation, Uncle Sam again expressed a concern about the burka. This time, Uncle Sam was upset that the fundamentalist Taliban regime was imposing burka on Afghan women. (By the way, empire’s concern for dress is not new. When Europe colonised Africa, it wanted Africans to dress in order to embrace ‘civilisation’. These days, same European ex-empires want Muslim women to shed burka in order to embrace ‘civilisation’).

Interestingly, the Tora Bora resident has not yet been captured nor “smoked out”. May be it is the Laden-Bush business ties that have saved his neck so far. Had Zarqawi been a son of a business tycoon, he would most likely have survived. Even the war on terror chooses its victims on class basis. Alas. Zarqawi was a Jordanian who reached Afghanistan to participate in the US-sponsored Jihad. In those good old days, he was a mujahid like his boss Osama bin Laden. Many in Iraq, and elsewhere, believe he was part of a psyop helping the Iraq occupation by dividing the resistance on sectarian lines.

Even if he was not part of a psyop, Zarqawi objectively abetted the US occupation of Iraq. Alive or dead he does not matter, yet Uncle Sam made use of his life as well as death. After all, Uncle Sam does not adopt nephews for nothing. However, each time a nephew of Uncle Sam is born or killed, the Muslim world gets brutalised. Zarqawi in his life as well as in his death brutalised the Muslim world. The Muslim world ,therefore, can neither mourn nor celebrate his death.

The writer is a freelance journalist based in Sweden.