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Playing Dress-Up in Baghdad

It seems Saddam Hussein is getting the jump on April Fools Day. Reuters reports that the US Central Command is charging that “Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has ordered uniforms replicating those worn by U.S. and British troops and will issue them to paramilitary fighters who would attack Iraqi civilians and blame it on Western forces.”

Will wonders never cease? The Tyrant from Tikrit, so despised by the Iraqi people that the West expects mass desertions from Hussein’s Army in the war’ s opening seconds, nonetheless can hire “paramilitary fighters” to shoot his own people! Sure, you say, that happens in our country all the time — we call it by names like the Drug War and Homeland Security. But Central Command’s claim goes beyond the twisted logic driving domestic law enforcement. They in fact expect us to believe that Iraqis would rather kill their own people than fight off a troop of marauding invaders who announce their arrival with relentless sequences of bombs.

Don’t tell me about America’s “Democratic Principles.” The fact that Central Command is willing to present such an implausibility suggests the true nature of this assault on Iraq. This military exercise, utterly avoidable to everyone’s eyes save a few dozen in Washington, is the equivalent of tossing dwarves or beating a bedridden man with a sack full of rocks. There is likely a better civil defense system in Walt Disney World than there is in Iraq, but all you get from the media is that “Saddam Hussein is the new Hitler” and other mendacities custom-fit for feeble minds.

For Saddam Hussein to be Hitler, he would need to seize control of a nation with as much potential as Germany had in the 1930s. What advantages Iraq might have gained before April Glaspie dropped her handkerchief have long since fallen by the wayside, and Iraq has been exposed for what it is. A small, landlocked nation, flush with commodity but denied the means to improve its people’s lives with those riches. Comparisons to Hitler and Germany during the Nazi ascension are ludicrous on their face; however, devastated Iraq does bear a certain resemblance to Poland before the Germans invaded in 1939.

ANTHONY GANCARSKI’s work appears frequently in CounterPunch. Comments are welcome at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

 

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ANTHONY GANCARSKI is a regular CounterPunch columnist. He can be reached at Anthony.Gancarski@attbi.com

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