ALEXANDRIA, Egypt - One can't help but wonder whether Saddam Hussein, with 300,000 armed-to-the-teeth Dirty Harrys pointing their Magnums - and Tomahawks - at his head at this very moment, is feeling lucky. Even more than Clint Eastwood taking the law into his own hands, Saddam's favorite movie character is Marlon Brando in Francis Ford... Read More
BRUSSELS and GENEVA - At the height of the war on Iraq, the paradox in al-Qaeda's strategy became apparent: in fighting American imperialism, al-Qaeda in the end just managed to reinforce it. The fighting machine set in motion by September 11 ultimately drove home the awesome omnipotence of Washington and the world now has to... Read More
The Iraqi Intifada already has a starting date: July 27. And guess who's the rebel with a cause in charge? None other than Saddam Hussein. He seems to be alive, well and in hiding. This is the crux of an intelligence report received by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and confirmed by a number of... Read More
OWJA and TIKRIT - Saddam Hussein's birthplace, Owja, near Tikrit, used to be the ultimate Middle East gated community. One could only get inside if one knew someone from the ruling elite - and he had to personally fetch you at the gates. Now Owja is semi-deserted. Most residents were Ba'ath Party members. Many fled... Read More
BAGHDAD and AMMAN - Chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix knew it. Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter knew it. French, German and Russian intelligence knew it. Sultan Hashim Ahmad - Iraq's former minister of defense, now safe after a cosy deal with the Americans - knew it. In 1995, Hussein Kamel, married to one... Read More
BAKU - The Christmas blockbuster from the Pentagon studios was a dream. This was the new Roman Empire at its peak - better than Ridleys Scott's Gladiator: a real, captive barbarian emperor, paraded on the Circus Maximus of world television. The barbarian was not a valiant warrior - but a bum. He was not hiding... Read More
BAKU - Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset Saddam Hussein is - already was - totally beside the point. Only in the past few months have we learned the extent to which the Saddam system sub-contracted a great deal of decision-making to different Iraqi elite - from tribal sheikhs to businessmen and Sunni and Wahhabi... Read More
"Of course they don't like being occupied. I wouldn't like being occupied either." President George W Bush, April 13 White House press conference Forget about George W Bush's scripted press conference, where, according to CNN, the president was "quite forceful in rebutting the attacks on his Iraq policy". Forget that Bush admitted to no mistakes... Read More
The show trial of Saddam Hussein.
The appearance of Saddam Hussein before an Iraqi judge the other day illustrated a number of things. It illustrated, for example, the truth that a bully is not always a coward. Also that the new Iraqi government (or perhaps some U.S. adviser) has savvy presentational skills: letting Saddam come to the court cleaned up and... Read More
Just Another Bush Lie?
The account of American troops capturing Saddam and pulling him from his subterranean hovel has turned out to be just another Bush lie. Sergeant Nadim Abou Rabeh, who participated in the operation that netted Saddam, was quoted in the Saudi newspaper "Al-Medina" saying that the Iraqi leader was actually captured the day before and that... Read More
Occupied Iraq has virtually no security, electricity, water or jobs. Last Saturday, instead of basic necessities for a decent life, Iraqis had a referendum - already suspected of massive fraud - on a constitution few have even seen. Starting on Wednesday, Iraqis, and the rest of the world for that matter, get a running soap... Read More
The Logic of Kill and Be Killed
This is a dark day for Americans and Iraqis alike. Killing Saddam Hussein isn't justice; its vengeance. Only Bush believes the two are the same. How are we supposed to feel now that we know that Saddam will be hanged for his crimes? Elated? Energized? Jubilant? Will it wash away the oceans of blood that... Read More