Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Sneaking out like a thief in the night 

There was no fanfare. No tight shots of a hand-picked group of cheering Iraqis, like the ones assembled for the toppling of Saddam’s statue. Not even George W., in a flight suit, emerging from a fighter jet on the deck of a US aircraft carrier in the middle of the Persian Gulf to personally preside over the grand moment. This “mission accomplished” was all done in secret with 30 minutes notice.

In the now all too familiar sneaky Bushistas’ way, the American viceroy, L. Paul Bremer III, Tuesday “handed over power” — sort of — to the newest interim Iraqi puppet government, headed by a CIA asset.

Except it wasn’t night. It was 10:26 in the morning, Baghdad time, when the fearful Bremer relinquished the keys to Saddam’s palace in a secret ceremony and made a dash for a waiting C-130 to fly him out of Iraq. The excuse for the hastily convened ceremony that should have taken place publicly today? To ward off more violence by those dastardly “insurgents.” Hey, any excuse will do.

And it wasn’t really power or sovereignty that Bremer conveyed in a letter he handed to Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, because it was preceded by 97 ‘irrevocable” edicts — thou shalts and thou shalt nots — that Bremer had written over the past week. The real power will rest with Ronnie Reagan’s Honduran death squad and Nicaraguan contras facilitator, US Ambassador John Negroponte, who will take his directions from the Bushies, and the US military. The perfect guy to put in charge of the biggest taxpayer-funded private business enterprise and employment (for anyone other than Iraqis, that is) agency in the world, a.k.a. the US embassy.

Maybe now, grateful for being “liberated,” enjoying “democracy” and having regained their “sovereignty,” the Iraqi people will hug and kiss our folks, and throw flowers at their feet, as Rummy predicted, you think?

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