Raghida Dergham Al-Hayat - 05/01/07//
New York - The Iraqi government, its Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as well as the US administration and President George W. Bush, are fully responsible for what happened to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein upon his execution by the militias of sectarian and political vendetta.
For the issue at hand goes far beyond the prosecution of a regime and the lynching of a tyrant. What happened induces compulsory, key and critical questions regarding who is behind inciting sectarian hatred between the Shiites and the Sunnis, and the reality of US policies toward the Middle East region.
The issue at hand calls on George Bush to come forward and explain to us the real meaning of his policies toward Iraq and Iran and his perception of the role of the sectarian strife in the equation that drives the US interest in this oil-rich and strategic part of the world.
Neither condemnation nor indulgence in concepts, hypotheses, and mutual recriminations would suffice, since the significance of the sequence of events that took place before, during, and after the execution of Saddam Hussein bears fearsome consequences, not only on Iraq, but on the entire region. Therefore, answers to fundamental and key questions must be sought.
What happened implies that the neoconservative clique, which steered George Bush into embracing the doctrine of invading and occupying Iraq, still controls invisible strings of significance within the US decision-making process, as well as within Iraq.
For it was they who used the war in Iraq to launch the so-called superiority of the Shiite might as part of a strategy for the division of Iraq and the creation of a petroleum belt over the land of 'petro-stan' in a region that became known as the 'Shiite Crescent'.
The neoconservatives, despite their claims of being opposed to striking deals with the militia or making compromises with terrorism, have not once hesitated to summon the militia to become part of the de facto alliances, and the promises for a rosy tomorrow.
It is they who should have been prosecuted, because the US stands accused today of pushing the region into sectarian wars in order to capitalize on the tearing down of Arab countries and the hidden strategic alliances that are not related to public propaganda campaigns against certain regimes and axes.
The US president himself may be innocent of such charges, he may even be speaking out of personal honesty by touting a unified Iraq as a cornerstone in the success of his ambitious policies for a democratic Iraq that stands as a paragon of liberty for the Arab region.
If he is truly innocent and honest, the US president should then demand a thorough and immediate query into the sequence of events that ensued during and after the execution of Saddam, and the implications and dimensions of these events before coming forward with his comprehensive policies toward Iraq, expected to be unveiled in the coming days.
The US military's decision to turn Saddam over to the neo-executioners, who chanted slogans hailing the Muqtada al-Sadr militia, led to the resurfacing of questions on the reason behind allowing this series of US mistakes in Iraq to have been committed, and whether they truly were mere mistakes.
For it has become increasingly hard to believe this story of mistakes, and it is now high time to question once again who is really drawing the US policies in Iraq, Iran and the region.
There has to have been someone inside the US administration that fully understood the significance of executing Saddam Hussein on the first day of the holy Greater Bairam (Eid al-Adha), turning him into a martyr for some, even if that astonishing video had not emerged, which reveals that the Iraqi army has been infiltrated at the root level with the gangs and the militia.
It is not comprehendible that the US administration could lack experts, who understood the seriousness of the execution of Saddam on the day of Eid al-Adha, and who had access to key decision-makers that could have taken actions that would have prevented this 'mistake'.
Saddam Hussein was in US custody. The US forces turned him over to the US government to be executed on that same day, according to a political decision made by officials at the highest levels, despite the advice of the US ambassador to Baghdad.
In the event that George Bush had been excluded from the decision-making circle in this case, then it follows that he should understand precisely the significance of what has happened, as well as who allowed it to happen, and take these outcomes into account as key elements of his political package toward Iraq.
For the issue is not only related to the shifting of the Sunni-Shiite conflict to a qualitatively different stage on the Iraqi and the regional level, which, in itself, represents a highly serious and alarming development, but is rather connected to a key aspect of US policies in Iraq, namely: the training of the Iraqi forces and the Army, which will replace the US forces when they withdraw from Iraq.
Accordingly, the US supreme commander, President George Bush, is now expected to investigate whether money from US taxes and the treasury was being used to fund militias, who are either being incorporated into a short-lived army, or are exerting unimaginable control over the Iraqi army and government. The Supreme Commander is also required to explain to the American people and the world what is he actually doing.
There are those who are convinced that the pillars of the Bush administration still believe that the US should forge an alliance with Iran, the world's largest Shiite nation, and with the Shiites in general, who are a minority in the Islamic World, simply because al-Qaeda and its offshoots are Sunnis.
These also believe that the rising of a Shiite Crescent serves US strategic interests, and that the Iranian-Israeli relationship is essentially one of disengagement, and that the US-Iran-Israel axis is the most plausible axis for specific superiority in the Middle East region, especially on top of the ruins of an officially divided Iraq.
According to such rhetoric, the official division of Iraq necessarily requires that it must first fall into fragmentation, become the site of an excessive cruelty that justifies any 'other' alternative to the current situation and, in turn, the sequence of events that took place during the execution of Saddam Hussein, would be allowed to happen.
If George W. Bush is indeed innocent of these charges, then he should make an unequivocal commitment to guarantee the unity of the Iraqi territory as the starting point of announcing the new strategies to deal with Iraq.
He should also ask the head of the Iraqi government, Nouri al-Maliki, to choose between his allegiance to the likes of Muqtada al-Sadr and his militias, his spiritual and political connections with the Iranian leaderships in Tehran, and his allegiance to a unified Iraq that must be systematically distanced from the savage and deadly sectarian wars.
President Bush should also make it clear whether his position toward Iran truly corresponds to his publicly made statements, or if he was making these public statements while giving the 'go' for this undeclared strategic relation, favorable to the Iranian leaderships' mood.
The war in Iraq was a key aspect of a strategic shift that resulted in the consolidation, the success, as well as the undeniable advantages to both Iran and Israel, seen by the architects of this strategy as the natural allies in the drive to contain the Sunni influence and, with it, any unwanted Arab aspirations for superiority.
It is the duty of the US president, not only to the American public and the Iraqis, but also to Lebanon and the US allies in the Arab region, at a time when the US has become notorious for volatility and the overnight abandonment of its allies that come on top of charges of double standards it already faces today.
As directly involved in simultaneous sectarian, religious, cultural, civilization, political, oil, and strategic wars, the US is truly facing one of the most important tests.
George W. Bush is now required to explain to us what is the US policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others. He is required to clarify his understanding of the official US stance with regards to the eruption of sectarian wars in Iraq and Lebanon, where the militia is drawing the fate of Lebanon, with Iranian funding and mobilization and the flow of arms through Syria.
Suspicions are rising that certain US administration key figures are the architects of deals that precede and shape US policies. Suspicions are rising that the inaudible voice of the neoconservatives these days is no more than a part of an elaborate drive to lower their visibility as they work on executing what they have been planning from the onset, namely: since new maps for the Middle East region were drawn, based on the destruction and the division of Iraq through a strategy of carefully executed 'mistakes' that benefits Israel and Iran, leaving behind the Arabs in pathetic wars, after being deprived of oil and key allies.
These suspicions may have recently surfaced because of the deliberate provocation that is more extensive than the hanging of a tyrant, and which clearly suggests that inflaming the Shiite-Sunni tension is being used as a means of expanding the scope of sectarian wars beyond Iraq for divisional ends, and, which are gaining more significance in light of the timing of the execution.
The comprehensive US policies toward Iraq, which are to be unveiled in the coming days, will contain answers to many questions regarding the fate of Iraq and the entire region. A key to these questions will be found in what George Bush decides with respect to the US policies toward Iran and its allies among the regimes, the militia, and the political parties in the region.
The window of opportunity before the impact of these decisions may be very narrow in terms of time and practicality. However, the sequence of events that have ensued since the execution of Saddam Hussein dictates that key Arab nations and entities insist on presenting the US administration with a review of the Arab memory, in which a series of US 'mistakes' and misleading proclamations, which intensified the mistrust of US promise, have been engraved.