Means Without End: A Paroxysm of Praxis

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. Nietzsche

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Rare Admission by the New York Times

There has been a plethora of commentary over the past week on the execution of Saddam Hussein, the taunts and brutality of his executioners, and the almost predictable aftermath of Sunnis throughout the Middle East turning Hussein into a martyr and symbol against the U.S. imperial project in Iraq. Of course, there has also been speculation about the timing of the execution, and its 'coincidental' synchrony with the news of the deaths of U.S. soldiers exceeding 3,000; i.e., about the same number of Iraqis that die every month.

It almost goes without saying that the execution was a farce. As I have stated before, it is not only a fiction to suggest that there is anything resembling a 'government' in Iraq -- since 'P.M.' Maliki has barely any power within the Green Zone, and no power outside of it -- it would be laughable if it were not so serious to suggest that the judicial process that Hussein and his cohort have been subjected to could be called 'fair' or 'due process.' President Bush described the execution as a 'just act' that resulted from a 'fair trial.' One can only agree with Richard Falk when he suggests that Bush's description of Hussein's trial as fair is either a critical insight into what Bush understands to be legitimate legal procedure (which is not far-fetched given the Bush Administration's impetus to suspend habeas corpus to those suspected of being 'terrorists' or 'enemy combatants'), or it is a most sinister P.R. stunt of Orwellian proportions by the Administration in order to discursively construct an illusory image of the Iraqi 'government' for the American public.

But alas, illusions are like faith, and can only be maintained when facts can knowingly or unknowingly be rejected when they do not square with one's world-view. But, the world-view constructed by the Administration has long been imploding from without, with the results 'from the ground' exceeding the explainations given by the Bush Administration. And now, we can find little nuggets buried within the New York Times that encapsulate the situation without resorting to hegemonized media norms. Just today, we can read the following in the New York Times in an article on the effects of Saddam Hussein's execution in the Middle East:

"Here in Beirut, hundreds of members of the Lebanese Baath Party and Palestinian activists marched Friday in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood behind a symbolic coffin representing that of Mr. Hussein and later offered a funeral prayer. Photographs of Mr. Hussein standing up in court, against a backdrop of the Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem, were pasted on city walls near Palestinian refugee camps, praising 'Saddam the martyr.'

'God damn America and its spies,' a banner across one major Beirut thoroughfare read. 'Our condolences to the nation for the assassination of Saddam, and victory to the Iraqi resistance.'

By standing up to the United States and its client government in Baghdad and dying with seeming dignity, Mr. Hussein appears to have been virtually cleansed of his past."

That last sentence, "the United States and its client government in Baghdad," is significant because Baghdad is never discussed in that manner in either media or policy circles. Much effort is made to make Baghdad seem as if it is operating independently, but by acknowledging that it is a client government, or rather a client 'government' (it really only operates in a symbolic manner, with the U.S. as its primary militia), the whole process of Hussein's trial and the 'hand-over' to the Baghdad authorities is undermined and exposed for what it really is: a U.S. imperial project that is pulling the strings.


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