02 January 2007
Saddam's death: what were the Americans thinking?
The repercussions surrounding the death of Saddam Hussein continue to reverberate. One wonders what the Americans were thinking about, when they handed the former president of Iraq over to a bunch of gloating, triumphalist Shias?
A cynic might argue that the death of Saddam in such a manner actually could be seen as furthering America's strategy. The much telegraphed plan is to increase the numbers of occupation forces and try to recapture Baghdad. That means fighting the 50,000 strong Shia militia headed by Moktada al-Sadr that is based in that city. Obviously the Americans cannot fight both the resistence and the Sadr militia at the same time, so allowing the Shia to kill Saddam could be part of a ploy that aims at encouraging the Sunnis to take time off from the war while the USA attacks Sadr's men.
A real cynic would argue that this is exactly what could happen, but that it won't help the Americans very much. The Sunni are quite likely to sit back and watch the Americans bleed themselves white in the coming conflict. Then, when Sadr has been defeated, they can restart their attacks on the occupation forces.
Once the guerrillas have finally forced the occupiers to leave, a new Sunni strongman will take over because the only force that could stop that happening will have been destroyed by courtesy of the Americans.