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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Ill And Saddam

I'm under the weather, and I suspect that, at least until I'm feeling better, posting will be lighter than usual. But it did occur to me this morning that the plans for Saddam Hussein himself present a perfect nutshell of what yesterday's surprise ("and we brought it in ahead of schedule!") "handover" actually means.

Saddam will be "handed over" to the Iraqis also, later this week. The details are still sketchy, but there will be some sort of ceremonial transfer of custody. There's always ceremony; it brings the cameras and gives the talking heads something to talk about. With pomp and circumstance, even if hidden in the basement of some bureaucratic ruin of Saddam's own fallen regime, the old man will be "handed over" just as was the country. This will provide some new footage of Saddam as well, supplementing the meager delousing images the world media has had to satisfy itself with thus far.

The new and sovereign Iraqi government will be granted legal custody of the former dictator. The Americans will, of course, retain physical custody. Which means that nothing changes at all. As it is with Iraq itself, outwardly there is talk and an attempt to cultivate the impression of sovereignty through stagecraft, while essentially the US keeps control.

Is anyone really falling for this?

Okay. Back to bed.

1 comments: to “ Ill And Saddam

  • Anonymous
    June 29, 2004 7:06 PM  

    Thought experiment:

    The new Iraqi government instructs the American forces to release Saddam into their custody for interrogation and trial. Do the Americans hand him over?

    If not (and I can't imagine that they would ever do so) then legal custody has not, in fact, been transfered.

    Chris (http://tis.goringe.net)

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