|Text of article by Saudi writer Sa'd Atiyah al-Ghamidi headlined "This obeyed leader", carried by Saudi newspaper Al-Watan website on 15 January 2007
|Saudi paper says Arab League "a burden" - "This obeyed leader"
(Arabic Article Link )
When Saddam Husayn was facing the judges and the prosecutors during the Al-Dujayl trial, he frequently announced that he was responsible for this-or-that deed, and that he shouldered the responsibility for the contents of the documents. He did not even once try to avoid the consequences, to put them on the shoulders of someone else, or to look for a scapegoat. This was the nature of the dictator, who made his mistakes arrogantly and intransigently, confronted their consequences responsibly and chivalrously, and faced execution honourably and proudly. At all the stages of his life, he was the dictator who was like a sword with two conflicting different and opposite edges: one was the preservation of Iraq's unity and rising above Iraq's sects and nationalities, while the other was the slide into injustices and calamities into which it would have been better for Iraq not to fall.
George Bush Jr has been preparing to deliver his latest address about the strategy in Iraq. For two weeks he continued to prepare the people and the climate to receive this strategy, and to mobilize everything he could to introduce it, including the dismissal of his defence secretary, his UN ambassador, and the execution of Saddam Husayn before the beginning of the new year so that he would prove to the people that he brought them victory. However, all that has been revealed is that Bush is a dictator who does not know what he is doing in a democracy that is totally devoid of any democracy. This is because a dictator most probably knows what he is doing, and a democracy most probably pursues giving the public opinion the upper hand in any situation and in decision making in order to preserve lofty values, which the democratic society considers necessary in order to provide guarantees against individuals of minorities exploiting authority and monopolizing the decision making.
For consecutive decades, the neo-conservatives have been exerting huge efforts to strengthen their political creed and intellectual method. When they found the opportunity after their successful infiltration of the sensitive government institutions and of the intellectual centres, and after the abatement of the democratic camp, the neo-conservatives started the actual practicing and practical implementation of their beliefs of iron fist rule, world hegemony, and oppressive authority in a way that would fulfil their long-awaited dreams. They wanted a president who would recite what they write for him, who would spring into action when they wind him up, and when they mobilize him, he declares war, and even declares victory, either before the beginning of the war or even when people see defeat staring them in the eye, as long as he finds someone to applaud and praise him when he returns to his office after concluding his press conference or delivering his address.
President Bush has not listened to the opinion of the US people who every day in the press, opinion polls, demonstrations, and on television criticize and denounce the killing, failure, huge costs, and bloodshed and detention of the innocent to which he exposed them. He has not listened to the civil, jurist, press, political and human rights organizations. He has not seen the expressions of his own face that reveal the reality of his suffering due to the conflict between the free opinion given by the independents, and the advice given by the inciters who are motivated by personal and secret agendas. Then came the moment of salvation when the Baker-Hamilton Commission came up with its proposals, which could have been entrusted to a group of sincere people from both parties to extract what is possible in consultation with the people of expertise, wisdom, and integrity in the region.
Bush did not take this opportunity. He surrendered to the hysteria of the small group around him, and came up with whatever he concluded. However, he has not escaped severe criticism. Also Bush has not avoided the threat of the militias, which Iran gave him as a gift in Iraq to devastate both the Sunnis and the Shi'is, and which do not want a secure and healthy Iraq. The spokesman of the Al-Mahdi Army on BBC radio threatened the proposed military increase with annihilation, and explained that what they practiced in the past against the US forces was mere light exercises!
In order to reassure Al-Maliki, his government, those around him, and those who cooked up this issue with them, two joint operations with the Iraqi forces were announced in the Hayfa Street in Baghdad, and in Al-Fallujah in Al-Anbar. It is claimed that 50 armed men were killed in the first operation, and 72 were killed in the second.
The one who presented Iraq to Iran on a gold platter will find extreme difficulty in controlling, keeping, or regaining it. The one who threatens the Al-Mahdi Army ought to remember when he begs or threatens Al-Maliki to confront the Al-Mahdi Army that Muqtada [Al-Sadr] himself, the commander-in-chief of that army, was the one who brought Al-Maliki. Muqtada and his party were the determinant factor that enabled Al-Maliki to become prime minister; otherwise he would not have become the head of government. This is why the reward was to present the head of Saddam on the morning of the Id al-Adha to Muqtada and his militias so that they could chant gloatingly when Saddam was being executed, and then circle the corpse dancing after the execution, the same as the primitive tribes do in the jungles of Africa or the Amazon.
Today, Bush's secretary of state comes to warn, frighten, and threaten the moderate countries in the region that they are obliged to support this strategy. Bear in mind that the US public opinion and the majority in both chambers of the US Congress are against this strategy, not to mention that they consider that it includes grave dangers and that it sinks the United States even further into the war.
When Rice comes, she will not spare any effort in dragging some of the innocent, or the guilty, in this dilemma, whether on the pretext of rescuing Iraq, or that of distancing Iran. Anyone with a reasonable memory understands that Bush and those around him were the ones who tore Iraq apart, and the ones who presented Iraq, Arabistan, and perhaps Lebanon soon to the Iranian arrogance. Today, here is Al-Maliki appointing an unknown officer, Maj-Gen Abud Qanbar, as Baghdad Armed Forces Chief, without consultation, even in clear defiance, merely because he is one of Muqtada al-Sadr's men. This means that the actual ruler will be the Al-Mahdi Army, which will know about any US move while it is being considered.
Now the region suffers painful and grave watersheds. Complacency about what is going on is tantamount to complete participation in tearing the region apart. It has been proved that the Arab League is a financial, political, and humanitarian burden on the shoulders of the Arabs. Those with vision, and those who are committed to this sensitive part of the world are invited today, more than at any other time in history, to wake up and face up to the clear-featured conflict about which silence is not suitable, and covering up is not feasible. Every reasonable person ought to work towards closing and uniting the ranks, and searching for firm and wise ways out of this dilemma into which the region was led by an obeyed leader who proved that velvet democracy sometimes can be more harmful and worse than an unjust dictatorship that protects the country.