After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Mother of all Smoke Screens

I remember when Princess Diana died an enthusiastic Labour party worker sent round an email suggesting that it would be a good time to push through some unpopular policies. The worker was immediately sacked not just for extreme tactlessness but also exposing an ages old trick in politics. Use an extreme diversion to push through an unpopular policy. Or to quote Riverbend, "when all else fails execute the dictator".

Bush is in a fix and needs time badly. The Iraq Study Group report is hanging over his head like the Sword of Damocles. And after the split of the Sadrists from the Iraqi government, its unity is hanging by thread. The execution of Saddam Hussain will buy time. It placates the American public on one side and the Sadrists on the other. Saddam's execution is a big smoke screen to hide an ugly policy. As proposed by the American Enterprise Institute, a huge military surge as a last gamble to secure Iraq. By its own admission, this policy will cost billions and kill hundreds. But its the last desperate throw of a dying empire and after this, the only way is down.

Saddam had his Mother of All Battles but nothing will be left of the Mother of All Smoke Screens after the wind blows it away. The emperor has no clothes and it's showing.

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