News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

Archive for December, 2006

Saddam’s Fate

December 30, 2006

Shiite political leader: “Today is the best day we have seen since the fall of Saddam’s regime,” said Ayad Jamal al-Deen, a moderate Shiite political leader. “The death of this man will help to release many Baathists from Saddam’s mafia. The violence will be reduced.”

( Sunni ) Worshiper in Gaza: “What is he [Saddam], a sheep? I think the Americans wanted to tell all Arab leaders who are their servants that they are like Saddam, nothing but a sheep slaughtered on the day of Eid,” said one worshipper, Abu Mohammad Salama.

The execution of Saddam Hussein is the passing of an iconic figure that no longer represents any say or majority amongst Muslims or the Iraqi political mainstream. Not that Saddam ever really did. Briefly he was seen as a hero for invalid reasons but it is the threatened West that gave him larger teeth. The apparatus that glued together a system of loyalty around this aggressive thug of a leader enabled him to continue. His most convincing argument was a personally administered bullet reserved for the closest treachery.

A growing dissatisfaction with the way America was letting the Iraq problem of poverty grow year after year of economic strangulation was starting to reach a new boiling point. The rhetoric on Iraq converged with the war on Terrorism in so much as President Bush was his father’s son made the American invasion of Iraq more likely than not. It could not have been different and was not.

Saddam maintained a political imbalance – a bigoted society where the radical majority is suppressed by a conservative minority, brutally, with genocide. The radicalism is that of Shiite Islam that rules in the South-East zone, like in Basra where the British forces are stationed. And the Radical Shiite Cleric. Al Sadr.

The fact that the West’s intervention very much changed the landscape for Iran’s allies in Iraq is beyond question. Their reaction is a local one, eject the invaders, and it makes sense, unfortunately.

But how can America extract its forces without vast amounts of the world’s oil now supporting the Shiite cause? Like Iran, America fought and won a war against the Ba’athists. But it is the Shiite forces that seek to eject the Americans. and this presents the real problem to Bush. By defeating Iraq, the media machine is now gearing up for the conflict to erupt with Iran, probably with Iraq. And thus the Republican party will be briefly supporting the cause of the Ba’athists? Sure hope not. Perhaps that is why he feels it important to put in more troops. And perhaps he has a more strategic Secretary of Defense.

If one thing was managed right in this war is it that Saddam was tried by Iraq rather than an invader. Saddam is dead, gone, finished. His sons are no longer the future. Can Iraq rise above a need to exact endless revenge, draw a line and face what the new future beholds?

America just lost its one unelected leader, who was morned and celebrated like a hero. He was unpopular for pardoning Nixon. America is paying for not facing itself by choosing the wrong path at the wrong time.

If Al Gore was the president, by now oil could be irrelevant as a secondary source of energy. A much better all together solution.


Our changing digital world

December 28, 2006

This the only the second stage of the digital online revolution. It still has many changes it can make to our lives.

The so called dot.com boom occurred because the internet presented the same proposition and many people acted simultaneously to support nearly free advertising everywhere by everybody.

Google leveraged that most effectively and worked out that they could leverage the talent and hours of millions of programmers by paying them to place the google linked adverts after having well established search ranking as a google asset.

It seems to have worked year after year as part of the fabric of how the web works.

It developed its own video channels then it buys YouTube.com. It is repeating its successful formula. It still commands the majority of hits into MySpace as well and therefore modulates its relevance. Even its major competitors rely upon it.

Google made the internet relevant. Before Google if you searched for something you were very likely to find something else. Now all search engines have found ways to become relevant. Or they harness Google. (also posted to M&C comment on the article above)


Is time running out?

December 19, 2006

Is time running out for the concept of a united Iraq to be able to take hold? When will President Bush start?


Iraq

Where is the turning point? This horrific war unleashed by unlocking the balancing act of powerful opposing forces that was held in place through ruthless acts by the leadership of Iraq, Iran and of course Saudi Arabia. Israel bristles with aggressive potential, is not the central problem of the region. It is the undeclared war between the Saudi Arabs and Iran. It is a war between ancient and modern in the Islamic context.

9/11 was a surprise to the world due to the apparent dislocated logic of attacking world trade most of the world saw Osama bin Laden as insane by Western standards, Bush thought it better to call his actions evil. But George Bush remains a political knave on a world stage dominated by the singular nature of the Osama bin Laden message, which was remove American military power from Saudi Arabia. George Bush blundered into Iraq, as he was destined to, and that has validated Osama’s propaganda, “Look how destructive and evil America is”, he can now say.

In other words, Bush’s military strategy in Iraq is a fatal mistake, and this is finally becoming apparent to the rest of us. Now invading Afghanistan was on the cards – toppling one of the most evil and repressive regimes (The Taleban) and the world was richer for it. The result of the war in Iraq is a less safe world than it would have been if a few hanging chads had mattered more in Florida six years ago.

George Bush has become the problem by buying into a argument best left to those having it to sort out. Now how can he escape becoming the peace maker? He has no option but to negotiate but the stance he is taking with Iran could lead to further pointless confrontation.

The ramifications of Iran controlling the entire oil rich region because military might does not work against a population that’s antipathetic to it’s political goals are immense.

9/11 unbalanced the balancing act allowing the Right to dominate intelligent objections from both sides of the political spectrum. It is not that it is not a “just war”, it is that it is not a war that achieves anything. It just has made the power conflict between opposing parties more acute. This could be seen before Iraq was invaded. That it would always result in opening the book of revenge as it has in Gaza.